Criminal Defense Lawyers in Toms River, New Jersey
The crime of burglary deals with home invasion. The State of New Jersey and Ocean County prosecutors aggressively and severely prosecute burglary offenses. In fact, New Jersey legislators, in furtherance of anti-crime measures, have deemed burglary a Graves Act offense if a firearm was involved during the commission of the burglary or immediately thereafter. A defendant who has been convicted under the Graves Act is subject to mandatory incarceration with no parole eligibility. Additionally, the No Early Release Act (“NERA”) applies to violent crimes that include second degree burglary convictions. Under the NERA a defendant must serve 85% of the remaining sentence before being eligible for parole or early release. If you are facing second degree burglary charges in Ocean County, it is vital that you understand that an experienced criminal defense attorney has the ability to assist you in protecting your rights, navigating the court system, and working with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office to help avoid the severe penalties noted above.
The New Jersey statute for burglary is provided below, in pertinent part, for your reading convenience:
§ 2C:18-2. Burglary
a. Burglary defined. A person is guilty of burglary if, with purpose to commit an offense therein 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; or
(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.
As demonstrated in the above statute, the crime of burglary is committed the very instant that a defendant enters a structure with intent to commit a crime inside. Therefore, a defendant need not actually commit a crime once inside the building in order for a burglary to have been committed. This controverts the popular misconception that a theft must occur in order for a burglary to be committed.
“Structure” for purpose of Burglary – House, Commercial or Office Building, Car, Truck, or even a Boat
Degrees and Penalties for NJ Burglary Offenses
b. 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. See below for the degrees, acts, and penalties associated with New Jersey burglary offenses:
Third Degree Burglary
Enters a building with intent to commit a crime inside
3 – 5 years in prison
Second Degree Burglary
Someone is injured during burglary or armed defendant
5 – 10 years in prison; presumption of mandatory incarceration
Contact a Lakewood NJ Burglary Lawyer for Answers about Your Case
The defending of burglary cases requires skill and experience, as they are often very technical and complicated. Founding attorney, William Proetta, Esq. has handled thousands of criminal and municipal court charges during his career, including many burglary cases. We represent clients charged with burglary throughout Ocean County and New Jersey including Jackson, Waretown, Forked River, Manahawkin, Beachwood, Bayville, Plumsted Township, and Manchester. If you would like to discuss your case with an experienced Ocean County burglary defense lawyer then please contact our conveniently located Toms River office at (848) 238-2100 for a free initial consultation.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. All major credit cards are accepted.