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Burglary is more commonly known as breaking and entering. Most of the charges that fall under this term are felonies that can mean years in prison and heavy fines. For that reason, it is important to prepare a strong defense if you are facing these charges.

Anyone facing a burglary charge in Hoover may need an experienced attorney. A Hoover burglary lawyer may present you with the different options available to properly defend against this type of charge.

What Are the Different Charges of Burglary?

Most people know burglary as the crime of breaking and entering. In Alabama, the crime of burglary is broken into degrees. Each degree has its own penalties and standards:

  • 1st-degree burglary
  • 2nd-degree burglary
  • 3rd-degree burglary

1st Degree Burglary

First-degree burglary is a Class A felony, with a possible sentence of up to 99 years or life in prison. A person commits first degree burglary if they knowingly enter a dwelling without permission, or they remain in a dwelling without permission. Under this definition, a dwelling is any building normally used to sleep, live, or lodge. They also must intend to commit a crime and be armed with explosives or a deadly weapon and causes injury to a person not involved in the crime.

2nd Degree Burglary

Second-degree burglary is a Class B felony, with a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison. A person commits second degree burglary if they meet the same elements as first degree, EXCEPT it is a building and not a dwelling.

A person can also commit second degree burglary if they unlawfully enter an occupied dwelling-house with the intent to commit a theft or another felony.

3rd Degree Durglary

Third-degree burglary is a Class C felony, with a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison. A person commits third degree burglary if they knowingly enter or unlawfully remain in a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime or they knowingly enter or remain in an unoccupied building with the intent to commit a crime.

Possession of a Burglar’s Tools

Alabama also has an additional crime related to burglary – possession of a burglar’s tools. This is a Class C felony, with a possible sentence up to 10 years in prison. A person commits possession of a burglar’s tools if they possess any explosive, tool, instrument or other article adapted, designed or commonly used for committing forcible entry or theft and intends to use the device in the commission of an offense. Speak with a Hoover burlgary lawyer to learn more.

Potential Defenses Against Burglary Accusations

Depending on the circumstances, a competent Hoover burglary lawyer will know how to defend against a burglary charge.

The most obvious defense is actual innocence which involves claiming the individual did not actually commit the crime of burglary. As the prosecution bears the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt, it may be possible to create doubt in the mind of the jury as to whether the evidence actually shows the crime of burglary was committed.

Another way to defend against a burglary charge in Hoover is to assert the individual did commit the act, but that those actions do not amount to the actual crime of burglary.

Some of these types of defenses may include:

  • Asserting that the owner or occupier of the building or property gave consent to enter
  • Asserting that intoxication prevented the intent to commit a crime once inside the building
  • Asserting the individual was convinced to do a crime they would otherwise not do

How a Hoover Burglary Attorney Can Help

A proper defense for a burglary committed in Hoover is very fact dependent. Only an experienced Hoover burglary lawyer will know how best to craft a defense that has a good chance of winning in a court of law.

It is important that you seek out an attorney to assess the specific facts of your case and help you navigate the legal process. To learn more about your legal options, call today to set up a free consultation.