In North Carolina, burglary and breaking and entering are two separate crimes. Burglary is forcibly entering someone’s home with the intent of committing a crime. While you may have entered a space illegally, you may have had no intent to commit any crime. It’s this kind of case that our burglary defense lawyers specialize in—arguing your intentions and protecting your rights against a conviction you did not earn.
In many cases, burglars break in with the intent of taking the property inside, but it also counts as burglary if a person forcibly enters someone’s home and commits vandalism or some other crime.
If you have been charged with burglary, you need an experienced burglary lawyer on your side. At Wilson & Reives, our burglary lawyers will investigate your case thoroughly and advise you at every step of the process. We are prepared to defend you against these charges and help you put them behind you.
Is there more than one type of burglary?
While burglary is always charged as a felony in North Carolina, there are two different degrees of the crime to consider:
- First-degree burglary is when someone burglarizes a home while someone is inside. This is a Class D felony, making it the more serious offense
- Second-degree burglary, a Class G felony, is when someone burglarizes a home where no one is present
Whether you are charged with first-degree or second-degree burglary, it is important to have a skilled burglary lawyer represent you. You can’t count on the prosecutor or the arresting officer to know your side of the case or have your best interests in mind—but a skilled and dedicated burglary defense lawyer will work hard to defend you against either type of burglary charge.
What are the penalties if you are convicted of burglary?
The penalties for a burglary conviction are very serious. Even without a criminal record, you can be sentenced to 64 to 80 months in prison for first-degree burglary or 10 to 13 months in prison for second-degree burglary. If you have a criminal record, the penalties are even more severe.
Call (919) 775-5653 or contact us and set up a consultation to speak with one of our experienced attorneys about your case.
No two burglary cases are exactly alike. However, the burglary lawyers at Wilson & Reives will call upon their vast past experiences with cases like yours to develop the best defense strategy for your unique circumstances.
How can burglary defense lawyers help you avoid conviction?
One way to fight the charge is to try to convince the jury of your innocence. A burglary lawyer can help you do that by presenting your alibi in court or questioning the prosecutor’s evidence in front of the jury.
Additionally, if you believed you had permission to enter someone else’s home, your burglary lawyer can present this as a defense during your trial.
Hiring a burglary lawyer as soon as you are arrested can help prevent law enforcement officers from violating your rights. You have the right to have your burglary lawyer present during questioning, which can help you avoid giving the police evidence against you. Even if you are completely innocent, any statement you make can be used against you in court.
If the charges are not dismissed, your burglary lawyer may try to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor. A plea bargain is when someone agrees to plead guilty to a charge in exchange for some sort of concession from the prosecutor. Pleading guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a reduced sentence is a common plea bargain.
You should never try to negotiate a plea bargain on your own. In doing so, you may unknowingly give the police or the prosecutor even more evidence against you.
If the prosecutor does not agree to a plea bargain, your case may go to trial. During the trial, your burglary defense lawyer will fight to defend you against the burglary charge. Introducing evidence, questioning witnesses, and making a strong closing statement are just some of the things your lawyer will do to protect you.
If you are currently facing a burglary charge, the lawyers at Wilson & Reives are ready to help you. Schedule your initial consultation right away.