Montgomery County Burglary Attorney

FBI Data for 2016 indicates there were over 1.5 million burglaries reported across the country. This is approximately a 28% decrease from 2012 and is roughly 30% lower than in 2007. Burglaries generally account for around 20% of all the property crimes that are reported. For every 100,000 people in Pennsylvania, there are an estimated 250 burglaries reported annually.

Neighboring State Comparison: 2017 Burglaries






New York




Burglary (§ 3502)

A burglary may occur in various ways and may be a first or second-degree felony offense. It involves unlawful entry to a private structure or public occupied structure that is not open to the public at the time with the intent to commit a crime. The offense may be a second-degree felony if the building or structure is not designed for “overnight accommodations” and has nobody located inside; otherwise, it is a first-degree offense. Other scenarios include unlawfully entering a private or public structure that is not open to the public at the time with the intent to create bodily injury or to commit theft of a substance listed in the Controlled Substance, Drug Device, and Cosmetic Act.

A charge of burglary typically involves other criminal offenses associated with the crime. When there are charges that are lesser than first or second-degree felony offenses, the alleged offender may not be charged with them in addition to burglary. The Pennsylvania Code defines an occupied structure as being a place or vehicle that may accommodate people overnight or is a place of business, regardless of whether an occupant is there.

Common Defenses Used

There are several commonly used defenses involved with these charges. One is that the building or structure that was entered had been abandoned. Another is that the building or structure was accessible to the public. The alleged offender may claim to be licensed or otherwise privileged to enter.

Similar Offenses

Criminal trespassing (§ 3503) is one similar offense that is often confused with burglary. It occurs when someone knowingly enters a building or structure although they are not permitted to do so. If the individual gains entry through subterfuge or covertly remains in a public place after it is closed they may be charged with a third-degree felony offense. The offense is elevated to a second-degree felony if access to the premises is gained by “breaking into” it or by intimidating someone.

  • Felony of First Degree: Punishable by a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine
  • Felony of Second Degree: Punishable by a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine
  • Felony of Third Degree: Punishable by a maximum sentence of 7 years in prison and a $15,000 fine

How to Choose a Defense Lawyer

Those facing allegations of burglary or other felony offenses should seek to retain a defense attorney that is familiar with this realm of legal practice. First and foremost, the potential for a significant prison sentence definitely exists. One longer-term consequence is having a felony conviction on your record can impede your ability to obtain certain employment opportunities or other pursuits that may involve a criminal background check.

Attorneys for Criminal Defense in Montgomery County

Our Criminal Law Team understands what is at stake when facing felony charges such as burglary. You owe it to yourself to retain very experienced legal counsel. Contact the office today at 888-535-3686.

Contact Us Today!

The LLF Law Firm Team has decades of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the LLF Law Firm today! Our Criminal Defense Team will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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