Burglary is defined as the illegal entry of a building with the intent of attempting larceny or similar crimes. Burglary, in general, is recognized as a felony under Virginia law with the felony class being varied depending on the case of burglary such as if the offender possessed a weapon such as a firearm at the time of burglary or not. Virginia law groups all crimes similar to a burglary crime in terms of seriousness and conditioning alongside burglary and names the group together as statutory burglary. Similar crimes to a burglary crime in terms of seriousness and conditioning include crimes such as assault, murder, etc.
The punishment for burglary charges in the state of Virginia depends on if certain conditions were present at the time of the crime. In general, burglary is recognized as a class three felony which is punishable by a period in prison that ranges from five to 20 years and a fine that may reach but not extend $100,000. Sometimes the court does not charge a fee and only charges the prison period that ranges between five and 20 years. This case of burglary is when the offender did not possess a deadly weapon such as a firearm. The other case of punishment is when the burglary is recognized as a class two felony crime. This case occurs when the offender possessed a deadly weapon such as a firearm during the time of the burglary. The punishment for such crime is a period in prison that starts from 20 years and may reach lifetime and a fine that may reach but not extend $100,000. Like the case when the burglary is a class three felony, a burglary classified as a class two felony does may not face a fine punishment as the court may choose to punish the offender by imprisonment only.
An attorney at law that chooses to defend an offender who is accused of burglary may use the following to minimize the punishment against the offender as low as possible:
- The offender was intoxicated; and
- The offender did not intend to commit burglary.
The reason for possessing a weapon when an offender attempts burglary increases the punishment is due to the fact that possessing burglarious tools is a felony as well. Virginia law states that possessing a tool with the intent to attempt burglary using the tool is a felony classified as a class five felony. The punishment for such crime is imprisonment for a period that may go up to but not exceed ten years.
The burglarious tools that may be used in such crime include:
- Hammers; and
Virginia law states that for an offender to be convicted of burglary, the following have to be proven:
- The offender did enter a building;
- The offender entered the building at night; and
- The offender intended to commit burglary.
Burglary charges in the state of Virginia depend on the conditions available when the crime was committed. For a crime to be described and punished as a burglary, the crime must have happened at night and that the offender intended to commit burglary. A burglary without a weapon is punished as a class three felony while if the offender possessed a deadly weapon, the crime is punished as a class two felony.
If you need a Virginia Burglary Lawyer to help you with your Burglary case in Virginia, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Virginia Burglary Attorneys can help you.