While it is not uncommon for someone to end up facing burglary and theft charges, it is important to remember that in New Jersey these are both two completely different charges. Each comes with its own set of potential consequences, including fines and prison time.
To highlight the differences, and just how someone could end up facing both of these charges, let’s look at a recent news story involving an 18-year-old. This teenager is facing burglary, theft, obstruction of justice and criminal mischief charges. All of these charges stem from an accusation that he broke into a business in order to steal less than $30 worth of cigars.
According to the police, the teenager is facing burglary charges for allegedly using a large rock to break the window of a convenience store. However, the theft charges are related to the same teen supposedly reaching in through the broken hole of the glass to take $28 worth of cigars.
In this case, while the teen is facing burglary and theft charges, know that it is possible to face burglary charges, without theft charges. However, by law, burglary means entering a structure or research facility that is either not open to the public or one does not have the privilege to be in, with the intent to commit another crime. Quite often people assume theft is the intention, but this is not always the case.
As one can imagine, the laws surrounding burglary and theft can be quite complex. Having a full understanding of the law and required elements for charges can go a long way when it comes to defending against these types of charges. This is why those facing burglary or theft charges are highly encouraged to not make any statements to police and contact an attorney as soon as possible.