Loudoun County Burglary Lawyer
Criminal charges for burglary are serious and anyone facing these charges is probably feeling concerned about the possible consequences. Burglary is a felony and someone convicted may face as much as 20 years in prison depending on the circumstance of the case. Consequences for burglary vary greatly depending on the facts of the case and aggravating and mitigating factors. A Loudoun County Burglary Lawyer may be able to help you understand the elements that must be proved in order to convict you of burglary. Contact a skilled theft attorney to learn about what the possible consequences may be of this offense.
Elements of Burglary Offenses
Burglary is any unlawful entry into a building or structure with the intent to commit a crime. There are three basic elements that must be proven to convict someone of a burglary charge. The basic elements are:
- Unauthorized breaking and entry
- Into a building or occupied structure
- With intent to commit a crime
Someone cannot be convicted of burglary unless all of these elements are present. Breaking and entering may be either by force, such as breaking a window, or it may be through gaining entrance to a building by non-physical means such as fraud or threats.
Common Burglary Offenses
The building or occupied structure that is entered into may be someone’s home or it may be any structure used to shelter people or property. The building may also be any type of store or office building. In order to qualify as a burglary the structure must be closed to the public at the time of entry.
The person breaking into a building must do so with the intent to commit a crime inside. Often times the crime is theft, but it could also be any other crime. If the prosecution is unable to prove any of the elements of burglary the defendant cannot be convicted.
Possible Burglary Defenses
A defendant accused of burglary will want to have a strong defense. A Loudoun County Burglary Lawyer may be able to help you decide on a defense strategy that makes the most sense for you.
Since the prosecution is required to prove each of the elements of burglary beyond a reasonable doubt a defendant may cast doubt in the minds of the jury by presenting evidence that disputes the prosecutions or by presenting a strong alibi.
A defendant accused of burglary may also assert that they had the consent of the owner of the property to enter. In some cases a defendant may argue entrapment, meaning that someone induced them to commit the crime for the purpose of prosecuting that individual. A defendant who was intoxicated when they entered a structure may also have a defense that they were unable to form the required intent to commit a crime due to the
Factors in Sentencing After a Burglary Conviction
The sentence imposed for a burglary conviction will depend on the type of crime the defendant intended to commit. Breaking and entering with an intent to commit murder, rape, arson, or robbery carries the harshest sentences. Breaking and entering with an intent to commit another felony may carry a lesser punishment. Breaking and entering with the intent to commit a misdemeanor carries the least punishment.
In addition to intent aggravating and mitigating factors are also taken into consideration in sentencing. Aggravating factors, such as previous convictions, may result in harsher penalties while mitigating factors, such as mental illness and youth may result in a lesser penalty.
If you have been charged with burglary you may be feeling afraid and overwhelmed. A Loudoun County burglary lawyer may be able to help you better understand your situation and the defenses available to you. Do not wait, an experienced burglary lawyer may be critical to the outcome of your case.