What to Do After Being Charged With Burglary

According to the FBI, there were over a million burglaries in 2019, most of them happening on residential properties.

With numbers like these, it’s safe to say that most of us have worried about protecting our property from theft—but if you’re like most, you’ve also spent far less time worrying about what would happen if you were charged with burglary.

The penalty for burglary can be anything from fines and restitution to decades in jail, depending on the circumstances. Given the serious charge, it’s crucial to understand what to do to avoid these outcomes. Here’s what you should know.

Do Not Speak to the Police Alone

Whenever you are charged with any crime—especially one as serious as burglary—it’s important to remember not to speak to the police. Don’t answer their questions or respond to their statements, and refuse to communicate with them without a lawyer present.

Reach Out to a Criminal Defense Attorney

Before you let your head start spinning over the prospect of spending time in your local or state prison, it’s time to call for expert help. According to United States law, you’re innocent until proven guilty—so you’ll need to partner with an attorney who can help you secure that innocent verdict.

As you research lawyers in your area, it’s important to make sure you’ve found a criminal defense lawyer for burglary—that is, one who is experienced in helping clients with theft-specific charges like yours. Whenever possible, work with a veteran team like the experts at https://www.weedenlaw.com.

The right attorney can help you understand the type of burglary charge you’re facing as well as the penalties you might expect if you are found guilty. They can also help you with the next crucial step.

Create Your Defense Strategy

Getting out of a burglary charge will mean finding an appropriate defense. Work with your lawyer to identify evidence and circumstantial factors that can help you beat your charge. There are several common defenses you may be able to build:

  • Lack of intent: While you did enter a home, business, or vehicle, you did not intend to steal anything
  • Lack of entry: There is no evidence that you did, in fact, enter the home, business, or vehicle
  • Mistaken location: You did enter the home, business, or vehicle, but only because you thought you had permission or believed it was your own
  • Permission to take items: You had permission from the owner, or believed you had permission from the owner, to take the items in question
  • Mistaken identity: The police have mistaken you for the actual perpetrator
  • Alibi: You have proof that you were somewhere else at the time of the theft
  • Improper questioning: The police made mistakes during questioning that make your statements inadmissible in court
  • No probable cause: The police had no probable cause to search your person or your property, rendering their search illegal and inadmissible in court

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your burglary charge, you and your lawyer can use or even combine the defenses above to help you make your case.

Get Help When Charged With Burglary

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that you aren’t alone when charged with burglary. Police questioning is designed to make you feel anxious and isolated, but an expert can help you protect your rights and build a solid defense. Find an experienced firm to get the help you need to secure the best possible outcome.

Looking for more legal tips to help you through difficult situations? Be sure to take a look at our other guides.

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