New Jersey Burglary Attorney
Being charged with Burglary in New Jersey can be a frightening experience. When facing the prospects of prison time, fines, a permanent criminal record, and probation, there are many questions that can arise. Will I go to prison? What will happen to my job? Who will take care of my children while I am away? Who can I turn to for help? My name is Anthony N. Palumbo, New Jersey Burglary Criminal Defense Lawyer, and partner at The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo. If you’ve been accused of Burglary in New Jersey, I can help you. With over 35 years of experience as a Breaking and Entering Attorney, I have successfully defended countless individuals accused of Burglary in New Jersey. Contact me today for a free initial consultation at 908-643-6801 , and we will discuss your charges. Our firm defends individuals accused of Burglary throughout New Jersey including the counties of Somerset, Middlesex, and Union, Monmouth, and Mercer.
I also defend charges of:
- Armed Robbery
- Aggravated Assault
- Theft Crimes
- Any other offense involving weapons
New Jersey Burglary Law
Under New Jersey Statute N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2, a person is guilty of burglary if, with purpose to commit an offense therein he:
- Enters a research facility, structure, or a separately secured or occupied portion thereof unless the structure was at the time open to the public or the actor is licensed or privileged to enter; or
- Surreptitiously remains in a research facility, structure, or a separately secured or occupied portion thereof knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so.
Understanding New Jersey Burglary Law
In order for a conviction to be obtained, the prosecution must prove all four elements. If your New Jersey Burglary Criminal Defense Lawyer can knock out even one of these elements, a rightful conviction cannot be obtained. The elements of Burglary are as follows:
- The defendant must enter into
- A structure or research facility
- Which is not open to the public or there is no privilege to be there
- With the intent to commit another criminal offense inside the structure
Now that you’ve read the elements of Burglary, let’s take a closer look at some of the language used in the elements above.
- Structure: Generally, a structure is any enclosure that marks a boundary, and prevents intrusion or escape. A common example would be a building. However, the word structure is used instead of building because it is broader and it encompasses other enclosures that may not technically be considered buildings, but still constitute an enclosed area that belongs to someone else. Other examples of structures include houses, hotel rooms, offices within a building, and apartments. An experienced Burglary Criminal Defense Attorney may choose to defend your case by alleging the place of entry was not a structure.
- Entry: It is important to note that a person does not need to break and enter the structure in order to commit burglary. Entry without license or privilege to be there is enough to satisfy a conviction when the other elements are present. Thus, if you discretely walk into a place that you are not licensed to be in that is enough. You do not need to physically break into the structure like through a window to commit burglary.
- No theft required: Despite common belief, Burglary does not necessarily involve theft. In order to be convicted, a person must commit an unauthorized entry and have the intent to commit a separate crime once inside the structure. However, the separate crime can be any crime. It does not have to be theft. An experience Breaking and Entering Attorney may defend your case by alleging that you did not have the intent to commit a crime once inside the structure.
Penalties if Convicted
Generally, Burglary is a 3 rd Degree crime, however can become a 2nd Degree Crime if while committing the offense, the actor:
- Purposely, knowingly or recklessly inflicts, tries to inflict or threatens to inflict bodily injury on anyone; or
- Has or shows what seem to be explosives or deadly weapons.
An experienced Breaking and Entering Attorney may argue down your charge by proving you did not have the requisite intent to be convicted of a 2nd Degree Crime.
2 nd Degree Crime
- 5 to 10 years in prison
3 rd Degree Crime
- Up to 5 years in prison
Possession of Burglar’s Tools N.J.S.A. 2C:5-5(a)
In New Jersey, a person can be charged with possession of Burglar’s tools. It is committed when a person has tools or other objects made for committing an offense involving forcible entry into a structure. Generally this is a disorderly persons offense which carries a penalty of up to 6 months in jail. However, if the person makes a plan to use the tools, it is a 4th Degree Crime which carries up to 18 months in prison.
Your Breaking and Entering Attorney in New Jersey
If you’ve been charged with Burglary in New Jersey, it is a very serious crime and you will need an aggressive New Jersey Burglary Criminal Defense Lawyer. As a former prosecutor and current public defender with over thirty-five years of legal experience, I have the knowledge and the experience needed in these types of cases. I know both sides of the law and it has helped me to obtain thousands of dismissals and downgraded charges for my clients. Contact me today for a free initial consultation, at 908-643-6801 , and I’ll answer any questions you may have about your situation. Together we can discuss your defense and plan the best way to attack your charge.
Breaking and Entering Attorney New Jersey
I defend individuals throughout the state of New Jersey including Union County, Essex County, Middlesex County, Somerset County and Monmouth County against the following charges: