Wilmington Burglary Defense Attorney
Call a Board Certified Criminal Defense Specialist: (910) 595-1377
Burglary charges in North Carolina hinge on a traditional legal definition
for burglary: breaking and entering into a dwelling at night to commit
theft or a felony. In this case, breaking and entering is the use of force
to enter a building without permission. “Using force” includes
opening an unlocked door or window. Because the definition centers on
breaking into “dwellings”—where anyone sleeps or lives—these
crimes are also called home invasions.
If the dwelling was occupied when the alleged burglary took place, then
it’s considered a “first degree burglary,” which has
different sentencing guidelines. If there was no one in the dwelling when
the burglary occurred, it’s classified as a second degree burglary.
What the Prosecution Needs to Prove
Burglary includes two crimes in its definition:
breaking & entering and
theft. Without proof of an intent to commit a crime, the prosecution would only
be able to charge a defendant with breaking and entering—a less-serious
offense. In some cases, intent to commit theft would be presumed, but
a skilled defense attorney might be able to argue an intent other than
theft, sparing the defendant months of prison time.
It’s worth noting that breaking and entering into a place of worship
is considered a more heinous crime, and it is punished the same as second
degree burglary—a Class G felony (more on that below). Burglary
applies to vehicles and non-dwelling structures (albeit differently).
The Penalties for Burglary in North Carolina
First degree burglary: Class D felony—38-160 months prison
Burglary with explosives: Class D felony—38-160 months prison
Second degree burglary: Class G felony—8-31 months prison
B&E of a Place of Worship: Class G felony—8-31 months prison
Burglary of vehicle: Class I felony—3-12 months prison
Entering a building to steal or commit a crime: Class H felony—4-25 months’ prison
B&E: Class 1 misdemeanor—1-120 days of jail and a fine
of any burglary crime: 15-36 months minimum
How James Rutherford, Attorney at Law Can Help
For over 10 years, our Wilmington criminal defense attorney has devoted
his practice to protecting your rights. He has helped countless clients
make favorable deals, win acquittals, or get case dismissals outright.
He ensures that each client receives the best possible defense for their
case. As a board certified criminal defense specialist, Attorney Rutherford
has demonstrated his rare talent for defense litigation again and again.
No matter the case being built against you, every person deserves to have
a strong defender in their corner. We can build a case on your behalf
that could spare you from spending months or years in prison. Don’t
hesitate—reach out to our firm as soon as possible. One free, no-obligation
consultation can give you the answers you need.
If you’ve been charged with burglary, we want to help. Call
(910) 595-1377 or contact us online for a free case consultation with an award-winning
criminal defense lawyer.