Burglary is a serious criminal charge with lasting consequences. Under state law, there are four types of burglary a person can commit, and each carries severe penalties and the stigma of a criminal record. These charges may result in decades in prison and tens of thousands in fines, so it may be necessary to enlist an experienced Bloomington burglary lawyer who could fight for your rights. A strong defense by a qualified attorney could make all the difference.
Burglary occurs when a person enters a building with the intent to commit a crime. In all four categories of burglary, the entry into the building must be done without the consent of the owner. Intent to commit a crime is a necessary element the prosecutor must prove to convict the defendant.
Even if the defendant is not successful or never actually commits the other offense, the intent could still warrant charges. Another unique aspect of burglary law is that the intent to commit the crime can form after the person has already entered the building.
Burglary in the First Degree
Burglary in the first degree occurs when a person enters a building without consent with intent to commit a crime in the following situations:
- The building is a dwelling, and another person is present
- The defendant possesses an explosive, dangerous weapon, or something a reasonable person would believe is a dangerous weapon
- The defendant assaults a person while in the building
This is the most serious form of burglary and carries penalties that include up to twenty years in prison and a fine of up to $35,000. It also carries a mandatory minimum of at least six months in a county workhouse. This felony offense may also strip a defendant of their constitutional rights, which is why it could be crucial to enlist the help of a local burglary lawyer.
Burglary in the Second Degree
Second-degree burglary occurs when someone enters a building without consent, intends to commit or actually commits a crime, and:
- The building is a dwelling
- The area of the building is used for banking or a similar business, and is entered with force or by threat of force
- The defendant entered into a pharmacy or other business where controlled substances are located
- The defendant possesses a criminal tool to steal money or property
Although a lesser degree of burglary, it still carries the potential for up to ten years in prison and a fine of no more than $20,000, so engaging a qualified Bloomington attorney may still be wise.
Burglary in the Third Degree
This offense occurs when someone enters a building without consent and with the intention of stealing or committing a felony or gross misdemeanor. Whether or not the defendant actually steals anything or commits a felony or gross misdemeanor, this offense is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Burglary in the Fourth Degree
A burglary in the fourth degree occurs when a person enters into a building without consent and with the intention of committing a misdemeanor other than theft. The defendant would face the same charges if they committed a misdemeanor other than theft after entering the building. If convicted, a person faces penalties of imprisonment for up to one year and a fine of up to $3,000.
Schedule a Consultation with a Burglary Attorney in Bloomington
If you face charges of burglary in Bloomington, no matter the degree, you may need the help of an experienced Bloomington burglary lawyer to defend your case. The penalties associated with these charges could upend your life, so it is important to retain a legal advocate who could defend your rights. Reach out today for a confidential consultation and learn more.