What is Considered Burglary in New Jersey?

The crime of burglary tends to be associated with theft or robbery. However, it is important to understand that each of these offenses are different. The classification of each depends on how the crime was committed. In the state of New Jersey, a person commits the crime of burglary when he enters or remains in a structure without permission and intends to commit a crime inside. A person also commits burglary when he trespasses onto a property belonging to a utility company with the intent to commit a crime. 

NJ Burglary Law

Under New Jersey law, a “structure” is defined as any building, room, vehicle, airplane, ship, or place adapted for sleeping or business. This makes it illegal for anyone to come onto these properties without permission and to commit a crime. For example, if an individual enters a store after hours or remains in a store after hours when it is not open to the public, it is done without permission. If the individual has the intent to commit a crime, they can be charged with burglary.

In order to convict a person of burglary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual entered the structure with the intent to commit a crime. This intent is generally determined by the circumstances, and a prosecutor is not required to establish exactly what the individual was thinking at the time. It is important to know that burglary occurs once they enter the building with the intent to commit an offense, even if the crime never actually happens. 

Aggravated Burglary

The crime of burglary can be upgraded in the event of certain circumstances and is called an aggravated burglary. This occurs when an individual inflicts, attempts, or threatens to inflict bodily injury on another person. It can also happen if he person is armed with or displays what appears to be a deadly weapon or explosive.

Consequences of Burglary

Generally, burglary is a crime of the third degree, punishable by three to five years imprisonment and a fine of up to $15,000. Aggravated burglary is a crime of the second degree, punishable by five to ten years in prison as well as a fine up to $150,000. 

In the state of New Jersey, it is also a crime to possess or manufacture burglary tools. This includes any engine, machine, or tool that can be used to force entry or commit a crime. It is also illegal to publish instructions on how to make these tools. If a person is in possession of these tools, it is considered a disorderly persons offense. However, the manufacturing of these tools or publishing plans for them is a crime in the fourth degree. 

Contact our Firm

If you or your a loved one has been charged with burlgary, having an experienced criminal defense team available to advocate on your behalf is crucial. The Rem Katcher Law Group, P.C. is here to help. Contact our firm today.