Burglary Lawyers | Georgetown Office | Serving Millville, DE
26 The Circle, PO Box 250, Georgetown, DE 19947
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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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Specialized legal help is available for most legal issues. Each case is unique; seeking legal help is a smart first step toward understanding your legal situation and seeking the best path toward resolution for your case. An experienced lawyer understands the local laws surrounding your case and what your best legal options might be. More importantly, there are certain situations and circumstances – such as being charged with a crime – where you should always seek experienced legal help.
The goal of an initial consultation is to find an attorney you are comfortable working with and someone who can help you understand your options under the law. Seek to understand the relevant legal experience the attorney brings to your case. While it is not realistic to expect an attorney to resolve your legal issue during an initial consultation, you should gain a level of comfort with his/her ability to do so. A good consultation can clarify issues, raise pertinent questions and considerations for your case, and help you make an informed decision towards resolving your legal issue.
A reputable attorney will be very upfront about how he/she will charge you. The three most common fee structures that attorneys use to charge for their services are:
Depending on your specific legal situation, it’s possible that only one type of fee structure is available. For instance, criminal defense attorneys almost always bill by the hour. In a flat fee arrangement, an attorney accepts a one-time payment to help you resolve your issue. With a contingent fee agreement, the client pays little to nothing upfront and the attorney receives a percentage of the money recovered if you win your case.
Affidavit – A sworn written statement made under oath. An affidavit is meant to be a supporting document to the court assisting in the verification of certain facts. An affidavit may or may not require notarization.