Burglary is a serious crime under Pennsylvania law just as it is under the laws of every jurisdiction in the United States. Sometimes referred to as “breaking and entering” (though this term is somewhat antiquated and misleading), burglary occurs when an individual enters a building or structure with the intent to commit a crime therein. It is this intent that separates the crime of burglary from trespassing.
The law surrounding the crime of burglary can be nuanced and extremely fact-specific; the focus in the vast majority of burglary cases where defenses are available is whether the defendant had the intent to commit a crime inside the structure at the time of entry. See Commonwealth v. Magnum, 654 A.2d. 1146, 1147 (Pa. Super. 1995).
Under Pennsylvania law, all burglaries constitute felony offenses of varying degrees with a felony 1 offense carrying the greatest possible penalties and a felony 2 carrying the least (to learn more about the grading of offenses under PA law and the maximum penalties, see here).
Under Pennsylvania law, burglary is broken down as follows:
The “grading” of burglary offenses (whether or not it is a felony 1 or felony 2) as well as the minimum sentencing exposure (a function of what is called the “offense gravity score” or OGS) is also based on whether a person/occupant was present at the time of entry.
So, in descending order of seriousness, Pennsylvania law penalizes burglary as follows:
There are several important points to note:
If you or a loved one has been charged with burglary, act quickly and contact the State College criminal defense attorneys at Rehmeyer & Allatt. Burglary is a serious offense and a conviction for burglary can have life-altering consequences. Our criminal defense lawyers have extensive experience representing individuals charged with burglary and other serious felony offenses. Contact our State College office today for a free consultation: 814-343-9860.