Burglary Criminal Defense Attorneys in N.C.
A burglary takes place in the United States once every 15 seconds, according to current data, making this country the world leader in the number of burglaries. According to 2019 Crime & Law Enforcement data, North Carolina ranked number four in the list of worst states for burglary offenses with 54,447 total burglaries. With so much property crime taking place, it’s no surprise that burglary is viewed as a serious offense that could land one in prison for a long time.
At Smith Giles PLLC, our criminal defense attorneys have years of experience providing legal representation for those accused of burglary in the state of North Carolina. Our team will help you through the legal process, building a powerful case to secure the best sentencing outcome.
If you or a loved one has been charged with burglary in North Carolina, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with the criminal defense attorneys at Smith Giles today.
Defining Burglary in North Carolina
Traditionally, burglary was once defined simply as breaking and entering into a residence with the intent to commit a felony or theft. While many states have done away with the traditional definition of burglary, North Carolina is one of the few states that has retained this original understanding of the crime.
Under North Carolina law, “breaking and entering” is defined as any force used to enter a building without the express consent of the occupants. Even opening an unlocked door or window can be considered breaking and entering if the persons inside the building have not given you permission to enter.
The Three Elements of a Burglary Charge
There are three main elements that constitute a burglary charge. These elements include:
- Unauthorized Entry: This is when the accused person has physically entered the property without the express consent of the owner or those occupying the space. Unauthorized entry can be done either through the use of force or by placing a body part inside the structure.
- Entry into a Structure: In order for a burglary charge to be valid, the offender must have entered into a dwelling, business, campsite, or any other structure that belonged to another person who did not provide permission to enter.
- Intent to Commit an Offense: This means the person must have entered the structure with the sole intent of committing a crime.
If the prosecution is unable to satisfy the three elements of a burglary charge, you may be able to either have the charges dropped, reduce your sentencing, or accept a charge for a lesser crime, such as trespassing.
To better understand what legal options may be available to you, consult with the criminal defense attorneys at Smith Giles today.
Burglary Charges in North Carolina
Depending on the specific burglary charge you receive, you may face a multitude of penalties associated with your crime. Such penalties include:
- First Degree Burglary: First degree burglary is categorized as a Class D felony in the state of North Carolina and is punishable by 38-160 months in prison.
- Second Degree Burglary: These are considered Class G felonies, which are punishable by 8-31 months in prison.
- Burglary of a Vehicle: This is considered a Class I felony, punishable by 3-12 months in prison.
- Breaking & Entering with Criminal Intent: If you are caught breaking and entering into a building to commit a crime or cause injury, this is considered a Class H felony and is punishable by 4-25 months in prison.
- Breaking & Entering: Breaking and entering done without the sole intent to commit a crime or cause injury is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by 1-120 days’ jail time and a fine.
Anyone who has been convicted of a felony burglary offense or a breaking and entering offense and is convicted for a second time must be sentenced to at least 15-36 months in prison. The best way to improve your sentencing and get the optimal legal outcome is by securing the help of a knowledgeable attorney from the get-go. Smith Giles PLLC has the criminal defense lawyers you need to ensure the ideal outcome for your case.
Schedule your initial consultation with our criminal defense attorneys today!
Smith Giles: North Carolina’s Burglary Defense Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been charged with burglary in the state of North Carolina, Smith Giles has the knowledgeable attorneys you need to secure the best outcome for your case. We’ve helped countless clients navigate the legal process associated with their burglary charges, providing them with the sound legal advice they need. Contact our team to schedule a consultation with our legal defense team today.