Burglary Lawyer in Pennsylvania

Burglar coming in the door breaking into a house at night

Burglary is a serious offense that can result in harsh penalties that affect all aspects of your life. If you or someone you love has been charged with burglary in Pennsylvania, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. At Gross McGinley, LLP, our burglary lawyers keep up with the latest developments in Pennsylvania criminal law and offer exceptional legal representation without judgment.

What to know about burglary charges in Pennsylvania:

What constitutes burglary in Pennsylvania?

Are there different levels of burglary charges in Pennsylvania?

What types of penalties could I face if convicted of burglary?

What are some burglary defense strategies?

Should I negotiate a plea agreement for burglary charges?

How do criminal defense attorneys prepare for trial?

What’s involved in presenting an effective defense?

What does it mean to demonstrate reasonable doubt?

How does sentencing for burglary work in Pennsylvania?

How do burglary lawyers handle appeals?

How can the criminal defense lawyers at Gross McGinley, LLP, help with my case?




Burglary Definition in Pennsylvania

Whether someone goes into a home, business, or another type of property, entering a building to commit a crime is considered burglary in Pennsylvania. It’s also important to keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to steal anything to be charged with burglary. Our criminal defense attorneys can clarify the specifics of the burglary charges you are facing so you understand what you’re up against.




Grading of Burglary Charges in Pennsylvania

Burglary and other theft charges are categorized and graded depending on the specifics of the alleged crime. Burglary is usually charged as a felony of the first or second degree in Pennsylvania. The grading and associated penalties of the charge depends on myriad factors, which may include the circumstances of the offense and whether any aggravating factors apply.

The most serious crimes involving burglary usually involve attempts or threats to commit bodily injury. They are charged as felonies of the first degree in Pennsylvania. If a perpetrator possesses a deadly weapon or if they cause, attempt, or threaten to inflict injury on another person, they may face an assault charge as well.

If someone enters a building (that is not a residence) with the intention of committing a crime, but no one is present, a defendant may be charged with a felony of the second degree.

Our burglary lawyers are well-versed in all aspects of criminal law in Pennsylvania. We help you understand the charges against you and advise you on the possible impact they may have on your life.




Penalties for Burglary in Pennsylvania

A conviction for a felony of the first degree in Pennsylvania may include a prison sentence of up to 20 years and $25,000 in fines. Being convicted of a second-degree felony can result in a maximum prison sentence of up to 10 years and a $25,000 fine.

The charges and penalties you may face depend on the specifics of your situation. Prior criminal history, use of a deadly weapon, other crimes that may have been committed during the burglary, and whether the building is residential or commercial can all have an impact on potential charges and penalties.

In some cases, defendants may be eligible for probation or diversionary programs depending on the circumstances and individual case evaluations. You may also be required to pay restitution to victims. Our criminal defense attorneys advocate for your best interests and work to create effective defense strategies that may result in reduced charges and penalties and desired outcomes at trial.




Possible Defense Strategies for Burglary

Our burglary lawyers tailor defense strategies according to the specific circumstances surrounding your case. A few common defenses include:

  • Innocence – In many cases, one of the main defenses against burglary charges is innocence. If you have a solid alibi or a criminal defense attorney can show that the prosecution’s evidence is weak when it comes to proving you committed a crime, claiming innocence can be a viable defense strategy.
  • Consent – Another strategy that is often employed is making the argument that the occupant or owner of the property gave consent for you to enter the building. This defense can be particularly effective in some cases, especially those in which it is reasonable to believe that you thought you had permission to enter the property.
  • Lack of intent – Because burglary charges involve the intent to commit a crime inside a building, lack of intent can be a valid defense.

If the building or structure was abandoned or open to the public, these factors can play an important part in a defense strategy. Issues such as unlawful search and seizure, entrapment, mistaken identity, and other defenses may also apply. You can count on the burglary lawyers at Gross McGinley, LLP, to develop innovative defense strategies and fight for your rights.




Negotiating a Plea Bargain

Burglary cases are often resolved through plea bargain negotiations with prosecutors. A plea bargain allows you to avoid trial and may lead to reduced charges and more lenient sentencing. It’s critical to work with a seasoned criminal defense attorney who is experienced in handling plea bargain negotiations. Our burglary lawyers always keep your best interests in mind and advise you on the potential drawbacks and benefits of accepting a plea deal.




How We Prepare for Trial

Being prepared for trial is vital in any criminal case. Collecting and evaluating evidence, deciding how to present it, creating exhibits, examining the prosecution’s case, and coming up with specific courtroom strategies are essential elements of trial preparation. Although you aren’t obligated to testify at trial, your criminal defense attorney will thoroughly prepare you and any witnesses they plan to call for testimony.




Presenting a Strong Defense

Crafting convincing opening and closing arguments are important elements of presenting a strong defense. Disputing the prosecution’s evidence and theory about what took place, appropriate cross-examination of witnesses, and testimony or expert witnesses are just a few ways to strengthen a defense. The way we present your case in the courtroom depends on many different factors relevant to the specifics of your situation.




Establishing Reasonable Doubt

Demonstrating reasonable doubt is also a key element of presenting a strong defense. Presenting alternative theories of the crime, highlighting inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case, and a focused cross-examination strategy are all ways to plant reasonable doubt in a jury’s mind. Our defense attorneys understand how to use evidence, testimony, and other aspects of the case to demonstrate reasonable doubt, which can lead to a not-guilty verdict.




Sentencing for a Burglary Conviction in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, a judge usually decides which penalties are appropriate for the crime. One thing that may lessen the severity of your sentence is presenting mitigating factors like lack of a criminal record, addiction issues, and whether it was a crime of relative necessity, such as stealing food to feed a hungry child. Our burglary lawyers advocate for your interests to achieve the best possible results for you.




Pursuing an Appeal

Appeals for a burglary conviction in Pennsylvania are complex. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the legal requirements and deadlines that must be followed. Proper grounds for appeal must be established. Some common issues that lead to appeal include unclear jury instructions, prosecution witnesses lying under oath, excluded evidence that may have benefited your case, and violations of the rules of evidence. We work to create compelling arguments for a successful appeal and keep you fully informed about what’s going on with your case throughout the process.




Why Choose the Burglary Lawyers at Gross McGinley, LLP?

An experienced, dedicated attorney can make all the difference when it comes to criminal defense. Our team includes former prosecutors familiar with common strategies prosecuting attorneys often utilize. Our criminal defense attorneys create a specialized defense that meets the specific needs of your case. We believe that everyone deserves quality legal representation without judgment. We’re here to guide you through the legal process with compassion, perseverance, and professionalism.

Contact a Burglary Lawyer in Pennsylvania

At Gross McGinley, LLP, we’ve provided first-rate legal representation to clients in Pennsylvania for more than 40 years. We provide a wide range of legal services, including criminal defense, family law, business law, litigation, estate planning, business and employment law, real estate, and more.

If you’re facing theft, robbery, or burglary charges, contact us or call us at 610-820-5450 to schedule a consultation with a criminal defense attorney in Pennsylvania.

Burglary Lawyer in Pennsylvania Team

View Profile

Andrea Figueroa


    Have questions? Need to speak to someone about your legal needs? We're here to help.

    I agree to receive electronic marketing communications from Gross McGinley, LLP.