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Former Prosecutors Turned
Certified Criminal Trial Lawyers
Burglary Attorney in New Jersey
Bergen County Criminal Defense Attorney
Burglary is considered a nonviolent theft crime, characterized by entering into a location while not having explicit permission or with the intent to commit another sort of crime. Despite the notion that no one will come to direct physical harm from a burglary, New Jersey legislation still penalizes those convicted harshly, comparative to those who are convicted of robbery. If you have been accused of burglarizing a location, you must not hesitate to secure reliable and responsive legal advocacy.
At Brickfield & Donahue, our Bergen County criminal defense attorneys have earned a reputation as being hard-hitting attorneys that know their way around a courtroom. The prosecution is never perfect, and we know where and how to look for weak spots in their argument. A single exploitation could lead to their downfall, as they are burdened with proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you are in fact guilty of the crime for which you are being charged. If they cannot, there should be no conviction.
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What Can Be Burglarized?
The definition of burglary has been kept intentionally open-ended. This allows the police to tack on the charge to more and more arrests, rather than limiting it to specific places. The reality is that nearly any place or sealed vehicle can be burglarized so long as it is empty when the act occurs, otherwise it could be escalated to robbery. Furthermore, all you have to do is stick one hand inside the location for it to count as unlawful trespassing.
An example of locations that are frequently burglarized include:
With the definition of burglary being so broad, the prosecution can gain false confidence in believing that it is impossible for a defendant to escape its classification. With our years of collective legal and trial experience, we have learned that vague legal terms can actually be used to the advantage of our clients. It all boils down to looking at the evidence and discovering where there is room for a defensive argument.
Defenses to burglary accusations are unique to each case but could include:
- Mistaken identity: Burglars often do all they can to mask their appearance through dark clothing. They also rarely leave behind reliable physical evidence, such as fingerprints. The prosecution must prove beyond a doubt that the person identified in photographic evidence or eyewitness testimony was actually you and not someone like you.
- Intent: One of the key phrases in the definition of burglary is that the defendant must have had the intent to commit a crime. If you entered someone’s property uninvited but had no cause to commit another crime, like stealing or vandalizing, you have not burglarized the place. If anything, you committed unlawful trespass, a crime with sentences far less severe than a burglary conviction.
- Misunderstanding: In many situations, the defendant had reason to believe that they were welcome on the property, such as if they were arrested for allegedly burglarizing the home of an old friend. In situations involving an unsecured location or structure, such as a tent or outhouse, the argument could easily be made that the defendant had no idea they had even entered a property that was not theirs or not open to the public.
Theft Crime Defense for the People of New Jersey
Why should you take your chances with an impersonal and overworked public defender when our Bergen County criminal defense lawyers are just a phone call away? When you contact our office, you can request a free initial consultation that puts no obligation on you to retain our services. It is just another way that Brickfield & Donahue puts the needs of our clients first.