According to an NJ.com report, Rutgers University’s Douglass Campus suffered a break-in in late August. The burglar damaged offices on the second and third floors of the College Hall building on 125 George Street in New Brunswick.
A staff member witnessed an unidentified individual enter the building at 7:00 p.m. on a Sunday evening. Police arrived to find the damaged offices later that night. No arrests were made in connection to the burglary and vandalism that took place.
Contrary to popular belief, a charge of burglary need not accompany a theft or attempt of theft. Burglary occurs simply when one enters a building without license or privilege with the intent to commit a crime therein.
In this case, the crime that the burglar allegedly committed is criminal mischief. While more difficult to prove, a crime need not actually occur for one to be charged with burglary. The court must only show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the burglar intended to commit a crime within the structure in question.
Burglary can be a crime of the second or third degree, depending upon various factors. A second-degree burglary will occur if a victim is injured or if the defendant brandishes a weapon. In New Jersey, second degree charges are punishable by 5-10 years incarceration, steep fines, and contrary to third degree charges, the defendant will enjoy no presumption against incarceration. Third degree charges, on the other hand, are punishable by 3-5 years in jail. However, if the burglary in question is a first offense, then the defendant enjoys a presumption against incarceration and will likely gain admittance into a diversionary program.
Rutgers students returning for the Fall 2014 semester should be careful at all times, protecting themselves and their belongings. The Courts of New Brunswick and Piscataway each hear a number of criminal charges during the academic year.
For more information on burglary charges, feel free to explore our website of contact the Law Offices of William Proetta Criminal Law at (732) 659-9600.