Regardless of where you are charged, a burglary conviction can land you in prison. But, the laws and potential penalties for a burglary conviction vary widely from state to state. In Ohio there are several different statutes that cover burglary offenses, and each of these carries a potentially life-changing sentence.

A burglary charge is not just a theft charge and it isn’t just a trespassing charge; it’s more than both. Because it has elements of more than one law violation, you can expect that the sentence you face if convicted will be quite harsh.

This page provides an overview of the burglary laws of Ohio. Discussing your case with a local attorney, however, is the best way to know for certain what you are up against.

Ohio Burglary Laws and Penalties

The statutes of Ohio break burglary down into three main offenses: Breaking and entering, burglary, and aggravated burglary. Each of these offenses is further broken down by crime classification.

OH Breaking and Entering Laws

Breaking and entering is the least severe of burglary charges and is classified as a 5th degree felony, carrying 6 to 12 months in prison and $2,500 in fines. If you are accused of trespassing in an unoccupied structure with the intent to commit any theft or any other felony, you could be convicted of this charge.


Burglary can be charged as a felony of the second, third, or fourth degree depending on the facts of your case and the evidence against you.

You could be facing charges of Fourth Degree Felony Burglary if you are accused of trespassing in a home of any person when someone else is present or even likely to be present. This offense carries a possible 6 to 18 months in prison and $5,000 in fines.

Third Degree Felony Burglary charges apply when you are accused of trespassing in an occupied structure with the intent of committing any criminal offense. If convicted, you could be sentenced to 1 to 5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

If you are charged with Second Degree Felony Burglary, the prosecution likely believes you trespassed in an occupied structure when someone else is present, with the intent of committing a criminal offense. The fact that someone is there when you commit this offense raises the potential penalties to 2 to 8 years in prison and fines reaching $15,000.

Aggravated Burglary

Aggravated burglary is a first degree felony charge. This means it carries a potential 3 to 10 year sentence and $20,000 if convicted. You could be facing this charge if you trespass in an occupied structure where someone else is present with the intent of committing a criminal offense, and one of the following is true:

  1. You have a deadly weapon, or
  2. You attempt, threaten, or inflict physical harm on another person.

If you are charged with a burglary offense in Ohio, let us put you in touch with a local criminal defense lawyer today.