Fairfax Burglary Attorney

A Fairfax burglary lawyer can provide legal representation if you are under investigation or accused of violating Virginia law. Your criminal defense attorney can help you respond to police questioning, argue for bail, and develop a strategic plan for defense. Get legal help as soon as possible when charged with burglary so you will have an advocate looking out for your rights.

How a Fairfax Burglary Lawyer Can Help You

The job of a Fairfax burglary lawyer is to protect your rights and provide advice on responding to charges. Your attorney can help you to negotiate a plea agreement or raise a defense to burglary charges including:

  • Actual innocence
  • Mistaken identity
  • Permission to enter the dwelling
  • Lack of intent
  • Entrapment

A not guilty verdict can be avoided if you prove an affirmative defense or if you introduce doubt into whether the prosecutor has proved the case against you.  A Fairfax burglary lawyer can provide assistance in questioning witnesses, investigating accusations, suppressing illegally obtained evidence, making pre-trial motions, and presenting evidence.  Get help from an attorney for assistance with every step of responding to burglary charges.

Burglary Laws in Fairfax

There are two categories of burglary in Virginia: common law and statutory burglary.

The elements of the crime of common law burglary include:

  • Breaking and entering into a dwelling
  • In the nighttime
  • With the intent to commit larceny (theft) or the intent to commit a felony.

Common law burglary is a Class 3 felony offense, or a Class 2 felony if you are armed with a deadly weapon. The penalty for a Class 3 felony is between five and 20 years’ incarceration and a fine up to $100,000. The penalty for a Class 2 felony is a fine up to $100,000 and 20 years to life incarceration.

Statutory Burglary

Common law throughout the United States generally required that burglary offenses occur at night. However, most states including Virginia have expanded the definition of burglary to also include breaking and entering in the day.  You can now be charged with a statutory burglary offense no matter what time of day or night you enter a dwelling.

There are three types of statutory burglary depending upon what a prosecutor believes your purpose was in entering the dwelling:

  • Breaking and entering into a dwelling house with the intent to commit certain offenses including murder, robbery, rape, or arson (Virginia Code Section 18.2-90).  You face between five and 20 years incarceration, or between 20 years to life imprisonment if you have a deadly weapon. You could also be fined up to $100,000.
  • Breaking and entering into a dwelling house with the intent to commit assault, larceny, battery, or any felony that does not involve rape, arson, robbery, or murder (Code Section 18.2-91). At the discretion of the jury or court, you could either face between one and 20 years incarceration or up to a year incarceration and a fine up to $2,500.
  • Breaking and entering into a dwelling house that is occupied with the intent to commit a misdemeanor offense other than trespass, assault, or battery (Code Section 18.2-92).  This offense is a Class 6 felony, unless you have a deadly weapon. With no weapon, you could be sentenced to up to five years in jail and a fine up to $2,500. If you have a weapon, you face Class 2 felony charges.

Advantages of a Burglary Attorney in Fairfax County, VA

A Fairfax burglary lawyer can provide assistance in responding to charges. When you are arrested, you will be arraigned and must enter a plea. Your attorney will help you to decide whether to plead guilty or not guilty.

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