Burglary is a very serious criminal charge, no matter where you are. But in some states, the burglary laws are particularly complex and confusing. In Virginia there are several laws that are related to burglary, making it sometimes difficult to understand what you are up against.
This page is designed to provide an overview of the burglary laws of Virginia. In order to know exactly what you are up against, a consultation with a local attorney is in order.
Virginia Burglary Laws
Burglary is defined as breaking and entering someone’s home in the night time with the intent to commit a felony or larceny within. Whether or not you succeed in committing the felony or larceny makes no difference.
The penalty you face for a basic burglary charge is 5 to 20 years in prison. However, if you were armed during the offense, you will face Class 2 felony charges which carry 20 years to life in prison.
Burglary with the Intent to Commit Murder, Rape, Robbery or Arson
If you commit a burglary at night, even if the door was wide open or unlocked, or in the daytime, where you had to break in, with the intention of committing a serious crime like murder, robbery, arson or rape, you could be charged with this offense. It is typically a Class 3 felony, carrying 5 to 20 years in prison. However, if you are armed, the crime carries 20 years to life.
Burglary with the Intent to Commit Larceny, Assault and Battery or other Felony
If you commit burglary at night without “breaking” or in the daytime with “breaking” and entering, and with the intent to commit larceny, assault and battery, or another felony, you could be charged with statutory burglary.
A statutory burglary offense carries 1 to 20 years in prison. If you are armed, however, the charge is elevated to a Class 2 felony, carrying 20 years to life in prison.
Being charged with burglary is not the same as being convicted. You still have options. By working with a defense lawyer, you can determine the best course of action for your case, from working out a plea agreement to fighting the charges at trial. Your particular defense strategy will depend on a number of factors, but your defense lawyer is there to help and there to help ensure your rights are protected throughout the entire process.
If you’ve been charged with a burglary crime in Virginia, contact our offices today to discuss how we might be able to help.