New Jersey Criminal Burglary Law

We represent clients charged with N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2; New Jersey criminal burglary complaints and indictments filed in Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Somerset County, Essex County, Union County, and Hudson County.

New Jersey criminal burglary law prohibits unauthorized entries or the remaining in a structure for the purpose of committing an offense.

In the burglary involving unauthorized entry, the state need not prove breaking as proof of an entry without breaking is still an offense.

It must also be proved that the object which was entered was a structure or a separately secured portion of the structure or a research facility.

In addition, it must be proved that the property was not open to the public and defendant did not have a license or privilege to enter.

Finally, defendant entered with a purpose to commit an offense - any offense, not just the offense of theft.

There is no burglary based on an unauthorized entry if at the time the defendant enters the premises it was open to the public or the defendant was licensed or privileged to enter.

Burglary requires that defendant enter with a purpose to commit an offense.

The purpose must be to commit any offense, even a purpose to commit a disorderly persons offense would constitute burglary.

Purpose is proved by circumstantial evidence.

The second type of burglary - remaining in a structure or research facility - the state must prove that defendant remained in secret or stealth and defendant knew he had no license or privilege to remain.

The criminal purpose here must be more than to remain secretly in the place; the criminal purpose must be to commit an offense.

Burglary is a crime of the third degree, although certain circumstances may be present which elevate it to a crime of the second degree.

Under New Jersey criminal burglary law, this offense will be elevated to a crime of the second degree if in the course of committing the burglary the defendant purposely, knowingly or recklessly inflicted, attempted to inflict or threatened to inflict bodily injury on anyone.

The offense will also be elevated if in the course of committing the offense the defendant is armed with or displays what appears to be an explosive or a deadly weapon.

Third degree burglary does not merge with second degree burglary.

A person convicted of burglary while in possession of a firearm must have imposed a minimum jail term during which the defendant is not eligible for parole.

In a case where the purpose was stealing, a possible plea agreement may be entered into with the prosecution to the lesser offense of criminal trespass.

Where there is evidence of damage to the premises, malicious mischief is a lesser offense which could be sought by defendant.

Did You Know

Burglary occurs if one guest at a hotel enters another guest's room without privilege or license to do so and with a purpose to commit an offense.

A person can be guilty of a burglary if he enters or remains in an abandoned structure with a purpose to commit an offense - any offense.

If you have any questions for a NJ criminal defense attorney about a New Jersey criminal burglary charge, please do not hesitate to contact us.