Being charged with burglarizing someone else’s property can carry serious social and professional repercussions even if your case does not end with a conviction. However, if you are convicted, you could face multiple years in prison even if you have no prior criminal history.
As such, seeking assistance from an experienced criminal defense attorney is essential to effectively protect your rights in this kind of situation. A qualified Fremont burglary lawyer could work diligently on your behalf to seek the best resolution possible under the circumstances.
What Constitutes “Burglary” Under State Law?
While burglary is often conflated with theft, the term has a specific definition under state law. According to Nebraska Revised Statutes §28-507, a person commits the act of burglary if all the following criteria apply:
- They unlawfully entered “real estate or any improvements erected thereon” owned by another person and without that person’s permission
- They used force in order to achieve entrance into the property in question
- They entered the property in question willfully and maliciously
- They intended to commit or actually committed an act of theft and/or a felony of any kind while inside the property in question
Proving the Elements of Burglary
All these criteria must be present for a charge of burglary to be upheld. For example, say the prosecution can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone broke into a house but cannot prove that defendant knowingly and intentionally did so in order to commit a crime once inside. In this scenario, they could potentially convict the defendant of breaking and entering but not of burglary as defined under state law.
However, as a seasoned Fremont attorney could explain, there are different ways to interpret these basic elements of burglary beyond their most obvious definitions. For instance, a person who uses fraud or blackmail to negotiate their way into someone’s home may have engaged in “constructive breaking,” which could in turn allow for a burglary charge and conviction even though they did not use physical force to unlawfully enter that property.
Consequences of a Burglary Conviction in Fremont
State law defines the offense of burglary as a Class IIA felony, the most severe class of felony that does not have a mandatory minimum prison sentence attached to it. At the discretion of the court overseeing the case, a person convicted of burglary may face a maximum sentence upon conviction of 20 years in state prison.
Generally, the length of a sentence for this kind of conviction varies based on various factors, such as:
- The defendant’s criminal history
- The specific value of property taken
- The extent to which their actions may result in lasting harm to impacted parties
A local burglary lawyer could go into detail about what elements might impact the severity of sentencing in a particular case.
Get in Touch with a Fremont Burglary Attorney Today
A single accusation of burglary could upend your entire life. Law enforcement authorities take allegations of this nature seriously, and if you fail to mount an effective legal defense, you will likely find yourself facing substantial criminal sanctions.
Fortunately, help is available from a capable Fremont burglary lawyer. To improve your chances of a fair case resolution, call an attorney today and begin building your defense.