About Being Charged With Burglary in Massachusetts
In the state of Massachusetts, burglary is defined as entering any type of location (a home, an office building, or even a car) without permission and with the intent of committing a crime, usually stealing whatever is within.
In order to be charged with burglary, it’s not necessary to physically break into a house or building; even entering through a carelessly unlocked door is enough to subject yourself to prosecution. It’s also not necessary to actually succeed in stealing anything; once again, your mere unauthorized presence (especially at night) is all the district attorney needs to press charges.
Seasoned Massachusetts Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer and Former Prosecutor
Throughout his prosecutorial career, Attorney Noonan argued and tried hundreds of criminal cases including homicide, attempted murder, arson, rape, armed robbery, drug crimes, driving under the influence and cases involving many other serious criminal offenses. As a criminal defense attorney alone, Gerald J. Noonan has successfully handled more than 340 criminal trials.
Home Invasion, a More Serious Crime
You may also be charged with burglary whether or not anyone was home while you were in the house. However, if someone is home, you could be charged with the more serious crime of home invasion:
Massachusetts General Law 265 s18c states that anyone who knowingly enters the home of another knowing or having reason that someone is in the house and remains in the house while armed with a dangerous weapon and uses force or threatens the imminent use of force upon a person in that house will be guilty of home invasion.
Like most states, Massachusetts law distinguishes between two types of burglary: armed and unarmed.
- Unarmed Burglary: A first conviction for unarmed burglary is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 20 years, and a previous burglary conviction (either armed or unarmed) dictates a five-year minimum.
- Armed burglary (aggravated burglary) is treated even more seriously: use of a knife or blunt instrument dictates a minimum prison term of 10 years, and of any type of firearm, a minimum of 15 years. If you have a previous burglary conviction on your record, either armed or unarmed, you’re looking at a minimum prison term of 20 years for a conviction for armed burglary.
If you have been arrested and charged with burglary—whether armed or unarmed, and whether or not it’s your first such offense—you need an experienced lawyer at your side who can plead down your case with the district attorney or (if circumstances warrant) fight the charges head-on. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan have decades of experience with felony charges, and will work to secure the best possible outcome for your case.
Charged with Unarmed or Armed Burglary? Get a Free Consultation
Our knowledgeable and experienced Brockton criminal defense law attorneys at The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan are available to assist clients throughout all of Southeast Massachusetts, including but not limited to Brockton, Taunton, Bridgewater, Weymouth, Hingham, Quincy, Plymouth, Marshfield, Attleboro, Canton, Stoughton and all smaller cities and rural areas in Southern Massachusetts. We also serve the counties of Plymouth, Norfolk and Bristol, Massachusetts.
No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away. Call us to schedule a free no-obligation case review and consultation at (508) 588-0422 and you will have taken your first step to find out how best to confront this important matter. You can also click here to use our Free Case Evaluation Form.