COVID-19 Notice: We Remain Here For You. Learn More.

Burglary

What is Burglary?

Burglary generally involves a person entering and/or remaining in another person's property with the intent to commit a crime against a person or property. There are, however, three types of burglary in the State of Washington. They are: burglary in the first degree, burglary in the second degree, and residential burglary. All are considered felonies and are punishable by imprisonment and/or a fine.

Burglary in the First Degree:

According to RCW §9A.52.020, a person may be charged with burglary in the first degree if a person:

  1. Unlawfully enters and/or remains in another person's property
  2. With the intent to commit a crime against a person or his property; AND
  3. While entering or remaining in the property the actor or his accomplice is either (a) armed with a deadly weapon, OR (b) assaultsassaults a person.

This does not only include entering a home or other structure, but may also involve a car, boat or other such property.

Penalties for Burglary in the First Degree in Washington:

Burglary in the first degree is a class A felony, which RCW §9A.20.021 defines as punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison, a maximum fine of $50,000, or both. The court may require restitution instead of a fine.

Burglary in the Second Degree:

According to RCW §9A.52.030RCW §9A.52.030, a person may be charged with burglary in the second degree if a person:

  1. Unlawfully enters and/or remains in another person's property OTHER THAN a vehicle or dwelling
  2. With the intent to commit a crime against a person or his property.

Penalties for Burglary in the Second Degree in Washington:

Burglary in the second degree is a class B felony, which RCW §9A.20.021 defines as punishable by up to ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $20,000, or both. The court may require restitution instead of a fine.

Residential Burglary:

According to RCW §9A.52.025, a person may be charged with residential burglary if a person:

  1. Unlawfully enters and/or remains in another person's dwelling OTHER THAN a vehicle
  2. With the intent to commit a crime against a person or his property.

Penalties for Residential Burglary in Washington:

Residential burglary is a class B felony, which RCW §9A.20.021 defines as punishable by up to ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $20,000, or both. The court may require restitution instead of a fine. It is important to note that, even though residential burglary is in the same class as burglary in the second degree, it is considered a more severe offense.

Defending a Burglary Charge:

There are many defenses to a burglary charge. Of course, your defense strategy depends upon the degree of the offense, among other things. However, there are two basic elements involved in all burglary offenses: (1) unlawful entry upon a person's property and (2) an intent to commit a crime against a person or property. Therefore, one of the basic ways to defend a burglary charge is to challenge either of these elements. For example, you may argue that you did not, in fact, enter another person's property; that you entered but your entry was lawful; or that you entered, maybe even unlawfully, but that you did not enter with the intent to commit a crime against a person or property. Your defense strategy is crucial, and the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney is strongly advised.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Mark C. Blair has no rival in his field in Seattle. A consummate professional. Communication was brief, straightforward, easy to understand, and without a typical condescending tone you can sometimes experience from attorneys on top of their field. Correspondence was timely and always affective. Any in need of criminal defense, should have a conversation with Mr. Blair, and you will quickly see and feel, no further contacts, referrals, or phone calls need be made. The money and time that can be saved by streamlining future contact and collateral damage in the sentencing process will far and away be worth every penny of the fee structure. Thank you very very much Mark Blair. N.Mark French
★★★★★
Sara Kim of BlairKim is a great attorney. I had never before had representation or dealt with the legal system and she made it very easy for me. She converted the legalese into laymans terms for me and helped me to understand the steps of the process. When I hesitated on certain decisions, Sara gave me the confidence and encouragement to proceed – especially since it was most beneficial to me in the long run. Sara is very straightforward and professional while also being personable and pleasant to deal with. Tamara
★★★★★
Sara Kim was the perfect lawyer for our situation. We were determined not to involve the courts in our divorce. Within the first 30 minutes of consultation, Sara proposed an equitable formula for division of property which we used to negotiate an agreement that felt fair to both of us. Our flat fee arrangement with Sara covered the filing of paperwork which alleviated much pressure for us during a very stressful time. I highly recommend Sara for her flexibility, professionalism, and efficiency. Carrie