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Carteret County Burglary Lawyers

While burglary is technically a theft crime, you can be convicted even if no actual theft occurred. In many cases, all that needs to be proven is intent. According to the North Carolina General Statutes § 14-51, first degree burglary is defined as the entering into a dwelling house when inhabited or occupied. If the dwelling is empty, it may be charged as a second degree burglary, which holds less penalties. Regardless of the charge at hand, the penalties associated with this type of crime are serious and can have a long-lasting impact on your life. Both burglary degrees are considered felonies.

If you’ve been accused of a burglary offense here in Carteret County, North Carolina, you don’t have to face prosecution alone. Get in touch with one of our criminal defense attorneys for a free consultation, and to learn how best to defend yourself in upcoming court proceedings. We’ll work with you to understand the specifics of your case, and we’ll do our utmost to protect your best interests. In some cases, we may be able to have your charge reduced, your sentence minimized, or we may be able to have your case dropped altogether. Reach out to us to get started with a free consultation.

You can also continue reading to find further information about the burglary laws and the criminal defense process here in the state of North Carolina — and we have answers to some of our most frequently asked questions below.


Burglary FAQ

What is the difference between first and second degree burglary?

As we mentioned, burglary may be charged as a first or second degree offense. First degree burglary has more severe consequences than second degree burglary. First degree burglary is an infraction where an individual breaks into a home or dwelling that is occupied by another individual or individuals at the time of the crime. First degree burglaries are considered a Class D felony offense.

Second degree burglary is an infraction where an individual breaks into a home or dwelling that is unoccupied during the crime. Second degree burglaries are considered a Class G felony offense.

Can breaking into a vehicle be considered a burglary offense?

Yes. If an individual breaks into a vehicle with the intent to commit theft, it is considered a burglary offense, and a conviction will result in a Class I felony, which is punishable by up to 12 months of prison time.

What is the difference between a burglary offense and a breaking and entering offense?

Burglary and breaking and entering are fairly similar and they fall under the same chapter of statutes in North Carolina law. Statute § 14-54 outlines lesser breaking and entering charges and sentencing:

“(a) Any person who breaks or enters any building with intent to commit any felony or larceny therein shall be punished as a Class H felon.

(a1) Any person who breaks or enters any building with intent to terrorize or injure an occupant of the building is guilty of a Class H felony.

(b) Any person who wrongfully breaks or enters any building is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.“

Depending on the circumstances of the offense and the intent of the individual, an infraction may either be considered a breaking and entering offense or a burglary offense.

What is the difference between burglary and trespassing?

Burglary and trespassing differ in the severity of the crime, and the intent of the crime. While burglary includes an intent to commit a theft or additional crime while entering a property illegally, trespassing is an offense that only applies if an individual was merely on a property illegally. For instance, an individual may trespass on someone’s property by simply cutting through a fenced-in yard with signs that are marked “No Trespassing.” Trespassing is also generally considered a lesser offense than breaking and entering.

What is the difference between burglary and larceny?

Larceny includes unlawful theft of items. However, unlike burglary, larceny does not involve breaking into property. Larceny of goods valued at over $1000 is considered to be a Class H felony. Larceny of goods valued below $1000 is considered to be a Class 1 misdemeanor. You can learn more about larceny and our criminal defense services.


What kind of sentence can I expect if convicted of a burglary offense?

As we mentioned, burglary can be charged as a first or second degree offense, where a first degree offense will be punishable as a Class D felony and a second degree offense will be punishable as a Class G felony. As such, a first degree conviction may result in 38 to 160 months in prison, volunteer time, required classes, fines, and fees. Second degree burglary convictions can result in 8 to 31 months in prison, volunteer time, required classes, fines, and fees.

Is it illegal to simply prepare to commit burglary?

It is illegal to prepare to commit burglary in the state of North Carolina, even without actually seeing the infraction through. Under state statute § 14-55, North Carolina law sites that “(if) any person shall be found armed with any dangerous or offensive weapon, with the intent to break or enter a dwelling, or other building whatsoever, and to commit any felony or larceny therein; or shall be found having in his possession, without lawful excuse, any picklock, key, bit, or other implement of housebreaking; or shall be found in any such building, with intent to commit any felony or larceny therein, such person shall be punished as a Class I felon.”

Those convicted of a Class I felony can face a sentence of 3 to 12 months of prison time, as well as volunteer time, required classes, fines, and fees.

 

The Benefits of Hiring a Defense Attorney

If you’ve been arrested for a burglary, larceny, or breaking and entering offense, it may be in your best interest to hire an attorney. The criminal defense lawyers here at Cummings and Kennedy work with your best interests in mind to strive to minimize the impact of a conviction, or to reduce or have your charges dropped altogether. Beyond that, working with a criminal defense attorney may prove beneficial in all of the following ways:

Understanding local laws and your rights: Most folks don’t have a full understanding of the law, and even reading the law as it is stated in state statutes can be confusing. If you’re facing prosecution, you may be confused about the charges you face and the repercussions they may prove to have. We’ll work with you to ensure that you know what you’ve been arrested for, the potential sentencing, and the best plan of action for your particular circumstances.

Coordinating court dates and paperwork: Court proceedings can be confusing, and there are important dates which you’ll have to attend court, as well as important paperwork that will need to be filed. We understand the court process, and we have years of experience serving citizens in Carteret County. We’ll make sure that you attend court dates on time, and you file all of the necessary paperwork to make your case run smoothly.

We have experience with local law professionals: Since we specialize in criminal defense here in Carteret County, North Carolina, we know local law professionals, including police officers, judges, and other attorneys. Again, we know how to work with these law professionals so that your case will go more smoothly.

If you’re facing a burglary charge, you’re facing a trial that could end with a felony conviction. It may be best not to defend yourself — instead, hire a criminal defense attorney to minimize the impact of any accusations that you may face.

Arrested for burglary? Call our firm now!

When dealing with theft or property crimes, you need to act quickly to defend yourself against unjust prosecution. At Cummings & Kennedy, we focus exclusively on criminal defense cases – in fact, we are in court here in Carteret County defending the criminally accused every day. We know the nuances of the criminal process. Criminal charges will have a lasting effect on personal and professional level. If you are in need of aggressive defense, we encourage you to contact a Carteret County criminal defense lawyer from our firm as soon as possible. We will fight for you.

If you’ve been arrested for burglary or you know someone who has been arrested, we can help. Please do not hesitate to contact a Carteret County burglary lawyer from our legal team as soon as possible.