One may be charged with burglary in the first degree when violating Penal Code Section 460 (a); this is breaking into or entering a house with the purpose of committing a felony. Usually, the sentence for this type of crime is state prison for either 2, 4, or 6 years depending upon the level of the crime.
Virginia criminal defense attorneys at The Wilson Law Firm have defended many individuals who have committed the crimes of breaking and entering in which the defendant has received felony probation instead of the prison requirement. This, however, is the exception to the rule.
All other types of burglary (that don't involve committing a felony), fall under second degree burglary. This is when one enters a building (other than a home) for the purpose of stealing or taking another's property in an unlawful manner. The key to this defense is intent. Did one purposefully enter and then leave the store with a child's toy? Or was it forgotten in the bottom of the stroller and, thus, not paid for upon leaving the store?
For committing second degree burglary, one could be sent to county jail for up to one year or state prison for anywhere from 16 months to 3 years. In order to establish intent and avoid unwarranted imprisonment, it is necessary for one to obtain the services of a northern Virginia criminal defense lawyer, as intent can be difficult to ascertain.
These types of charges can have severe, life-long consequences, and The Wilson Law Firm will aggressively defend our clients throughout the course of their trials. We are experts in defending the following situations:
- Burglary of residences, businesses or public buildings
- Breaking and entering, unlawful entry or trespass
- Destruction of property associated with vandalism or domestic situations
- Receipt, possession or sale of stolen property
- Auto theft or unauthorized use of a motor vehicle