Burglary is often associated with a planned or successfully executed act of theft. However, larceny does not have to occur for someone to be charged with burglary in Connecticut. The intent to commit a crime while unlawfully inside private property can be enough for someone to be convicted of this offense, even if they never actually committed the alleged crime.
Understanding how state law governs these sorts of cases could be much easier with guidance from a Shelton burglary lawyer. No matter your past criminal record or the degree of burglary charges you face, legal counsel from Ruane Attorneys could make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
What Counts as Burglary?
In broad terms, someone commits burglary in Connecticut if they enter any building without lawful authority or permission with the intent to commit a crime inside. The severity of a burglary offense depends on whether the place a defendant allegedly burgled was a “building” or a “dwelling,” as well as whether the offense happened “at night.”
As per Connecticut General Statutes §53a-100, a “building” can be any structure, vehicle, or other enclosed construction that a human being can fit inside, from boats to trailers to even certain types of railroad cars. “Dwelling” has a similarly broad definition, as it can refer to any building “usually occupied by a person therein at night.”
On that note, “at night” means the period between 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunset, regardless of how well-lit a particular area is. However, C.G.S. §53a-104 establishes that proving a particular building was abandoned can be an affirmative defense to a burglary charge.
How State Law Defines Degrees of Burglary
As a Shelton attorney can further explain, state law defines several degrees of burglary charges with differing penalties.
According to C.G.S. §53a-103, someone commits third-degree burglary if they enter or remain unlawfully inside a building while intending to commit any crime inside. “Remain unlawfully inside” means entering when they were legally allowed to and staying hidden somewhere until the building was closed to the public. Third-degree burglary is a class D felony offense with a $5,000 maximum fine and a five-year maximum prison term upon conviction. According to C.G.S. §53a-103a, a convicted defendant may have one year of their sentence rendered ineligible for suspension or reduction if they possessed any firearm while committing burglary.
C.G.S. §53a-102 defines second-degree burglary as unlawfully entering or remaining within a dwelling while someone else is present inside and intending to commit a crime within. This is a class C felony, meaning a convicted person could face up to 10 years of imprisonment plus a $10,000 fine. Similar to third-degree burglary, a person who commits second-degree burglary while armed with a firearm may be subject to a mandatory minimum one-year prison term in accordance with C.G.S. §53a-102a.
Under C.G.S. §53a-101, first-degree burglary entails someone burglarizing a building while armed with explosives or a deadly weapon, attempting to cause or successfully causing bodily injury to someone else while burglarizing a business, or burglarizing a dwelling at night. This class B felony has a mandatory minimum five-year term attached to it.
Home invasion is a class A felony carrying a mandatory ten-year prison sentence. Defined under C.G.S. §53a-100aa, this offense involves burglarizing a dwelling with someone present inside it and attempting or committing a felony against the lawful resident or being armed with explosives or a deadly weapon. Regardless of a defendant’s specific burglary charge, they need representation from a nearby lawyer.
Contact a Shelton Burglary Attorney for Help
No one should try to fight burglary charges alone. Even the least severe variant of this crime is a felony that could carry time in state prison for a first-time offender. There are also provisions under state law that may allow courts to pass down enhanced sentences on repeat offenders.
No matter your circumstances, support from a Shelton burglary lawyer could make a big difference in how your case plays out. Learn more by calling Ruane Attorneys today.