Burglary is a serious crime that is prosecuted severely in New York State. A conviction for a burglary related offense could lead to significant prison time, steep fines, and a felony on your criminal record that will stick with you for life. Furthermore, if convicted of burglary, you may also face long-term parole or probation time even after you serve your prison sentence.
While the law does not require that you seek help from a legal professional, handling the case alone could be detrimental to your freedom. Schedule a free consultation with Islip burglary lawyer Mike Schillinger if you need help planning a defense strategy. Mike is an aggressive criminal defense attorney who is known for fighting hard for his clients’ freedom.
The Three Degrees of Burglary
The consequences of a burglary conviction depend upon many factors, including the facts of the case, the degree of Burglary you are charged with, and your criminal history (in particular, whether or not you are a predicate felon). There are three levels of Burglary in New York State, and they’re described below:
Third-degree burglary is the least severe classification of burglary, but it still carries consequences that can stick with you for the rest of your life. Under New York Penal Code § 140.20, an individual can be charged with third-degree burglary when they are accused of unlawfully entering a building with the intent to commit a crime therein. The term “building” here is important because this includes any building, including commercial buildings. A conviction of burglary in the third-degree, PL § 140.20, can result in a sentence of up to seven years in prison, steep fines, and a felony on your criminal record.
Burglary in the second degree is similar but adds some additional elements. You may be charged with burglary in the second degree if the building you’re accused of entering is a dwelling or, if while entering the building with the intent to commit a crime therein, or while fleeing, you or another participant in the crime:
- Is armed with explosives or a deadly weapon
- Causes physical injury to anyone who is not a participant in the crime
- Uses or threatens to use a dangerous instrument
- Displays what appears to be a gun
Burglary in the second degree is a class “C” violent felony, and according to New York Penal Code § 140.25, a person found guilty of second-degree burglary can spend up to 15 years in prison and would also be classified as a violent predicate felon.
Burglary in the first degree is the most severe burglary charge a person can face in this state. Under New York Penal Code § 140.30, the key difference between Burglary in the second degree and Burglary in the first degree is that Burglary in the first degree requires that the building be a dwelling. In addition to the building being a dwelling, you must also stand accused of
- Being armed with explosives or a deadly weapon
- Causing physical injury to anyone who is not a participant in the crime
- Using or threatening to use a dangerous instrument
- Displaying what appears to be a gun
A person found guilty of first-degree burglary could face up to 25 years in prison and be labeled as a violent predicate felon for life. Mike Schillinger is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Islip and can help you protect your future by helping you to fight against the charges against you.
What Type of Burglary Convictions do Juveniles Face?
The state typically does not prosecute juveniles within the same legal system as adult offenders. However, under certain circumstances where the District Attorney’s Office alleges severe charges against a juvenile, they may be able to prosecute them as an adult.
Even so, depending on the case specifics, offenders under the age of 19 could still be eligible for “Youthful Offender Treatment,” which can potentially result in a sealed conviction, rather than a criminal record that could come up during a background check.
When the minor completes sentencing requirements successfully and gets youthful offender status, they can avoid a felony on their permanent criminal record. This means that the arrest and conviction will not follow them through their lives. This also means that their arrest and conviction won’t come up during background checks. As many people know, having criminal convictions come up during a background check can be detrimental to a person’s future.
Mike Schillinger is a dedicated criminal defense lawyer in Islip and can speak with the state’s prosecutor to determine if you qualify to have your case treated as a youthful offender.
Meet with a Seasoned Burglary Attorney in Islip Today
If you face burglary charges in this state, planning a solid defense to protect your future is critical. Burglary charges are serious, carry significant penalties and can also cause you to experience social stigma that will follow you for the rest of your life.
Having a skilled Islip burglary lawyer helping you through your case can be critical to its outcome. With your freedom on the line, you want someone in your corner who’s going to fight for you. Attorney Mike Schillinger is known by his clients as a lawyer who fights hard for their rights and their freedom. Schedule a meeting with us today to start planning your defense.