Monmouth County NJ Burglary Lawyer
New Jersey, let alone Monmouth County has seen a significant rise in burglary offenses over the years. That is probably in large part due to the heroin epidemic that the State has been dealing for almost five years now. As you will see below burglary is either a second or third degree felony in New Jersey. Therefore, if convicted, not only does a Defendant face a potentially lengthy prison sentence but even if that can be avoided, they still will be scarred with a felony criminal record. A felony burglary conviction could make it almost impossible for a person to obtain any meaningful employment. If you have been arrested and charged with car burglary, receiving stolen property, theft of moveable property, robbery, trespassing, passing a bad check or fencing the seasoned criminal defense lawyers at Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. Our office serves all of Monmouth County including towns like Tinton Falls, Howell, Long Branch, Eatontown, Aberdeen, Neptune, Belmar, Manalapan, Englishtown, and Middletown. If you would like to come into our office to have a face to face consultation with one of our criminal attorneys, then please contact us directly at (732)858-6959. As always, our initial consultations are free of costs and we are available 24/7 to help assist in anyway possible. Our attorneys have a lot of experience representing clients charged with burglary, theft crimes, and other criminal offenses. We have dedicated our entire careers to defending those accused of crimes in courts throughout the State, including Monmouth County. Now here is some key information on the offense of burglary, including what exactly the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt before a Defendant can be convicted of burglary in New Jersey.
What Must the Prosecution Prove for a Burglary Charge in Freehold?
In a nutshell, in order to be convicted of burglary in New Jersey, the prosecution must prove that the individual entered a structure with the intent to commit an offense once inside. Please see directly below for a more detailed breakdown of elements of a burglary charge.
What are the Elements of a Burglary Charge in NJ?
In order for a Defendant to convicted of a third degree burglary in New Jersey the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt two material elements and they are as follows:
- That the Defendant entered either a research facility and/or a structure without permission; and
- The Defendant did so with the purpose to commit an offense therein.
Conversely, in order for a Defendant to convicted of a second degree burglary in New Jersey the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt two material elements and they are as follows:
- That the Defendant entered either a research facility and/or a structure without permission;
- The Defendant did so with the purpose to commit an offense therein; and
- During the commission of the offense the Defendant:
- Purposely, knowingly or recklessly inflicts, attempts to inflict or threatens to inflict bodily injury on anyone; or
- The Defendant is armed with or displays what appears to be explosives or a deadly weapon.
What is Considered a Structure?
A structure has been defined as any one of the following:
- Any building
What is the Bail for a Burglary Charge in NJ?
Traditionally, if a Defendant was arrested and charged with a second degree burglary in New Jersey their bail would be set anywhere between $35,000 to $75,000 and since it is a second degree a 10% option would not be permissible. If they were charged with a third degree burglary, their bail would be set anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 and a 10% option would be permissible. With that being said, it would be possible and depending on the facts could be likely, that a Defendant charged with a third degree burglary could be released on his/her own recognizance. However, as of 2017, the bail system has forever changed. It now mirrors the Federal system and everything is based on a risk assessment as opposed to a monetary bail. So once pretrial services does their intake, a determination will be made as to whether to release a Defendant ROR or on certain conditions or to hold them without bail pending trial. This determination will be made at the Defendant’s Central Judicial Processing Hearing, which normally occurs within 48 hours after being arrested. If the prosecution is seeking to keep the Defendant detained, without bail a formal Detention Hearing must take place. For more information on detention hearings in New Jersey, please contact our office at 732-858-6959.
What is the Sentence for Burglary in NJ?
As previously stated, the offense of burglary can be either a second or third degree felony. If a Defendant is convicted of a second degree felony they could face up to ten (10) years in a State prison and a fine up to $150,000. In addition, a second degree felony burglary conviction is subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA). NERA in essence requires a Defendant to serve up 85% of their sentence before they can become eligible for parole. Conversely, if a Defendant is convicted of a third degree felony they could face up to five (5) years in a State prison and a fine up to $15,000. Also, a third degree burglary offense is not subject to the NERA.
How to avoid Jail on Burglary Charges in NJ
Depending on a Defendant’s prior criminal history and the underlying facts of the their case they may be eligible for one of New Jersey’s diversionary programs. Those programs include the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) and Drug Court. Although both of these programs could keep a Defendant out of State prison only PTI can also keep a Defendant without being scarred with a criminal record as well. For more information on these programs please click the link.
What are some Common Crimes Associated with Burglary Charges in NJ?
Since a burglary charge requires that the actor have the intent to commit an offense once inside the structure it would be rare to see an individual just charged with burglary. In other words, burglary is typically a tack on offense. Some of the more frequent crimes that we see associated with a burglary charge in Monmouth County include theft of moveable property, aggravated assault, eluding and robbery. Also, if the individual is charged with burglary in the second degree, we also typically see crimes like unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. It probably goes without saying but these ancillary charges tend drastically increase the individual’s potential sentencing exposure.
Need to Speak to an Experienced Wall NJ Criminal Attorney Defending Burglary Charges
As you can tell from above the penalties for burglary in New Jersey can be absolutely devastating. These charges are extremely serious and carry life changing consequences if convicted. If you have been charged with car burglary, criminal trespassing, theft, theft by deception, harassment or stalking, the criminal defense lawyers at Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. Our criminal law office serves all of Monmouth County including towns like Howell, Marlboro, Long Branch, Farmingdale, Freehold, Belmar, Manasquan, Hazlet, Atlantic Highland and Matawan. To schedule a free initial consultation today please contact us directly at (732)858-6959. We are available around the clock as we fully understand that being charged with a criminal offense can be an extremely stressful time.