Dayton Burglary Attorneys
Defending Against Burglary Charges in Ohio
In Ohio, burglary charges are taken extremely seriously and come with severe penalties. The repercussions of any theft crime can be life-altering, with potential consequences ranging from hefty fines to substantial prison time.
With your reputation, freedom, and future at stake, you need legal representatives you can depend on when you are facing burglary charges. Our Dayton burglary lawyers at L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC have over 50 years of combined legal experience and can offer the comprehensive, compassionate advocacy you deserve. No matter the circumstances, we will carefully analyze every aspect of your case, walk you through your options, and prepare an aggressive defense. We will always fight for the best possible result.
If you have been charged with burglary, do not wait to discuss your case with our team. Schedule a free initial consultation by calling (937) 685-7006 or contacting us online today.
What Is Considered Burglary in Ohio?
In Ohio, burglary is defined as illegally entering or remaining in any building with the intent to commit a criminal offense therein. This might include a residence, a business, or any other structure. Significantly, it does not matter whether the intended crime was actually committed. The focus is on the unlawful entry and the intent to commit an offense, which is enough to warrant a burglary charge.
Ohio law defines several different degrees of burglary based on the type of property entered, the presence of any individuals in that property at the time of the unlawful entry, and whether a deadly weapon was used. For example, “breaking and entering” is a fifth-degree felony that involves trespassing in an unoccupied structure with the goal of committing theft or any other felony.
Trespassing in a temporary or permanent habitation (such as a home or apartment) where someone is present or likely to be present constitutes a fourth-degree felony. Trespassing in any occupied structure for the purpose of committing any crime is considered a third-degree felony.
Second-degree felony burglary charges will likely be pursued if someone trespasses with the goal of committing a criminal act in any occupied structure where a person is present or a habitation where a person is either currently present or likely to be present.
Aggravated burglary is a first-degree felony. These charges will usually be pursued if the alleged perpetrator trespasses in an occupied building where people are present with the intent to commit a crime and the alleged perpetrator has a deadly weapon. Aggravated burglary charges may also be pursued in the same scenario if the alleged perpetrator inflicts, attempts to inflict, or threatens to inflict physical harm on someone present in the structure.
Burglary charges are not always straightforward, and it is essential that you fully understand the charges brought against you. Our Dayton burglary attorneys can review your charges, possible outcomes, and potential defense strategies.
Penalties for Burglary in Ohio
In Ohio, the punishment meted out for burglary is determined by the degree of the felony. A first-degree felony charge brings harsher penalties than a third-degree felony charge, for example.
Being convicted of any burglary crime in Ohio can lead to incarceration and hefty fines:
- Fifth-Degree Felony. Up to 12 months of prison time and fines of up to $2,500.
- Fourth-Degree Felony. Up to 18 months of prison time and fines of up to $5,000.
- Third-Degree Felony. Up to 36 months of prison time and fines of up to $10,000.
- Second-Degree Felony. Up to 8 years of prison time and fines of up to $15,000.
- First-Degree Felony (Aggravated Burglary). Up to 11 years of prison time and fines of up to $20,000.
Ohio's sentencing structure escalates based on the frequency of offenses in some circumstances. This means that if you have certain previous burglary convictions on your record and are convicted a second or subsequent time, you could face even harsher penalties.
A burglary conviction in Ohio also has additional indirect consequences beyond these immediate penalties. It could result in a loss of certain rights (such as owning firearms or voting while incarcerated), difficulty in finding employment, and a criminal record that could affect future opportunities. These potential punishments underscore the necessity of having capable and dedicated legal representation to fight for your rights and help you navigate the complexities of the legal system.
Potential Defense Strategies for Burglary in Ohio
When facing burglary charges in Ohio, one or more of several potential defense strategies may be able to effectively combat the allegations. Each case is unique, and the effectiveness of a defense strategy often hinges on the particular facts and evidence at hand. Our Dayton burglary lawyers can evaluate the specifics of your case and develop a robust defense.
Potential defense strategies may involve demonstrating:
- Lack of Intent. One of the key components of a burglary charge is the intent to commit a crime. Establishing that you were not planning to commit a crime inside the premises can form a powerful defense.
- Mistaken Identity. In some instances, the accused may not be the actual perpetrator but instead a victim of mistaken identity. This situation tends to arise in cases reliant on eyewitness testimony, which can be flawed and unreliable.
- Consent. Proving that you had lawful permission to enter the premises or had no reason to know your entrance was unauthorized can form a substantial defense.
- Insufficient Evidence. The prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that a crime was committed. If the evidence is weak, incomplete, or improperly obtained, we can argue for a dismissal of the charges.
- Duress or Coercion. Demonstrating that you were forced or threatened into committing the alleged burglary can significantly impact the outcome of your case.