Colonial Heights Burglary Lawyer

Burglary is the most serious of Virginia’s myriad of theft-related crimes. These universally involve a person breaking into a dwelling with the intent to commit another crime. Even the mere possession of tools that may be used for this purpose is a felony under Virginia law.

Because of this, all people who are charged with any sort of burglary need to take aggressive steps to protect themselves. A Colonial Heights burglary lawyer can defend individuals in Virginia’s courts against all types of burglary charges.

Utilizing a combination of evidentiary motions and trial advocacy, your skilled criminal defense attorney can work to protect your freedom.

Virginia’s Burglary Laws

The core definition of burglary is the entry into another person’s home with the intent to commit a crime. However, there are a number of factors that determine how severe the Commonwealth considers these crimes.

One main factor is why the person entered the home. This is a key element since the prosecutor must prove that not only did the break-in occur, but that it was done with the intent to commit another crime.

Types of Burglary Offenses

The least severe of these violations is breaking and entering with the intent to commit a misdemeanor, such as petit larceny. A conviction under this statute is a Class 6 felony, carrying a maximum jail term of one year.

The second most severe version of burglary is contained in VA Code 18.2-91, and involves the breaking and entering a home to commit grand larceny, assault, or another felony. A conviction under this statute carries a required jail term of not less than one year, but a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Lastly, a person may commit a burglary with the intent of committing a rape, murder, or arson under VA Code 18.2-90. This is the most serious version of burglary and is considered a Class 3 felony. These crimes are punished by a minimum prison sentence of five years with a maximum of 20 years.

A burglary charge may also be aggravated if it is committed while in possession of a deadly weapon. Regardless of the other circumstances of the incident, possession a deadly weapon is automatic grounds to be charged with a Class 2 felony. These carry a minimum term of 20 years in prison. A Colonial Heights burglary lawyer can attempt to mitigate the penalties that an individual faces.

Potential Defenses to a Burglary Charge

In burglary cases, as with all criminal offenses, the burden lies on the prosecutor to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. They must prove that not only did the defendant commit the act itself, but also had the required state of mind to commit the crime.

Keeping this in mind, many defenses center around the defendant’s mental state. It can be very difficult to prove that a person intended to commit a crime, especially if there are no eyewitnesses. In this way, many burglary cases are reduced to mere trespassing charges.

In still other cases, a defendant may argue that they cannot be positively identified at the scene, or that they were not in possession of a deadly weapon if they were charged with this aggravating factor.

Talking to a Colonial Heights Burglary Attorney

Using a combination of careful case analysis, evidentiary motions, negotiations with prosecutors, and effective trial advocacy, the Colonial Heights burglary lawyer fights to protect accused individuals.

Every case is unique, and only by thoroughly examining the facts can the attorney begin to formulate the proper defense for each charge. The potential penalties for burglary are severe and can result in up to life imprisonment in a worst-case scenario.

Contact an experienced burglary attorney today to take a positive step towards protecting yourself.