The crime of burglary—commonly referred to as home invasion—carries serious penalties compared to other theft offenses. A conviction for burglary could result in years in prison, steep fines, and other consequences. The good news is that a dedicated theft defense attorney could help you fight back.

If you face burglary charges, your choice of legal counsel could have a tremendous impact on your case. The right attorney could help you develop a strong defense strategy and resolve your case in a favorable way. Talk to a Marquette burglary lawyer before you attempt to defend yourself on your own.

Third-Degree Burglary

The lowest level of burglary charge under state law is known as third-degree home invasion. While every burglary offense stems from breaking into and entering a building without permission, only certain circumstances qualify as third-degree home invasion. A Marquette burglary attorney could analyze your case and potentially produce evidence that points to your innocence. This charge is appropriate when a person breaks and enters under the following conditions:

  • With intent to commit a misdemeanor
  • Committing a misdemeanor within a dwelling
  • While violating a protection order or probation condition

While this offense applies to attempted misdemeanors, it is treated as a felony under the law. That means a conviction could bring as much as five years of jail time in addition to a fine of no more than $2,000.

Second-Degree Burglary

Second-degree home invasion carries much steeper penalties compared to a third-degree offense. However, the factors surrounding the offense are similar. In order for the state to secure a conviction for second-degree home invasion, the prosecutor must prove that there was breaking and entering, or entering a dwelling without permission with the intent to commit a felony, assault, or larceny. Alternatively, the state could show that a defendant committed larceny, assault, or a felony while breaking and entering a dwelling without permission. The penalties for second-degree home invasion include a maximum $3,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison.

First-Degree Home Burglary

The elements required for the state to prove first-degree home invasion are the same as a second-degree offense. The important difference is that there must be certain aggravating factors present to increase the severity of the charge from second-degree to first-degree.

There are two aggravating factors in total, and the state only needs to establish one of them to prove the first-degree. The first factor involves committing an act of burglary while armed with a dangerous weapon. The second involves committing a burglary when another person is lawfully present in the dwelling at the time of the offense. A conviction for first-degree home invasion carries as much as 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.

A Marquette burglary attorney could help construct a viable defense for these charges. In addition to making a case for an acquittal, an attorney could also help establish that the aggravating factors needed to prove first-degree home invasion are not present. This could result in significantly lowered criminal jeopardy in the event of conviction.

Call a Marquette Burglary Attorney Right Away for Guidance

Burglary is a serious offense, and it requires a strong defense strategy. With the right approach, you could limit the consequences of a conviction—or avoid a conviction entirely.

Let a Marquette burglary lawyer protect your rights during this challenging time. Call right away for a confidential consultation from Berger Law.