Greenville Burglary Lawyer
Burglary charges are taken very seriously in the state of South Carolina. These charges can result in felony convictions which may bring decades in prison, thousands of dollars in fines, and a lifetime of potential consequences. That’s why it is imperative that those facing burglary charges in Greenville and the surrounding areas need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney to ensure their rights, freedom, and future remain protected.
What is the Legal Definition of Burglary?
Under South Carolina state law, the legal definition of burglary is entering of a building or dwelling with the intention to commit a crime therein. Note that under South Carolina law, there is no requirement that the person has to use force or break into the building. Simply entering the building without permission with the intent to commit a crime can result in a burglary charge.
Is Burglary A Felony?
All forms of burglary can result in a felony conviction in South Carolina. In most states, a felony is a crime punishable by more than a year in prison. Misdemeanors, on the other hand, are lesser crimes that usually carry a sentence of up to a year.
In addition to lengthy prison time, felony convictions in South Carolina can carry major consequences. People convicted of felonies may also lose certain constitutional rights, such as the right to vote and bear arms, for example.
How Many Degrees of Burglary Are There?
Even though the criminal offense may be considered burglary, the details of the charge may be different for each situation. As such, the South Carolina criminal justice system divides the crime of burglary into three different degrees: first-degree burglary, second-degree burglary and third-degree burglary.
Burglary 1st Degree in South Carolina
First-degree burglary is the most serious burglary offense. This type of crime occurs when someone enters a dwelling without permission with the intent to commit a crime and:
- has a weapon,
- causes injury,
- commits the crime after dark, or
- has two or more prior convictions of burglary on their criminal record.
Burglary 2nd Degree in South Carolina
A second-degree burglary can be divided into two categories: violent and non-violent. Violent 2nd-degree burglary occurs when a subject enters a non-residential building but otherwise has the same criteria as 1st-degree burglary.
A non-violent second-degree burglary charge entails a subject entering a dwelling without consent and with the intent to commit a crime. However, a 2nd-degree burglary does not entail weapons, injury, the threat of harm, or prior convictions.
Burglary 3rd Degree South Carolina
Someone can be found guilty of third-degree burglary if they enter a non-residential building without permission and with the intention to commit a crime within.
What are the Penalties for Burglary in South Carolina?
The penalties for burglary in South Carolina are heavily impacted by the details of the crime and the previous criminal record of the defendant. Past convictions of burglary can bring on significantly harsher sentences and increased fines. Violent crimes usually involve harsher sentences as well.
First-degree burglary charges are punishable by a minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum sentence of life in prison. Burglary second-degree (violent) charges are punishable by up to 15 years in prison, and non-violent second-degree charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years. Third-degree burglary punishments depend on a person’s previous criminal record. A first offense of third-degree burglary has a maximum sentence of five years. A second offense can result in up to ten years in prison.
The best way to gain a better understanding of what you’re up against is to consult with a Greenville theft crime defense lawyer at AnneMarie Odom Law. We can explore the legal options in your specific situation and provide you with experienced advice on the best path forward.
Other Offenses Related to Burglary
Possession of Burglary Tools
The possession of common tools used by burglars can increase the time spent in prison and fines associated with a burglary charge. Possessing the tools with the intent to use them is a felony and is punishable by up to a five years in prison.
Both trespassing and burglary involve entering a property without consent, but trespassing does not include the intent to commit a crime upon entry. Trespassing carries up to 30 days in jail.
How A Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You Fight Your Burglary Charges
If you or someone you love has been accused or charged with burglary in South Carolina, you need the help of an experienced lawyer like AnneMarie Odom. She can make sure you fully understand the consequences of your charges and protect your rights while fighting aggressively towards the most favorable outcome in your case. At AnneMarie Odom Law, we make sure you have everything you need to put up the best fight against the state.
Contact an Experienced Greenville Burglary Defense Lawyer Today
A felony conviction for burglary charges can mean long-term consequences for both you and your family. Fortunately, you don’t have to face these criminal charges alone. AnneMarie Odom Law is a criminal defense law firm that takes pride in doing everything possible to get the best possible outcome for you or your loved one. Schedule a free consultation with our firm by calling (864) 775-5833 or completing the online intake form found on our contact page.
Our knowledgeable burglary defense attorneys are ready to assist you in these difficult situations that pose a real threat of jeopardizing your entire future. Call today.
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