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Understanding the difference between burglary and trespassing

| Apr 28, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

New York property owners want to protect their property, calling law enforcement when someone may cause harm. The property owner only has to think the perpetrator plans to commit a crime for an arrest to happen.

Defendants of these crimes need to understand the difference between trespassing and burglary charges and how those affect them once arrested.

Regulation supporter victory

CoveSmart defines trespassing as someone entering another’s property without permission and staying even after being asked to leave. On the other hand, burglary involves the forceful entry onto that property. Burglary is a felony charge, while trespassing is not.

To face burglary charges, the defendant may only have the intent of committing a crime. Typically, second-degree burglary is done on commercial property, while first-degree happens on residential. Third-degree burglary is the lesser of the crimes and involves being on a property without anyone present. However, aggravated burglary involves harming someone while forcefully on someone else’s property.

Sometimes, defendant’s face multiple charges involving both trespassing and burglary, non-violent or aggravated. Attempted burglary faces similar charges to those caught in the act of stealing.

Jail release changes

The Observer-Dispatch outlined the state law changes that went into effect January 1. These changes took away the ability for defendants to obtain bail for jail release. Instead, defendants must have non-monetary conditions on their release regardless of any prior convictions, previous warrants or community ties.

Second-degree and third-degree burglaries fall under the new law changes. Related crimes that face similar bail changes include criminal mischief, burglar tool possession, computer trespassing and second through fifth-degree conspiracy. Trespassing does not fall under the new law changes.


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