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New York Penal Law § 140.20 states if a person enters or remains in a dwelling with the intention of committing a crime, it is a criminal offense. Any person who breaks into a structure may be charged with burglary. Burglary differs from theft because the crime is not required to involve the theft of property from another person or business.

Burglary charges are serious under New York law. Any kind of burglary charge in New York is considered a felony offense. This includes if the residence of the property is not home during the act. If you or someone you know has been arrested with burglary or other related property crimes, it is vital that you contact a criminal defense attorney.

Attorney for Burglary Charges in Nassau County, New York

Burglary charges in New York are classified as felonies. A felony conviction has severe penalties that can be life-altering. If you or someone you know has been accused of burglary, it is important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Law Office of Stephanie Selloni has handled numerous burglary cases throughout the greater Long Island area. Attorney Stephanie Selloni has been practicing criminal law for years with superior results. She is excellent at formulating sturdy defenses for her clients. Stephanie Selloni has a passion for criminal defense. Additionally, Stephanie Selloni is recognized by the legal community through her admittance into several honorable law associations such as the Nassau County Criminal Courts Law and Procedure Committee and the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NYSACDL).

Law Office of Stephanie Selloni represents clients for burglary and other theft-related cases throughout Nassau County and Suffolk County including Central Islip, Riverhead, Hempstead, Long Beach, and Glen Cove.

Get in contact with Stephanie Selloni today by (516) 972-1212 or simply submit an online contact form for more information.

Overview for Burglary Charges in Long Island

Types of Burglary Charges in New York

Burglaries in New York are typified by the circumstances of the crime. The charges are enhanced if alleged offender is armed, causes bodily injury, uses or threatens to use a dangerous instrument, or other factors. A burglary charge is divided into three degrees. Each of these charges is considered a felony under New York Penal Law.

Third-Degree Burglary

A third-degree burglary is the lightest charge for a burglary offense. The conviction of a third-degree burglary is a class D felony. Third-degree burglaries can be boiled down into two elements.

  • Trespass, or the entry or remaining on property while knowing that such act is illegal;
  • With the specific intent to commit a crime within the building.

The penalty for a third-degree burglary is the possible sentencing to seven years in prison. The prison sentencing is dependent on the alleged offender’s prior record. If the accused has never had a felony conviction, or has not been convicted in the last 10 years, they may be able to avoid prison time.

Second-Degree Burglary

Second-degree burglaries are separated by the circumstances of the unlawful act. For a person to be convicted of second-degree burglary they must knowingly enter or remain unlawfully in a building with intent to commit a crime therein, and when:

  • The building is a dwelling
  • In effecting entry or while in the building or in immediate flight therefrom, he or another participant in the crime:
    • Causes physical injury to any person who is not a participant in the crime;
    • Displays what appears to be a pistol, rifle, revolver, shotgun, machine gun, or other firearm;
    • Is armed with explosives or a deadly weapon; or
    • Uses or threatens the immediate use of a dangerous instrument.

A second-degree burglary is considered a violent class C felony. The maximum possible sentence for a class C felony is up to 15 years in prison. Since this conviction is considered a violent crime, the judge is obligated to impose a minimum sentence of 3 years and 6 months.

First-Degree Burglary

First-degree burglaries are the highest conviction a person can receive for the crime. A person who knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a dwelling with intent to commit a crime therein, and when, in effecting entry or while in the dwelling or in immediate flight therefrom, he or another participant in the crime did:

  • Causes physical injury to any person who is not a participant in the crime;
  • Uses or threatens the immediate use of a dangerous instrument;
  • Is armed with explosives or a deadly weapon; or
  • Displays what appears to be a revolver, machine gun, pistol, rifle, shotgun, or other firearm.

Anyone convicted of a first-degree burglary will receive a violent class B felony. The maximum possible penalty for a first-degree burglary is up to 25 years in prison. Once again, the felony is considered violent so the judge will impose a minimum sentencing of 5 years.

New York Definitions for Burglary

The following are definitions for New York Penal Law § 140.20:

  • Dwelling – A building which is usually occupied by a person lodging therein at night. However, a burglary can still be charged if there is no one home in a dwelling.
  • Building – Any structure, watercraft, or vehicle used for overnight lodging of persons, or used by persons for carrying on business therein, or used as an elementary or secondary school, or an inclosed motor truck, or an inclosed motor truck trailer.
  • Night – Period between 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise.
  • Premises – Includes the term building, and any real property.
  • Enter or remain unlawfully – A person who is in or upon premises when he is not licensed or privileged to do so.

Statutes of Limitations for Burglary in New York

The time limit for prosecutors to file criminal charges is called a statute of limitations. Every state has a differing statute of limitations, or deadline, for certain crimes based on level of offense.

A convicted burglary offense of any degree is considered a felony. Felonies in New York, have a statue of limitations of five years. This means that the State has five years to file criminal charges against you if you are accused of heroin possession.

Possession of Burglary Tools 

The New York Penal Law § 140.35 indicates that it is unlawful for a person to be in possession of burglary tools. If under the circumstances, it appears there is intent to use or knowledge that someone intends to use the possessed tool to commit a burglary offense. Possession of burglary tools is a class A misdemeanor.

Below are some common examples of burglary tools which include, but are not limited to:

  • Lock picks or master keys;
  • Screwdrivers;
  • Ceramic spark plugs;
  • Explosives;
  • Hammers;
  • Crowbars and other prying devices;
  • Bolt cutters; or
  • Tools capable of burning through concrete or steel, such as torches. 

Additional Resources

New York Penal Law § 140.20 – Visit and read the New York Penal Laws surrounding criminal trespassing and burglary. View the specifics, statutory language, and adjoining penalties for each burglary charge. See the differing definitions, difference between trespass and burglary, and more.

Burglary – Visit the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) website and read more on how the FBI defines burglary. See what makes a burglary a federal offense, the statistics of burglaries throughout the United States, and more expanded data for various offenses that the UCR program collects.

Find a Lawyer for Burglary Charges in Nassau County, New York

A burglary charge can result in a prison sentence and lofty fines. Have you been arrested or charged with a burglary in the greater Long Island area? It is important that you stay silent with the police department, and you make steps for your defense. Find that first step with Law Office of Stephanie Selloni.

Attorney Stephanie Selloni is qualified in criminal defense in Nassau County and Suffolk County of New York. She has practiced many theft, trespassing, and burglary cases in New York criminal court. She is understanding of all situations and aggressive with defending her client’s rights.

Law Office of Stephanie Selloni has been recognized for her law career through her entry into several prestigious law associations such as the Nassau County Criminal Courts Bar Association and the Nassau County Bar Association. Get a qualified attorney on your side. Contact Law Office of Stephanie Selloni and speak to an attorney to start your plan of defense today.

Stephanie Selloni defends clients throughout Nassau County and Suffolk County including Glen Cove, Mineola, Hempstead, and Long Beach.

Dial (516) 972-1212 to schedule a free consultation about your case with attorney Stephanie Selloni today.

This article was last updated August 30, 2018.




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