Burglary is the breaking and entering into a structure to commit another crime inside. An individual doesn’t have to use force to enter the structure, in order to be charged with the crime. In Washington State, a defendant can be charged with burglary even if they were lawfully allowed in the structure. In those cases, the defendant can commit a burglary if they overstayed the invitation and intended to commit a crime in the structure.
What is First Degree Burglary in Washington State?
First degree burglary occurs when a defendant breaks into a structure and commits another crime. Along with the burglary, the defendant is armed with a deadly weapon or assaults another person. First degree burglary is considered a class A felony.
How Is Second Degree Burglary Defined in the State?
This crime is defined as breaking and entering into a building with the intent to commit a crime against a person or the property inside. Second degree burglary only pertains to non-residential structures, so it excludes dwellings and vehicles. Second degree burglary is considered a class B felony.
Why Was I Charged with Residential Burglary?
Residential burglary is the illegal entering or remaining in an individual’s home with the intent of committing another crime. This includes travel trailers and mobile homes. In the State of Washington, residential burglary is a class B felony.
Is Burglary and Robbery Considered the Same Crime in Washington State?
No, they aren’t the same. Burglary involves entering into a structure to commit a crime. Whereas robbery involves taking property from a person with the threat of use or actual use of force.
How Much Time Can I Get Behind Bars for a Burglary Conviction in Washington State?
A defendant convicted of first degree burglary can face up to life in prison and a fine of $50,000. A conviction of either second degree burglary or residential burglary carries a punishment of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
Are There Burglary Defenses I Can Use?
Yes. Burglary defenses can vary, but common defenses include:
- Defendant had permission to be on the premises
- Defendant did not intend to commit a crime while inside
- Defendant was coerced and forced to commit the act
- Defendant had consent of the plaintiff to commit the act
Should I Contact a Lawyer Regarding My Burglary Charge?
Yes. Contact a Washington criminal lawyer to help you fight a your burglary charge.