It is a common misconception that in order to commit a burglary, you must commit a theft offense. In fact, under New Jersey Law, a burglary crime requires only the intent to commit any felony; in other words, the law is not confined to theft crimes. The implications of this reality are significant, as the breath of the legal language used to define burglary often results in these charges being accompanied by others for crimes such as theft, trespassing, criminal mischief, unlawful possession of a weapon and even aggravated assault.
When accused of burglary, the State must prove that you entered or remained in a structure or research facility without permission to do so, with the intention of committing a crime. The term “structure” can be used to refer to any building, room, ship, vessel, car, vehicle or airplane, as well as any place adapted for overnight accommodation or conducting of business. The law acknowledges that you may legally be allowed to enter or remain in a structure during hours that said structure is open to the public. Having satisfied the requirements that you entered or remained in a structure without permission to do so, the State must then prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did so with the purpose of committing a crime, whether that means remaining in a store after hours to steal merchandise, entering a vehicle with the purpose of taking a joyride, or breaking into a residence in an attempt to elude law enforcement.
Notwithstanding the circumstances that gave rise to the charges, burglary is considered an indictable felony in New Jersey, meaning a conviction may spell severe consequences, including a lengthy prison sentence. At The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our highly experienced team of former prosecutors and defense attorneys will conduct an extensive investigation of the circumstances of your case and dissect each component of the State’s argument in order to identify weaknesses that may supplement our defense strategy. With over 100 years of combined experience, we have secured favorable outcomes for burglary defendants in counties across New Jersey, accumulating a lengthy list of victories and more importantly, countless satisfied clients along the way. To speak with one of our seasoned defense attorneys free of charge, contact The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall today.
Burglary Charges in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2
According to section N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2 of the New Jersey Criminal Code, a person is guilty of burglary if, with purpose to commit an offense therein he:
- 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
- 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.
Burglary is a crime of the second degree if in the course of committing the offense, the actor:
- Purposely, knowingly or recklessly inflicts, attempts to inflict or threatens to inflict bodily injury on anyone; or
- 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.
Contact our Union Twp. NJ Burglary Lawyers for Immediate Assistance
As stated above, burglary is typically a third degree crime, which is punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 3 to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison. However, third degree crimes entail a presumption of non-incarceration for first time offenders, meaning that a defendant with no prior criminal record may be considered eligible for parole or a diversionary program such as Pre-Trial Intervention. Conversely, second degree charges are associated with a presumption of incarceration, meaning that most defendants will face a jail sentence if convicted. Second degree crimes are punishable by a term of imprisonment ranging from 5 to 10 years. Moreover, due to the underlying violent or weapons-related components of second degree burglary charges, these crimes are subject to the mandates of the No Early Release Act, which requires those convicted to serve 85% of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for parole.
For additional information and a free consultation with a member of our talented defense team, contact The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall at 908-722-1011.