Robbery & Burglary Attorney in Commack, New York
In New York, a person commits burglary when they enter another person’s dwelling to commit another criminal act (usually theft). Similarly, robbery is the use of force or the threat of force to illegally obtain another person’s property. Both of these crimes can and often do involve the use of a weapon, but it is not a required element for a conviction of either offense. There are different degrees of burglary, and depending upon the circumstances of the case, a person may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony offense. All robberies are felony crimes, though there are different degrees of robberies depending upon the amount of force used in the commission of the crime. The people accused of such crimes face serious penalties - those who are convicted of the most serious forms of felony robbery or burglary face up to twenty-five years in prison.
If you have been arrested and charged with burglary or robbery, you should contact a New York criminal defense attorney experienced in defending clients against robbery and burglary charges as soon as you can. Before you speak with law enforcement about what happened in your case, it is in your best interest to obtain legal counsel so that there are no statements made that could adversely affect your legal defense. Regardless of whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony offense, the penalties you face are severe, and your freedom is at stake. Because you stand to lose so much, you need a trained and knowledgeable advocate to provide you with the best possible chance to protect yourself.
The ultimate sentence is determined by many factors including but not limited to: prior convictions, the amount taken, who the victim is, the type of weapon used if any, any injury to the victim, and the level of the robbery conviction.
We can explain that there are 6 degrees of burglary and 3 degrees of robbery to you in detail. The following is a recap of the penal law.
In New York, the crime of burglary is defined in Article 140 of the Penal Law. There are three degrees of this crime, Burglary in the First Degree (Penal Law 140.30), Burglary in the Second Degree (Penal Law Section 140.25), and Burglary in the Third Degree (Penal Law Section 140.20). There is another related offense which is the Possession of Burglar’s Tools (Penal Law Section 140.35).
Burglary in the 3d Degree
In New York, Burglary in the 3d degree is classified as a felony offense. If convicted, the minimum sentence is 1 to 3 years in jail, and the maximum sentence is 2.3 to 7 years in jail. Under certain circumstances, the judge can impose a lesser alternative sentence provided that the accused entered a building (not a home) to commit a crime within.
Burglary in the 2d Degree
Burglary in the 2d degree is classified as a Class C violent felony. If convicted, the minimum punishment is 3.5 years in jail, and the maximum sentence is 15 years. A burglary in the second degree is usually charged when:
A person knowingly enters a home a remains there unlawfully with the intent to commit a crime within;
Or, a person commits burglary in a building and someone is hurt;
Or, a person commits burglary in a building and he or an accomplice possesses and displays a weapon.
Burglary in the 1st Degree
Burglary in the 1st degree is classified as a Class B violent felony. If convicted, the minimum sentence is 5 years in prison, and the maximum sentence is 25 years in prison. This is an extremely serious charge and is at the same level as an attempted murder charge. This crime is commonly charged when:
The accused commits a burglary in a home and either:
Is armed with a weapon;
Or harms another person.
Possession of Burglar’s Tools
The possession of burglar’s tools is classified as a Class A misdemeanor in the state of New York. The minimum sentence is an alternative punishment that will allow the accused to avoid jail time. The maximum sentence is one year in jail. This crime is committed when:
An individual is in possession of any instrument or tool that is used for a burglar, and circumstances indicate an intent to use it illegally.
While this crime can be the sole charge, it is often accompanied by other offenses such as:
Assault (Article 20 of New York Penal Law)
Grand Larceny (Article 155 of New York Penal Law)
Criminal Possession of a Weapon (Article 265 of New York Penal Law)
Criminal Possession of Stolen Property (Article 165 of New York Penal Law).
There are 3 types of Robbery crimes. Robbery in the third degree (Robbery 3), Robbery in the Second Degree (Robbery 2), and Robbery in the First Degree (Robbery 1). We have condensed the 3 types of Robbery here to give you a background on all three.
Robbery in the 3rd Degree.
A person is guilty of Robbery 3 when he or she steals property by force. If this results in a Criminal Conviction, it is a D Felony.
Robbery in the 2nd Degree.
A person is guilty of Robbery 2 when he or she steals property by use of force and when he is helped by another or he or another causes a bodily injury to a non-participant in the criminal act: or brandishes any firearm. Robbery in the Second Degree is a C felony.
Robbery in the 1st Degree.
A defendant will be convicted of Robbery 1 if he forcibly steals property and he or another person involved in committing that criminal act seriously injures anyone who is not involved in the commission of the crime. Possessing a deadly weapon, using it, or threatening its use by brandishing a firearm are also elements of Robbery 1. However, it is an affirmative defense in New York for the Criminal Defense Lawyer to prove that the firearm was unloaded and incapable of being fired. While a Robbery Defense Lawyer will tell you this is not an absolute defense to all criminal acts it can drop a Robbery 1: to a Robbery 2 or Robbery in the Third Degree or possibly to an even lower crime.
Robbery in the First Degree is an extremely important charge. It is a class B felony and can carry a 25-year prison sentence; depending on the facts of the case!