Philadelphia Burglary Lawyer
Burglary is a felony of the first degree, and can carry a jail sentence of up to 20 years! If you have been charged with burglary, excellent counsel is a must, and you need to act quickly to preserve your freedom.
Burglary in Philadelphia is defined not as breaking and entering a property, but rather as simply entering a structure with the intent to commit a crime. This lower standard means you will need an attorney who will fight that much harder for you. The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. is ready to fight for you; call today to schedule a free consultation with one of our criminal defense attorneys.
Burglary in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, burglary neither require that you break and enter a building nor actually commit a crime; your presence and intent are sufficient. Therefore, if you think you are going to beat the charges merely because you did not steal anything or commit another crime – you are incorrect. If officers believe that you entered a building with the intent to commit a crime, and testify as such, you could be in very serious trouble.
The degree of the felony depends entirely upon two factors: (1) whether the building was equipped as a place for people to stay overnight, and (2) whether there was, in fact, anyone else in the building. If both of these factors can be answered in the negative, then the charges should be for a felony in the second degree. While this is not a defense to the crime, these factors are important for your attorney to review. The difference between possible penalties for a first degree felony and second degree felony are significant.
Additionally, it is possible if the issue of intent is unclear that your attorney could potentially plea you down to a lesser offense, such as trespassing. Be sure to discuss the circumstances of your entering the structure and your arrest in full detail with your lawyer. The more information you provide, the better your chances of coming up with a strong defense.
Possible Defenses to Burglary Include:
- The building or structure was abandoned, or
- The premises are open to the public, or
- The defendant is permitted to enter the structure.
It is critical that you and your lawyer discuss the events as mentioned above, because your attorney may need to conduct their own investigation in order to best defend you. Police reports must be reviewed, evidence discredited, and a determination of which of these defenses apply to your case must be made, all as quickly as possible.
Conspiracy to Commit Burglary in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, it is a crime for two or more people to:
- agree on a plan to commit a burglary, or
- attempt a burglary, or
- solicit another to participate in a burglary attempt.
This means your mere association with the crime constitutes a criminal offense. So even if you do not participate in the actual crime, if you were the mastermind behind the operation, or even simply the lookout, you may be charged with conspiracy to commit burglary. If charged with this crime, you will be facing consequences on par with those who are convicted of the burglary itself.
The only way to separate yourself from this crime once engaged in the conspiracy is to actively attempt to thwart it and disassociate yourself from the crime. The precise legalities are something you should discuss with an attorney if you find yourself concerned you may be involved in a conspiracy of any kind. You will need to appropriately withdraw and alert the authorities in an attempt to thwart the crime’s commission.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you have been charged with the crime of burglary or conspiracy to commit a burglary, you are facing years in prison. You must do everything you can to fight these challenges to keep from ending up behind bars. Whether you and your attorney believe you can beat the charges or can plea them down to a less serious offense, it is vital that you act now. Call The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. to schedule an entirely free consultation with one of our criminal defense lawyers.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.