Arlington Burglary Lawyer
If you trespass onto property belonging to others or enter their homes with the intent to commit a crime, you typically will face burglary charges under Virginia law. A conviction on a felony burglary charge can result in harsh repercussions that may make your life far more difficult than anticipated.
An experienced Arlington burglary lawyer may be able to build an effective defense on your behalf if you are facing burglary charges. A felony conviction for burglary creates a permanent criminal record that can adversely affect your ability to find employment, pursue some careers, and even obtain suitable housing.
If you have a felony conviction, you also will lose some important civil rights, such as the right to hold public office and possess a firearm. A seasoned theft defense lawyer may be able to help you avoid some or all these unwanted consequences.
Defining Burglary in Arlington
A few different laws address the criminal offense of burglary in Virginia. Va. Code § 18.2-89 establishes common law burglary, which occurs when individuals unlawfully break into the residence of another at night and with the intent to commit a felony or any larceny offense. Under this code section, burglary is a Class 3 felony; however, burglary is a Class 2 felony if the accused persons committed the burglary while armed with a deadly weapon.
Va. Code § 18.2-90 defines statutory burglary, which involves unlawful entry into a residence or a nearby occupied outbuilding with intent to commit murder, rape, robbery, or arson. This code section further applies to any permanent structure on real estate or various other structures that persons are using their residence.
Likewise, according to Va. Code § 18.2-91, individuals who take any of these same actions with the intent to commit theft, assault, and battery, or any other felony also commits the offense of statutory burglary. This offense, as defined in either code section, is a Class 3 felony, but becomes a Class 2 felony if individuals are armed with deadly weapons while committing the offense. To fight back against burglary allegations, individuals may wish to consult a burglary lawyer in Arlington for legal advice and guidance.
Potential Penalties for Burglary
Under Va. Code § 18.2-10, a conviction on a Class 3 felony, such as common law burglary and statutory burglary with the intent to commit murder, rape, robbery, or arson, can result in a prison sentence of between five and 20 years, as well as a maximum fine of $100,000.
For individuals who commit burglaries with deadly weapons, they can face a sentence ranging from 20 years to life and a $100,000 fine on a Class 2 felony conviction. Statutory burglary with the intent to commit larceny, assault, and battery, or any other felony can result in a sentence of incarceration in a state correctional facility for a period ranging from one to 20 years.
Alternatively, a conviction can result in a jail sentence of 12 months or less and a fine of up to $2,500. A burglary attorney in Arlington may be able to help individuals seek reduced sentences or lesser charges in some cases involving burglary charges.
In addition to common law and statutory burglary, there are lesser burglary-related offenses under Virginia law. These offenses include:
- Breaking and entering with the intent to commit a misdemeanor
- Entering a bank armed with a deadly weapon and with the intent to commit larceny
- Possession of tools with the intent to commit burglary, larceny, or robbery
These offenses all are felonies, as well, with similarly severe consequences in the event of a conviction. The required element of breaking and entering, or unlawfully entering property belonging to another with the intent of committing a crime makes the potential penalties harsh. In many cases, the act of burglary can have harsher consequences than the underlying offense that the individuals intended to commit.
Talk to an Arlington Burglary Attorney for Legal Assistance
Although the potential implications of a burglary conviction can be punitive, some defenses may be available to you if you are facing burglary charges. Working with an Arlington burglary lawyer may enable you to utilize possible defenses to achieve a better outcome in your case.
Avoiding a burglary conviction or any felony conviction can be of paramount importance to the rest of your personal life and career. Legal representation throughout any criminal proceedings can result in a more favorable resolution in your case.