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New Haven Burglary Lawyer

Many people are often shocked when they are charged with burglary because the allegations do not match what they traditionally consider to be burglary. In Connecticut, you can be charged with burglary if you enter or remain in a building with the intent to commit a crime within that building.

Contrary to what many people may believe, the crime within in the building does not have to be a theft; it can be an assault, threatening, or many other crimes. There are, however, certain crimes that are insufficient for satisfying a burglary charge. For example, trespassing cannot form the basis of a burglary.

In light of recent cases in Connecticut, our state’s attorneys and judges take any burglary charge extremely seriously. This is especially true when it involves a residential burglary. In fact, the Connecticut Legislature created a new crime, home invasion, to increase the penalties.

If you think the allegations are minor and law enforcement officials have blown the situation way out of proportion, you must start to take the situation more seriously because the state’s attorney and judge handling your case certainly will. Make sure to contact a New Haven burglary lawyer as soon as possible, as the penalties with any burglary are harsh and can have a devastating impact on your life.

If you have been arrested for burglary, you do have options. There are defenses a New Haven burglary lawyer can raise – you may have had permission to be in the building or the building may have been abandoned. There are initiatives you can take to fight the case, protect your rights, and minimize the consequences. If you have been charged with burglary or home invasion, a theft lawyer in New Haven can assist you in your defense.

Degrees of Burglary

There are three degrees of burglary in Connecticut, all of which warrant attention from a New Have burglary attorney: Burglary in the First Degree, Burglary in the Second Degree, and Burglary in the Third Degree. You can also be charged with Home Invasion.

Burglary in the First; Second; and Third Degrees

The state has three ways to prove a Burglary in the First Degree. The first occurs when a person enters or remains in a building with the intent to commit a crime and has a deadly weapon or instrument in his or her possession. The second occurs when a person enters or remains in a building with the intent to commit a crime and attempts to, or actually does, cause bodily injury. Lastly, the state can prove a Burglary in the First Degree when a person enters or remains in a “dwelling” at night with the intent to commit a crime. Burglary in the First Degree is a Class B Felony.

Burglary in the Second Degree is much simpler than Burglary in the First Degree. In order to prove Burglary in the Second Degree, the state must prove that a person enters or remains in a dwelling while another person, who is not a participant in the burglary, is actually in that dwelling.

In addition, a person can be charged with Burglary in the Second Degree with a Firearm in violation of Conn. Gen. Stat. 53a-102a. This provides for an enhanced penalty. In order to prove this charge, the state must prove a Burglary in the Second Degree and that, during the course of such a crime, the person uses, is armed with or threatens the use of a gun or firearm. Burglary in the Second Degree is a Class C Felony.

Burglary in the Third Degree only requires that a person enters or remains in a building with the intent to commit a crime within that building. As with Burglary in the Second Degree, there is an enhanced penalty for Burglary in the Third Degree with a Firearm, in violation of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-103a. In order to prove this charge, the state must prove a Burglary in the Third Degree and that during the course of such a crime, that the person uses, is armed with or threatens the use of a gun or firearm. Burglary in the Third Degree is a Class D Felony.

Home Invasion: Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-100aa

Home Invasion in violation of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-100aa is the most serious of all burglary charges and therefore makes it imperative that you contact a burglary lawyer in New Haven. The state must prove that a person enters or remains in a dwelling while a person other than a participant is actually in the dwelling with the intent to commit a crime in the dwelling and the person attempts to, or actually does, commit a felony against someone in the dwelling or the person is armed with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. Home Invasion is a Class A Felony.

Burglary Penalties

ChargeStatuteMaximum penaltyMandatory Minimum
Home InvasionC.G.S. § 53a-100aaUp to 25 years in jail10 years in jail
Burglary 1st Degree: GeneralC.G.S. § 53-101Up to 20 years in jailN/A
Burglary 1st Degree: Deadly WeaponC.G.S. § 53a-101(a)(1)Up to 20 years in jail5 years in jail
Burglary 2nd Degree: GeneralC.G.S. § 53a-102Up to 10 years in jailN/A
Burglary 2nd Degree: With a FirearmC.G.S. § 53a-102aUp to 10 years in jail1 year in jail
Burglary 3rd Degree: GeneralC.G.S. § 53a-103Up to 5 years in jailN/A
Burglary 3rd Degree: With a FirearmC.G.S. § 53a-103aUp to 5 years in jail1 year in jail

Steps to Building Your Burglary Defense

Anytime you are arrested, you need to prepare your defense from the moment you are arrested. The consequences to you, your reputation, and your family are too great not to actively defend yourself against the charges. At Billings & Barrett, our New Haven burglary lawyers understand your situation and begin working on your case from the moment we first meet together.

Three Defense Aspects

  1. Legal Issues;
  2. Factual Issues; and
  3. “Social” Issues

By separating these three aspects of your case, we are able to present your defense to the State and the Court in a way that uniquely positions you to get the results you desire.

During the legal aspect of your defense, we analyze your case for any potential legal issues such as illegal stops, illegal searches, and violations of your constitutional rights. In terms of factual issues, we examine the evidence to see if the state can actually meet its burden to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In a burglary case, this is often a strong defense. For example, the building being abandoned is a potential defense. Similarly, you may have a factual defense if you had permission to be in the building.

Only after exhausting all other avenues and receiving your permission will we dive into potential social defenses. We will discuss your life, what you have experienced and what factors lead you to this point. This allows us to personalize you in the eyes of the state’s attorney and judge in order to demonstrate why you deserve to have minimal consequences.