Facing Burglary Charges? Here’s What You Need to Know

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A New Jersey man was recently arrested for a Millburn home invasion that was captured on a nanny cam. The burglar allegedly broke into the home, beat a woman there in front of her child, and now faces charges of attempted murder, burglary, robbery, and child endangerment.

The New Jersey burglary statute has four elements:

  • The defendant entered
  • A structure or research facility
  • Not open to the public and for which the defendant had no license or privilege to enter
  • With the purpose to commit another criminal offense

If the prosecution cannot prove any one of these elements, your lawyer may be able to get the burglary charges against you dismissed.

Many people are surprised to realize that burglary can occur without breaking and entering into the structure. Instead, what is necessary under the statute is that the person has no license or privilege to enter the structure and he or she enters for the purpose of committing a separate criminal offense subsequent to the entry into the structure. Further, burglary differs from theft because of the “entry into a structure” requirement. “Structure” under the statute means houses, commercial buildings, apartments and hotel rooms and more.

Burglary is usually a third-degree crime, but it may be upgraded to a second-degree crime if one of the following conditions is met during an attempt to commit the crime or in the immediate flight thereafter:

  • The defendant purposely, knowingly, or recklessly inflicts or attempts to inflict bodily injury or
  • Is armed with, or displays, what appear to be explosives or a deadly weapon

If you are charged with burglary, you are facing some very serious penalties.