burglar with crowbar breaking door

Burglary Defense Lawyer in Edison, NJ

An arrest and conviction for burglary in Edison, NJ, can have devastating consequences for your reputation and future, making it harder to find places to live, work, and further your education. You can give yourself the best chance of obtaining a favorable resolution to your burglary charges by working with an experienced criminal defense attorney from William Proetta Criminal Law.

We’ve handled thousands of criminal cases, giving us extensive legal knowledge and insight into New Jersey’s criminal justice system. We have a deep understanding of court rules and procedures to pursue every avenue to fight for your interests. The legal team at our law offices is ready to take the time to understand your needs and concerns to provide a straightforward explanation of your options so you can make informed decisions. You’ll work directly with the attorney handling your case, who can answer your questions and prepare you for what to expect.

When you’ve been arrested and charged with burglary in Edison, get the legal advice and advocacy you need by contacting William Proetta Criminal Law for a free initial consultation that is totally confidential. A New Jersey burglary defense attorney from our firm will fight to secure the most favorable outcome possible for you.

Burglary Laws in Edison, NJ

N.J. Stat. § 2C:18-2 states that a person commits burglary if, with the purpose to commit another offense, they:

  • Enter a research facility, structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof when the space is closed to the public, and they lack the authority to enter
  • Surreptitiously and unlawfully remain in a research facility, structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof
  • Trespass on utility company property that has a public notice prohibiting trespassing or fencing or other enclosures designed to protect against intruders

Differences Between Burglary, Theft, and Robbery

Although many offenders commit burglary while committing other crimes like theft or robbery, burglary constitutes a separate criminal offense. A person commits burglary simply by entering or hiding in someone else’s property without permission or lawful authority while intending to commit another crime while there.

A defendant does not need to commit a crime once inside the building for a burglary to have been committed. That is contrary to the popular misconception that a theft offense must occur for a burglary to be committed.

Thus, a person can commit burglary by entering or remaining on someone else’s property to steal from the property or rob its occupants. However, a person can also commit burglary if they intend to commit other offenses inside somebody else’s property, such as assault, sexual assault, or false imprisonment, for example.

Degrees of Burglary Offenses in Edison, NJ

New Jersey law grades burglary as a third-degree indictable offense (a felony offense) by default. However, burglary can become a second-degree indictable offense if, in the course of committing the burglary offense, the perpetrator:

  • Purposely, knowingly, or recklessly inflicts, attempts to inflict, or threatens to inflict bodily harm
  • Has a weapon or displays an apparent deadly weapon or explosive device

Penalties for Burglary Convictions

A conviction on third-degree burglary charge in New Jersey carries penalties, including a three- to five-year prison term and a potential fine of up to $15,000. However, a person convicted on a second-degree burglary charge may face penalties, including up to a 10-year prison sentence and a potential fine of up to $150,000.

A burglary conviction can also have long-term consequences beyond prison time and fines. A criminal record can follow you for years after a conviction and sentence, showing up in background checks for employment, housing, educational programs, and financial services. As a result, a criminal history containing a burglary conviction can make it challenging for you to obtain housing or employment.

Your criminal defense lawyer will focus on minimizing the effect burglary penalties have on your future.

Potential Defenses in Burglary Cases in Edison, NJ

Prosecutors must prove every element of a burglary offense beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction. As a result, defendants facing burglary charges in Edison, NJ, may have various defenses and case strategies available to fight their charges.

Potential defenses your criminal defense lawyers might raise in your burglary case include:

  • Permission or lawful authority to enter or remain in the property – The first element of the burglary statute requires the state to prove that you entered or hid inside someone else’s property without permission or authority. For example, you might show that the property’s owner had opened their premises to the public and had not revoked your right or permission to enter.
  • Lack of intent to commit a crime – The burglary statute also requires the state to prove that you intended to commit another offense inside the property. You might demonstrate that you didn’t intend to commit a crime while on the property.
  • Mistaken identity – You might contest burglary charges by challenging eyewitnesses’ identification of you as the perpetrator.
  • Alibi – Similar to a mistaken identity defense, you might fight a burglary charge by showing that you were elsewhere when the alleged burglary occurred.
  • Mistake of fact – In a burglary case, a mistake of fact defense may involve you arguing that you genuinely and reasonably believed you had permission or authority to enter or remain in the property.

Defense strategies may also focus on excluding prosecution evidence that investigators obtained in violation of your civil or constitutional rights, including:

  • Searching you or your property without a warrant or without probable cause
  • Detaining or arresting you without reasonable suspicion or probable cause
  • Questioning you without advising you or honoring your invocation of your Miranda rights

The Role of a Burglary Criminal Defense Lawyer in Edison, NJ

Because New Jersey law treats burglary as a severe criminal offense, prosecutors often dedicate substantial resources to secure convictions. Hiring our experienced criminal defense lawyer for your case can help level the playing field so you can fight your charges or assert your innocence.

A defense attorney’s role in your criminal case includes:

  • Independently investigating the charges to secure useful or exculpatory information and evidence
  • Explaining the potential outcomes of your case and possible defense strategies you can pursue
  • Preparing you for each stage of the criminal justice process
  • Contesting the prosecution’s case at every step, including moving to exclude improper or unlawfully obtained state evidence or to dismiss your charges for lack of evidence
  • Vigorously pursuing the best possible outcome for your case, even if it means going to trial when you choose to contest your burglary charges

Get Help from an Edison Burglary Defense Attorney Now

If you’re facing burglary charges in Edison, New Jersey, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and future. Contact William Proetta Criminal Law today for a free, confidential consultation with an Edison burglary defense lawyer to discuss your options for fighting your burglary charges.