Top Russellville, AL Burglary Lawyers Near You

Burglary Lawyers | Russellville Office

540 N. Jackson Ave., PO Box 641, Russellville, AL 35653-0641

Russellville Burglary Information

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Find a Burglary Attorney near Russellville

What Is Considered Burglary?

Burglary is a crime at both the federal and state level, and typically refers to an offense where an individual unlawfully, and without consent, enters a building with the intent to steal something inside.

What Is the Difference Between Robbery and Burglary in Alabama?

Burglary can be differentiated from robbery, in a broad sense, by considering the elements common to each crime.

Robbery typically involves the direct theft of goods or property from a business or individual. Force, or a threat of force, can also be involved in the commission of a robbery. For example, if you steal a carton of cigarettes and other items from a convenience store while holding the clerk at gunpoint, you could be found guilty of robbery — and more specifically, armed robbery.

Burglary involves either breaking and entering, or simply unlawful entry, into a residence, place of business or other property. Further, burglary is typically done with the intent of avoiding all other human contact during the proceedings. Burglars may “stake out” their marks beforehand to determine times when the victim may be at work, or otherwise indisposed (and away from home).

Is Burglary a Felony or a Misdemeanor?

Burglary can either be classified as a felony or as a misdemeanor depending both on the jurisdiction as well as the severity of the offense.

Burglary is uncommonly prosecuted at the federal level and is categorized as a felony if this is the case. These felonies almost always revolve around burglary concerning federal property and goods involved in interstate commerce.

State laws pertaining to burglary vary. In some states, burglary can be prosecuted as either first, second, third or fourth-degree offenses. Fourth-degree burglary, which is described as simply breaking into a property without a specific intent to commit further crimes, is a misdemeanor. By contrast, the other three degrees (escalating in intensity to first degree, which involves either intent to commit theft or intent to commit a violent crime) of burglary are all categorized as felony offenses. Simple possession of burglar’s tools that might be incidental of any other offense can be a misdemeanor.

How Much Jail Time for Burglary?

The jail or prison sentences for those convicted of burglary range from state to state, and depend on the particulars of each individual offense.

Broadly speaking, misdemeanor charges of burglary can result in up to a year behind bars. Felony charges related to burglary are more common, and those convicted of felony burglary could face between five years imprisonment and a life sentence in the most egregious examples.

First-degree burglary charges in some states can lead to a life sentence, as well as a fine of up to $10,000, while in others, first-degree burglary is defined as a Class B felony. The punishment for being in violation of a Class B felony could mean a sentence ranging from five to 25 years in prison.

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Burglary Charge?

If you are facing burglary charges, you should consult an attorney. Not only can an experienced lawyer familiar with case law surrounding burglary and robbery offenses help to guide you from a strategic level, but your relationship also protects your privacy.

A criminal defense lawyer can be an asset especially if you are facing the prospect of going to trial. In some cases, a plea deal or negotiation can be struck to reduce your potential punishment which could mean avoiding prison entirely.

A conviction on burglary charges, felony or misdemeanor, can result in a permanent criminal record. By retaining proper legal counsel, you may be able to increase the likelihood of a legal victory.

Burglary Legal Options

If you are charged with burglary you need a defense lawyer who handles burglary cases to represent you. He or she will advise you of your options and form a defense, and may even advise that you allow them to negotiate a plea bargain on your behalf.

Best Time to Seek Legal Help

No matter what your legal issue may be, it is always best to seek legal help early in the process. An attorney can help secure what is likely to be the best possible outcome for your situation and avoid both unnecessary complications or errors.

Tips on Approaching an Initial Attorney Consultation

  • Use the consultation as a means of gaining a better understanding of your legal situation.
  • Ask the attorney how many cases similar to yours he/she has handled. An attorney’s experience and knowledge can speak to their expertise (or lack of) in addressing your situation.
  • Your attorney should be able to articulate roughly how long a case like yours will take to resolve and what sort of procedures to expect.
  • Determine how comfortable you are working with the lawyer and/or law firm.

Types of legal fees:

Bill by the hour: Many attorneys bill by the hour. How much an attorney bills you per hour will vary based on a number of factors. For instance, an attorney’s hourly fee may fluctuate based on whether that hour is spent representing you in court or doing research on your case. Attorneys in one practice area may bill you more than attorneys in a different practice area.

Contingent fee: Some lawyers will accept payment via contingent fee. In this arrangement, the lawyer receives a percentage of the total monetary recovery if you win your lawsuit. In sum, the lawyer only gets paid if you win. Contingent fee agreements are limited to specific practice areas in civil law.

Flat fee: For “routine” legal work where the attorney generally knows the amount of time and resources necessary to complete the task, he/she may be willing to bill you a flat fee for services performed.

Common legal terms explained

Personal jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority over a person, in order to bind that person to the judgment of the court, based on minimum contacts. International Shoe Co v. Washington is a landmark Supreme Court case outlining the scope of a state court’s reach in personal jurisdiction.

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