Trenton NJ Burglary Attorney

Many people believe that a “burglary” can only be committed when someone breaks into a house to steal. Although theft is a common scenario, a burglary offense encompasses much more. A burglary charge can arise in Trenton, Hamilton, Lawrence Township, West Windsor, Robbinsville or another Mercer County municipality so long as the actor enters any type structure without authorization (e.g. house, car, warehouse, etc.) for the purpose of committing a criminal offense. The objective of the burglary can be not only a theft offense but also aggravated assault, sexual assault, criminal mischief, hindering or robbery. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall represent clients throughout Mercer County and Burlington Counties and specifically those facing theft-related charges stemming out oOur defense firm is compromised of seven veteran lawyers, many of whom are former prosecutors, who will review the facts of your case and develop the best possible defense. Contact us to today to speak with one of our knowledgeable lawyers during a free initial consultation.

Burglary Offense in Mercer County New Jersey N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2

  1. Burglary defined. A person is guilty of burglary if, with purpose to commit an offense therein or thereon he:
    1. 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;
    2. 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; or
    3. Trespasses in or upon utility company property where public notice prohibiting trespass is given by conspicuous posting, or fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to exclude intruders.
  2. Grading. Burglary is a crime of the second degree if in the course of committing the offense, the actor:
    1. Purposely, knowingly or recklessly inflicts, attempts to inflict or threatens to inflict bodily injury on anyone; or
    2. Is armed with or displays what appear to be explosives or a deadly weapon.

Otherwise burglary is a crime of the third degree. An act shall be deemed “in the course of committing” an offense if it occurs in an attempt to commit an offense or in immediate flight after the attempt or commission.

It should be noted that even in absence of actual proof of an unlicensed entry into a structure, so long as a substantial step, such as the breaking of a window or door can be established, the prosecution can still pursue a burglary charge against you under the theory of an “attempt.”

Penalties and Fines if Convicted

If convicted of a 2nd degree burglary, you are facing 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison and up to a $150,000.00 fine. Also, under N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2, New Jersey’s No Early Release Act (NERA), you will have to serve 85% of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for parole. If convicted of a 3rd degree burglary, you will be facing 3 to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison and up to a $15,000.00 fine. Although there is a presumption of non-incarceration for a first criminal conviction of a 3rd degree or less, many Courts tend to impose harsh penalties for someone found guilty of committing a residential burglary because there is a general sentiment that a home is the one place people should feel secure.

Burglary vs. Robbery

Many people mistakenly indicate that their house was broken into and they were “robbed” when in fact, their residence was actually burglarized. Burglary and robbery are two separate and distinct offenses. Whereas a robbery is committed when bodily injury is inflicted or force is used upon another during the course of a theft, a burglary occurs when a person enters a structure without authorization for the purpose of committing an offense like a theft therein. Stated differently, robbery is an offense against involving danger to the person and burglary is an offense against the property.

Hamilton Township Burglary Lawyer

We typically represent clients who are charged with burglary and other lesser-included charges such as defiant trespass, criminal mischief, theft of movable property, or receiving stolen property. Although these charges usually deal with a break-in of a home or apartment, we have handled many cases in which both adults and juveniles were accused of burglarizing motor vehicles. We have specifically handled cases where clients were facing numerous burglary counts for breaking into a string of cars parked on the same street in a residential neighborhood. Generally, in those types of cases, the prosecutor’s office will pursue a separate burglary count for each car that is alleged to have been broken into. The experienced and knowledgeable attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are consistently successful in obtaining favorable results even in those multiple burglary count cases where there is significant jail exposure. They possess well over 100 years of combined experience and have handled literally thousands of cases. Choose a firm with a long track record of success by giving us a call today at (609) 683-8102.

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