Burglary in the First Degree

Burglary in the First Degree (NY PL 140.3), the most serious and significant degree of Burglary handled by New York criminal defense attorneys, is a “B” violent felony. Burglary in the First Degree carries a minimum term of five years imprisonment and a maximum term of twenty five years in state prison.

Like both Burglary in the Third Degree and Burglary in the Second Degree, the legal language appears the same, but there is a significant difference. Instead of the requirement of a building, Burglary in the Third Degree requires that the building in question be a dwelling. In non-legal terms, a dwelling is where one sleeps at night such as an apartment or a house. Therefore, if you knowingly enter or remain in a dwelling with the intent to commit any crime at all, you are guilty of Burglary.

New York Penal Law 140.30(1)

If while entering the dwelling, inside the dwelling or while leaving the dwelling you or another participant is armed with a deadly weapon (a gun, for example), you are guilty of Burglary in the First Degree.

New York Penal Law 140.30(2)

If while entering the dwelling, inside the dwelling or while leaving the dwelling you or another participant causes physical injury (something potentially as “insignificant” as a bloody and red nose) to another person who is not involved in the crime, you are guilty of Burglary in the First Degree.

New York Penal Law 140.30(3)

If while entering the dwelling, inside the dwelling or while leaving the dwelling you or another participant uses or threatens the use of a dangerous instrument (can be a knife, bookend, umbrella or something dangerous based on the manner in which is used as opposed to its inherent nature), you are guilty of Burglary in the First Degree.

New York Penal Law 140.30(4)

If while entering the dwelling, inside the dwelling or while leaving the dwelling you or another participant displays what appears to be a firearm, you are guilty of Burglary in the First Degree. It is important to note that it is an affirmative defense (one that you must establish) that the firearm, gun, rifle, etc. was either not operable or unloaded. Keep in mind, even if your affirmative defense is successful, you can still be convicted for the lesser crimes of Burglary in the Second Degree and Burglary in the First Degree.

For further information on the crime of Burglary in the First Degree, please review the New York Criminal Lawyer Blog at newyorkcriminallawyer-blog.com. Information regarding Burglary and other statutes as well as legal decisions and newsworthy cases can be found there as well.

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Call us at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today to discuss your case and possible defenses.

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