Facing a Burglary Charge in Bridgewater Township?
During the incident, it is alleged that the Defendant used a screwdriver to pry open a window off the deck in order to gain entry into the home on Main Street. Once inside the home, the Defendant took various items, which had an estimated value of more than $200. During the incident, one of the homeowners was home and was able to contact the police. When the Defendant became aware of the fact that the homeowner was home, he quickly exited the home through the deck door. By the time officers from the Bridgewater police department had arrived, the Defendant had already fled the area on foot. With the help of the K9 Unit, the Bridgewater police department was able to capture the Defendant and place him under arrest. He was formally charged with the following offense:
- Burglary, in violation of NJSA 2C:18-3, a crime of the 3rd degree;
- Theft of Movable Property, in violation of NJSA 2C:20-2, a crime of the 3rd Degree
- Criminal Mischief, in violation of NJSA 2C:17-3, a disorderly persons offense
- Possession of Marijuana, in violation of NJSA 2C:35-10a(4), a disorderly persons offense
- Possession of Burglary Tools, in violation of NJSA 2C:5-5, a crime of the 4th degree
More likely than not the Defendant was taken to the Somerset County Jail so that the prosecutor’s office could formally file a detention motion. During this hearing, the prosecution would be seeking to convince the Judge that the Defendant must be detained in the County jail without bail, pending trial. This type of hearing can and always should be contested.
What must the Prosecution Prove to Obtain a Burglary Conviction?
Pursuant to NJSA 2C:18-3, which governs all burglary charges in New Jersey, before a Defendant could be convicted, the prosecution must prove two material elements beyond a reasonable doubt, they are as follows:
- That the Defendant entered a structure without permission; &
- That the Defendant did so with the underlying purpose to commit an offense therein.
So not only must the prosecution prove the unlawful entry but they must also establish that prior to entering, the Defendant had the underlying purpose to commit an offense therein. So, in the case discussed above, the prosecution will look to use the theft of movable property offense as the “offense therein”. If convicted, the Defendant will be facing a potential prison sentence of anywhere from three to five years plus a fine up to $15,000.
Burglary Lawyer in Bridgewater NJ
If you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal offense like burglary, heroin possession, terroristic threats, aggravated assault, eluding or any other offense for that matter in Somerset or Hunterdon County, the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. These are all serious crimes and should not be taken lightly. If you would like to speak to one of our criminal defense lawyers about your options, then please contact our Bridgewater Office at 908-533-1064 or you can try contacting us online. Our office serves all of Somerset County and Hunterdon County, including towns like Raritan, Hillsborough, Manville, Bound Brook, Green Brook, Somerville, North Plainfield and Watchung.
For more information on this incident, please checkout the patch.com’s article: Man Arrested For Breaking Into Martinsville Home With Screwdriver.