Chester County Burglary Attorney
Criminal Charges for Burglary
Generally, burglary is defined as entering a residence or building with the intent of committing a crime. In these cases, the crime could be another type of theft or property crime, or it could be something different entirely.
Burglary charges can carry serious penalties, and if convicted you could be labeled a felon. You could face prison time, expensive fines or both. Additionally, you could be perceived as dangerous, which could have lasting effects on your ability to find work or even housing. You do not have to accept a charge as a conviction. A dedicated attorney can help you fight the charges.
West Chester Burglary Attorney
If you are facing burglary charges, contact an experienced West Chester burglary defense attorney at Ciccarelli Law Offices. The legal team is composed of experienced attorneys and former prosecutors who understand the battle you are facing. They can examine the facts of your case and work to get a favorable outcome.
Contact Ciccarelli Law Offices at (610) 692-8700. We have offices in Lancaster, Philadelphia, West Chester, Plymouth Meeting, Kennett Square, King of Prussia, Radnor and Malvern, which allows us to serve clients throughout the greater Philadelphia region. Call us to schedule a free consultation.
When evidence and guilt is not in question, extenuating circumstances may convince the court to either reduce the charges against you or the sentence you face. As your assault lawyer, I work with prosecutors in exploring alternative sentencing options when a plea of “guilty” may be in your best interest. In certain cases where provocation, a medical condition, or alcohol is involved, it may be possible to avoid jail or a heavy fine in exchange for a promise to get counseling, provide community service, and agree to probation.
The charge of burglary is a felony offense and occurs when some breaks and enters into a property to commence a crime. A burglary has different punishment based on whether the premises is residence, unoccupied, occupied or a business.
Breaking and Entering is a misdemeanor offense that occurs when someone breaks into premises which they are not licensed to do so. Criminal Trespass is a misdemeanor offense that occurs when someone enters premises which they are not license to do so but without breaking and entering. Defiant Trespass is a summary offense caused when a person enters upon the property of another despite warning not to do so.
Information about Burglary Charges
Burglary in Pennsylvania
Burglary generally is defined as the unwelcome entry into a building, vehicle or residence with the intent of committing some sort of crime. The crime committed most often is thought to be theft, but it also could be applied if a person enters a home to assault a resident or commit any other crime.
According to 18 Pa. C.S. § 3502, a person commits burglary if he or she enters a building or occupied structure adapted for overnight accommodation whether or not a person actually is in the building. In this instance, the term “occupied structure” means it was not abandoned. If the building was abandoned, it could be a defense against the charges.
Punishments for Burglary Offenses
Burglary most often is a first-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, $25,000 in fines or both. However, there are circumstances in which the offense could be considered a lesser charge.
For instance, if the structure was not adapted for an overnight accommodation, such as a business, and no individual was present at the time of the incident, the crime could be considered a second-degree felony. This would be punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.
A person may not be sentenced both for burglary and for the offense which it was his or her intent to commit after the burglarious entry or for an attempt to commit that offense, unless the additional offense constitutes a felony of the first or second degree, according to 18 Pa. C.S. § 3502(d).
Defenses to Burglary Charges
Although burglary charges may seem impossible to fight, there are some defenses that could apply to your case. An experienced attorney at Ciccarelli Law Offices can work with you to learn more about your situation to see if and which defenses could apply.
According to 18 Pa. C.S. § 3502(b), it is a defense to prosecution for burglary if any of the following exists at the time of the commission of the offense:
- The building or structure was abandoned
- The premises are open to the public
- The actor is licensed or privileged to enter
The prosecution also must prove the defendant intended to commit a crime while within the building. If this cannot be proven, an attorney can fight to have the charges reduced or even dropped. Your criminal defense lawyer can help you fight the allegations.
Finding the Best Burglary Defense Lawyer in Chester County
Ciccarelli Law Offices can help you aggressively fight charges for burglary. Your freedom and reputation are important, and the legal team at Ciccarelli Law Offices can help you protect them. Call (610) 692-8700 to schedule a free consolation. We will work with you to make sure your rights are represented.
Contact a Chester County Defense Lawyer
While there are no guarantees in criminal defense law in Chester County, understanding your rights and the legal options available to you can improve your chances when defending yourself from charges of burglary, breaking and entering or trespass. As a criminal defense attorney with years of experience in our criminal justice system, I understand how to negotiate with the court, how to identify questionable police conduct and suspicious testimony, and prevent clients from making certain kinds of mistakes.
You also need Chester County criminal lawyers both passionate in what they do and compassionate in their treatment of their clients. You deserve a Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer that is available when you need him, treats you with respect, and protects your rights vigorously. We make your choice all the clearer fighting for clients throughout Chester County. For more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyer, contact us at (610) 692-8700.