NJ Business Burglary Lawyers
Law enforcement officials may also put extra energy into their investigations when there’s outside pressure for the police department to make headway with the case. This is common when a business is burgled. Business owners want to do everything they can to recover their losses after their stores are broken into. In addition, it’s important to them that they reassure their customers that their store is safe. Projecting a strong image to the community helps them get through the uncertain period after the burglary.
In New Jersey, there isn’t a specific statute that defines business burglary as a separate crime from regular burglary. People who break into businesses are subject to the same potential repercussions as those who break into homes. Most burglaries in the state are charged as third-degree offenses that are indictable, which is the equivalent of a felony. If the plaintiff is convicted, they may have to pay a 15,000 dollar fine and serve anywhere from three to five years in a prison.
The offense can become a second degree crime if the person tried to harm anyone or threatened to harm anyone, or if they were armed with a deadly weapon or explosives. If a person is convicted of second degree burglary, they may have to pay a fine of 150,000 dollars and serve up to ten years in a prison.
Even threatening to hurt someone in a building can up the charge. In addition, the charge can be upped even if the person doesn’t have a deadly weapon, as long as they seem to have a deadly weapon.
Because business burglaries tend to be subject to increased pressure from the press and from the police, it’s important that you seek an experienced defense attorney if you’re accused of this crime. You must take steps for protection. Burglary convictions may lead to jail time. In addition, the criminal record can follow you for the rest of your life. There may be repercussions to your professional and personal life even if you aren’t sentenced with jail time.
Sometimes people are charged with burglary when they didn’t even realize that the situation counted as a burglary.
Burglars don’t actually need to steal anything to be charged with burglary. If you break and enter into a home but don’t steal anything, you may not be charged with theft, but you can be charged with burglary.
There have been cases in which individuals were charged with this crime even though they thought they had permission to go into the building. Some people have been arrested when trying to access buildings that they thought were open to public use. The prosecution for burglary cases is often unfair, especially if the press has sensationalized the case.
Intent in Business Burglary
Business burglaries are often caused by misunderstandings. Even more than home invasions, businesses may be broken into because a customer believes the building to be open. This occasionally happens with company employees and former employees. If an employee was terminated, they may go back to the store after hours to retrieve something they forgot. Since they no longer work at the company, they are technically trespassing. The business owner could press charges.
But even though they might press charges, that isn’t enough for a conviction. A person can’t be sent to jail just for entering a building without permission. They must do so knowingly and willfully.
This means that the prosecution needs to prove not only that the person entered the building, but that they did so knowing that they were not allowed to be there. A defense lawyer may be able to question the evidence and refute certain claims. However, the majority of cases are resolved before they ever go to trial. There is usually a period during which a prosecutor will allow the defense to negotiate.
This often gives people a chance to plead guilty to a lesser charge with reduced penalties.