According to the burglary laws in Arlington Virginia, burglary is defined as the unlawful entry into almost any type of structure with the intent to commit a crime including domestic and business crime. The physical breaking is not required; the accused may also invade through an open door. It is different from robbery, as robbery is referred to obtaining someone’s property by using force. Usually, there is no victim required during a burglary. The prosecutor must show that the offender enters in the premises of a structure with the intent to commit a crime. This is required to prove that an individual has violated the burglary laws in Arlington Virginia.
Degrees and Possible Penalties
The state of Virginia has established two types of burglary, which are first-degree burglary and second-degree burglary. First-degree burglary is defined as any burglary of an inhabited dwelling. An inhabited dwelling is any structure that is designed for habitation and is currently habited at the time of the burglary. When a burglary case does not qualify for first-degree burglary than it proceeds as second-degree burglary.
As there are degrees of burglary, the penalties that are charged on the accused are also different as stated by the burglary laws in Arlington Virginia. The possible penalties that can be charged on the accused are following:
- First-degree Burglary: A person, who is convict of first-degree burglary, can be charged with a felony with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison if they are involved in the breaking of dwelling with the intention to commit theft. This sentence can be extended to 25 years if the convict is involved in a dwelling with the intent to commit the crime of violence.
- Second-degree burglary: An individual who is accused of second-degree burglary is also charged with a felony. The maximum punishment that they can have is 15 years of imprisonment for the intent to commit theft, and even 20 years with a fine of up to $10,000 if they had the intent of violence or arson according to the burglary laws in Arlington Virginia.
- Third-degree burglary: The accused is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and can be convict of a felony.
- Fourth-degree burglary: This is a misdemeanor crime, punishable for up to 3 years in jail.
- Possession of burglary’s tool: It is also considered as a misdemeanor and punishable by up to 3 years in prison.
Possible defenses for the offender:
A person experiences the most nerve-racking moments of their life when they are charged with any type criminal activity. It is the right of every individual to defend themselves against the criminal charges. The defender can claim in the court that the crime committed was a mistake of fact, or they did not intend to commit that crime, etc. Coercion of act, duress, entrapment, and consent of property owner are the other defense tools that the defender can use. To build a comprehensive defense process, an individual can hire an attorney who can legally assist them by providing the knowledge about burglary laws in Arlington Virginia. They can help to reduce or even dismiss the charges.