Burglary Lawyer Ewing, NJ
Seasoned Burglary Defense Lawyer Represents Clients in Middlesex County, Mercer County, Burlington County, and Monmouth County, NJ
Accusations of burglary in New Jersey are serious, and they must be taken seriously from the very beginning. While the burglary charge itself can lead to severe negative consequences, burglary charges are often accompanied by additional criminal charges for theft offenses that can cause the crime to be considered aggravated and lead to even more severe punishment. An individual who is convicted of an aggravated form of burglary may face up to ten (10) years in prison. When faced with this level of potential punishment, it is vital to contact an experienced Ewing burglary lawyer who will fight to gain a better outcome.
In my decade of experience as an Ewing criminal defense attorney, I have come to understand how critical it can be to argue to have a client’s charges downgraded, if they cannot be dropped entirely. In New Jersey, burglary is either a second or third degree offense, depending upon the surrounding circumstances. For first offenders, third degree burglary cases can often be resolved without any jail time, and sometimes through pre-trial intervention programs that may stop the prosecution entirely. Alternatively, second degree burglary crimes carry a presumption of incarceration, meaning that the individual will spend time in jail if convicted, regardless of whether it was his or her first offense.
I fight aggressively to prevent my clients from spending time in jail for burglary charges, if at all possible under the circumstances, and I will put my skills to work to gain the best possible outcome in your New Jersey burglary case.
Elements of a Criminal Burglary Charge in Mercer County, New Jersey
Burglary crimes in New Jersey are governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2. An individual commits burglary if, with the intent to commit a crime, he or she:
- Enters a structure that is not open to the public, and which the individual is not licensed or privileged to enter,
- Secretively remains in a structure knowing that he or she is not licensed or privileged to do so, or
- Trespasses upon utility company property where notice prohibiting trespassing are posted, or where notice is given by fencing or other enclosures designed to deter intruders.
Generally, burglary is a third degree offense punishable by three (3) to five (5) years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. These penalties may apply if the prosecution can prove the requisite elements of the crime of burglary. N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2(b) elevates the burglary charge to a second degree offense if the accused individual purposely, knowingly, or recklessly inflicts bodily injury on another person, or attempts to do so. Burglary is also a second degree offense if the accused individual is armed with a deadly weapon or explosives, or displays what appears to be a deadly weapon or explosives during the burglary.
NJ Criminal Defense Attorney Lauren Scardella Fights for Reduced or Dismissed Charges in Hamilton Burglary Cases
In order to be convicted of burglary in Mercer County, New Jersey, an individual must have entered another person’s property, which was not otherwise open to the public, with the intent to commit some additional type of crime. At the Law Offices of Lauren E. Scardella in Hamilton, NJ, I typically begin any case by analyzing the specific facts and circumstances of that case. In a burglary case, I will often visit the scene itself to determine whether the property was, in fact, open to the public in some manner. Perhaps the property was frequently used by the public as a shortcut to some other area, which can negate an accused individual’s intent to enter the property illegally if he or she reasonably believed that the public was permitted to enter.
I aggressively investigate every burglary case, and I think outside the box to formulate the strongest possible defense given the circumstances of the case. Often, I will locate evidence and testimony to challenge the prosecution’s evidence regarding a defendant’s intent to commit a crime while on the property. This strategy can successfully reduce the charges from burglary to trespassing—a significantly less serious offense.
Call Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer to Discuss Your Burglary Charges in Ewing, NJ
If you or a loved one have been accused of burglary in South Brunswick, North Brunswick, Robbinsville, or somewhere else in NJ, contact an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney before discussing your case with law enforcement authorities or the prosecution. A skilled criminal defense lawyer will understand the elements of a burglary charge and can fight to find flaws in the prosecution’s case. Contact my office at 609-587-1144 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. You can also fill out this online form. The office is located at 2653 Nottingham Way STE 1, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619.
Frequently Asked Questions About Burglary Charges in New Jersey
What if I was accused of breaking into someone’s house during the daytime?
The requirement that a burglary must have been committed at night has been eliminated from the criminal code of almost all states, including New Jersey. In the past, burglary was more narrowly defined to require that the individual break into a home at night to commit a crime. Today, however, burglary can take place at any hour of the day and can involve any type of structure that is not open to the public, regardless of whether that structure was an individual’s place of residence.
I broke into a building that was not open to the public, but I did not commit a crime while in the building. Can I still be charged with burglary?
Yes. The crime of burglary only requires that the individual enter the property illegally with the intent of committing another crime. It does not matter whether the individual actually commits the crime. Further, law enforcement officials have broad leeway in inferring intent to commit a crime, even when the accused individual does not commit a crime or otherwise admit to having the required intent.