Burglary charges are felonies in Pennsylvania and a conviction will seriously hurt an individual's current and future employment in addition to exposing them to time behind bars. Do not accept a burglary charge as a conviction – there may be avenues you can take to preserve your freedom. The best strategy is to retain an experienced defense lawyer that can advise on the specifics of your case.
A determined defense team can present evidence to the prosecutors before trial to attempt to have the case dismissed or charges lessened to a misdemeanor, however, if needed, Lento Law Firm will go to trial to defeat your burglary charges.
Philadelphia Burglary Lawyer
Felony offenses should not be taken lightly, as prosecutors will invest time and money to convict you. Call (215) 535-5353 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the circumstances of the alleged burglary and the options for your case.
Burglary Charges Info
- Burglary in Pennsylvania
- Penalties for Conviction for Burglarizing
- Defending Against 18 Pa. C.S. § 3502 Charges
Burglary in Pennsylvania
Burglary is an unwelcome entry into a building with the intent to commit a crime within. If the premises are at the time open to the public or the defendant is licensed or privileged to enter the building, no burglary has occurred. Also, if the defense can prove the building or structure was abandoned, there again cannot be a conviction for burglary.
Penalties for Conviction for Burglarizing
If the structure is not adapted for overnight accommodation (a residence), and no individual is present at the time of the entry, the burglary will be a felony of the second degree. The sentence carries up to ten years imprisonment and as much as $25,000 in fines.
In all other cases, the burglary is a felony of the first degree punishable by up to 20 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.
According to 18 Pa. C.S. § 3502(d), a person may not be convicted of a burglary and also of the crime committed within the premises unless the crime is a felony of the first or second degree.
Defending Against 18 Pa. C.S. § 3502 Charges
As mentioned above, 18 Pa. C.S. § 3502(a) & (b) note that defenses to burglary include the premises being open to the public at the time of the act, if the actor has been given permission or is legally allowed to enter the premises, and if the building is abandoned.
The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was the actor in the burglary. Your defense lawyer will research your alibi and corroborating evidence if the evidence places you out of the location during the commission of a crime.
The prosecution must further prove that the defendant intended to commit a crime within the building. For the best legal advice, call a defense lawyer to review the specifics of your burglary charges.
Finding the Best Philadelphia Burglary Defense Lawyer
Lento Law Firm will fight aggressively against burglary charges. As first and second degree felonies, a first-time charge for burglary in Pennsylvania can result in many years behind bars. Felony convictions, even with a probationary term, mean the loss of career opportunities in a tough economic market and exposure to steep fines.
The priority of Lento Law Firm is always to maintain your freedom and seek out the best possible result in your case. Call (215) 535-5353 today to schedule a free consultation. We will review the specifics around your case and advise where to go from here.