Defending Clients Accused Of Burglary Or Robbery
In the state of New York, all robbery and burglary charges are felonies; a felony conviction means you will most likely serve time in prison and may face steep fines. If there were aggravating factors such as using a weapon, sentences can be as long as 25 years. All felonies are classified as either violent or nonviolent, with violent charges likelier to carry jail time.
Understanding The Consequences Of Burglary Charges
Burglary is defined as unlawfully entering or remaining in a building with the intent to commit a crime (unlawfully entering a building without an intent to commit a crime is trespassing). Burglary charges always involve unlawful or unauthorized entry, but no actual theft is required for a conviction. For example, if you enter a building without permission with intent to assault someone, that is also burglary. Burglary convictions in New York can result in a maximum of 25 years in state prison for burglary in the first degree.
New York law includes three degrees of burglary:
- Burglary in the third degree – knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully in a commercial building with the intention to commit a crime. This charge does not require that an actual crime was committed – always classified as a nonviolent crime.
- Burglary in the second degree – consists of the same requirements as for a third-degree charge but also involves the use of either a weapon or what appears to be a weapon, or occurs in a house or another dwelling – always classified as a violent crime.
- Burglary in the first degree – occurs when the building is a home or dwelling and the defendant either hurts an innocent person or brandishes a weapon – always classified as a violent crime.
Understanding The Consequences Of Robbery Charges
The main difference between burglary and robbery is that robbery charges require either the use of physical force or threats of using force. A robbery can also be charged for the retention of stolen property, such as when a security guard attempts to stop a shoplifter. Not surprisingly, weapons offenses are often involved in robbery cases. Penalties for a conviction range from a short jail term for third-degree robbery up to 25 years in prison for a first-degree robbery conviction.
New York law includes three degrees of robbery:
- Robbery in the third degree – using force or the threat of force to steal something – always classified as a nonviolent crime.
- Robbery in the second degree – using force or the threat of force to steal something and either involving a second person, or causing physical injury to a victim – always classified as a violent crime.
Robbery in the first degree – occurs when the requirements of second-degree robbery are met and a weapon is used – always classified as a violent crime.
Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Jeffrey Chabrowe
Attorney Jeffrey Chabrowe has been practicing criminal law for 20 years, including seven years as a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. This experience on both sides of the courtroom helps him build strong defense strategies.