Defense Against Burglary Charges
If you have been accused of burglary, you have the right to fight the charges. An experienced attorney can help. At Pearson & Paris, we have more than 60 years of combined legal experience that we will use in your defense. Perhaps more importantly, our top criminal defense attorney is a former senior prosecutor who knows how district attorneys handle these cases. That knowledge allows us to create effective strategies ranging from negotiation to courtroom battles.
Whether in the Louisville area or anywhere in Kentucky, burglary generally occurs where a person knowingly breaks an entrance into a building, with intent to commit a crime therein. The crime may be aggravated depending on whether the entrance was made into a dwelling, the person threatened another during the burglary or the person used a deadly weapon.
Possible Consequences for Burglary
Burglary is generally defined as the unlawful entry into a building with the intent to commit a crime inside of that building. If the burglar is armed with a deadly weapon or causes physical injury to anyone who is not a participant in the crime, it is a class B felony, punishable by a sentence of imprisonment of not less than 10 years nor more than 20 years. K.R.S. § 511.020. If the burglary is committed with respect to a dwelling, it is a class C felony, punishable by a sentence of imprisonment of not less than 5 years nor more than 10 years. K.R.S. § 511.030. If the burglary is committed with respect to a building, other than a dwelling, it is a class D felony, punishable by a sentence of imprisonment of not less than 1 years nor more than 5 years. K.R.S. § 511.040.
Possible Defenses for Burglary
Whether a person is charged with burglary of a commercial structure or burglary of a dwelling, the general approach to defending a burglary remains the same. First, the statute requires that the person acted “knowingly” in entering or remaining unlawfully on the premises. Many times, a person will enter the premises with permission, only later to find out that the permission was terminated without the knowledge of the person. This sometimes happens, for example, when a person’s employment is terminated, but returns to the place of employment to gather personal belongings. Second, a defense may be based on the fact that the person had no intent, at the time of the entry or afterward, to commit any crime. We have seen cases where a person who is heavily intoxicated mistakenly enters the wrong house, not realizing he or she is not quite home yet. It would be important to conduct a thorough investigation to prove that the person simply did not have the intent to commit a crime within the dwelling.
Other defenses may apply. This includes an analysis of any violation of constitutional rights, such as the right to remain silent, the right to counsel, the right to have any searches and seizures based on probable cause, a proper warrant, and the right to due process in the proper preservation of evidence that may be used against you. Many other defenses are available that rely on scrutinizing and exposing weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, such as biased or incompetent witnesses, flawed crime scene investigation, flawed administration and procedures in collecting breath, blood or urine for forensic testing, incompetent computer evidence, flawed photo lineups and inaccurate crime scene/accident reconstructions.
It is important that you hire a skilled and experienced burglary lawyer to defend you in a burglary case in Louisville, Jefferson County, or across Kentucky.
Call us at 502-688-5200 in the Greater Louisville area and across the state of Kentucky.
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For an initial consultation with a Louisville criminal law attorney, contact Pearson & Paris. We represent clients throughout Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, and Bullitt counties in such cities as Louisville, St. Matthews, Lyndon, Prospect, Anchorage, Hurstbourne, Middletown, Jeffersontown, Shively, Crestwood, Goshen, Buckner, La Grange, Simpsonville, Shelbyville, Mt. Washington and Shepherdsville.