New York Premier Burglary Defense Attorneys

In simple terms, burglary is a crime of entering into a dwelling of another (or any building where he was not authorized to be) with intent to commit a crime. In New York, burglary is a felony and there are several felony levels this crime can be charged as. It can range from a “D” felony, which carries up to seven years in prison, to a “B” felony, which can potentially result in a twenty-five years sentence.

Burglary is not the same as robbery or larceny crimes. The burglary charge can only be used if the defendant entered or attempted to enter a home or a building in order to commit any crime.


Burglary in the Third Degree – New York Penal Law 140.20

In order to obtain conviction under this statute, the District Attorney must prove that you “knowingly entered or unlawfully remained in a building” and that you “had the intent to commit any crime while inside.” Burglary in the Third Degree is a Class D Felony.


In a very simple sense, this is an example of someone who breaks into a home to steal something inside, a classic burglary. However, this is not always the case. We represented a defendants charged with burglary under various circumstances. This included employees who returned to their work places to pick up stuff after they were fired, delivery men who entered into buildings to deliver things, and even a taxi driver who went to his passenger’s home to return a wallet the passenger lost in the cab. The bottom line is that if you enter into a building without authorization with intent to commit a crime, you may be charged with Burglary in the Third Degree.


Burglary in the Second Degree – New York Penal Law 140.25

New York Burglary in the Second Degree (NY PL 140.25) is similar to Burglary in the Third Degree in that it requires trespassing and intent to commit a crime inside. However, in order for the District Attorney to secure conviction under this charge, the prosecutor must prove that during the commission of the crime you or another participant were armed with a deadly weapon, cause physical injury to someone who was not involved in the crime, or threaten to use a weapon.


Burglary in the Second Degree is a Class C Felony, which is also categorized as a violent crime and unlike the Burglary in the Third Degree, it carries a mandatory minimum term of incarceration of 3 ½ years to a maximum fifteen years in prison.


Burglary in the First Degree – New York Penal Law 140.30

New York Burglary in the First Degree (NY PL 140.30) is a class B violent Felony. A conviction for Burglary in the First Degree will result in a minimum term of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum term of 25 years in prison.


The major difference between New York Burglary in the First Degree and burglaries in lower degrees is that Burglary in the First Degree, while being identical to Burglary in the Second degree in other respects, requires that the defendant entered (or attempted to enter) not just any building but a dwelling, a place where people live. So, if a person enters an apartment building in order to commit anything unlawful inside, and in the process he hurt someone or threatened someone with violence, he can be charged with Burglary in the First Degree.


How to Find The Best Burglary Defense Lawyer in NYC

Burglary is a very serious crime. You could face life-long consequences if found guilty. However, just because you were accused of a crime does not make you guilty. You need to protect your rights and your future. You cannot trust your defense to an inexperienced or overworked lawyer. There are many criminal defense attorneys in New York and the process of choosing one may be overwhelming, especially if you never hired a lawyer before. How do you choose the best lawyer for your New York burglary case? We recommend that you do your research before you call law firms. Check out the lawyer’s credentials and reviews. Then you should meet the lawyer in person. You should not make an important decision as hiring your criminal defense lawyer just by reading the lawyer’s website. You want a lawyer who has the experience and the time to obtain the best possible result. But most importantly, you need a lawyer that you are most comfortable with. This is why you need to meet the lawyer and ask the important questions such as about the lawyer’s track record in general and how they plan to defend you in this case.  Unlike many other criminal attorneys in New York, lawyers at our firm are not former prosecutors. All of us always worked on the defense side. We believe that in defense practice it is more beneficial to have defense experience and defense mindset. Many former prosecutors, while being good lawyers, don’t have the defense out-of the-box thinking which can be so beneficial in defending your case. We believe that the best defense lawyers are those who dedicated their careers defending clients. You will find such lawyers at Joseph Potashnik & Associates. Here are the reasons you need the our New York criminal defense lawyers:

Build a Realistic and Effective Defense Strategy

Defending against burglary charges requires more than just stating your side of the story. You need to construct a salient legal defense strategy based on the laws in NYC. You need an attorney with experience in order to do this. A lawyer will listen to you, look at the charges and build a defense strategy that addresses all the relevant points. You can even help with your defense by working with the attorney. A solid legal defense strategy is something you should always  when facing these types of criminal charges.

Scrutinize All the Evidence

A charge of burglary is often heavily dependent on various types of evidence. This could mean video evidence or items in your possession that supposedly do not belong to you. An attorney will take the time to scrutinize all the evidence connected to the case. Your lawyer might bring in experts or argue points that create doubt. Your lawyer might even be able to argue that there was a misunderstanding or that you are the true owner of the property. This can help you to avoid a conviction.

Counter Witness Testimony

Being accused of robbery or burglary usually means that there will be witness testimony in order to prove you are guilty. Witnesses could easily be wrong about what happened or the identity of the person seen committing the crime. Some witnesses might be consciously lying. You need an attorney to counter this type of witness testimony. Your lawyer will know exactly how to question a witness to support your defense and hit key legal points furthering your claims of innocence.

Take the case to Trial

We believe that the best defense tactic in all criminal cases is to treat each case as if it will go to trial. Way too many lawyers push their client to accept plea agreements without giving the defense any serious consideration. We are not those lawyers. We will not convince you to plead guilty if you have a fighting chance at trial. In many cases defendants, unfortunately, plead guilty because their lawyers convince them that they have no chance, not because they are actually guilty. Often, the case is that it is more beneficial for the defendant to accept a plea deal, but we will only recommend it after all other avenues have been exhausted. This means diligently preparing to trial and trying to undermine the prosecutor’s case before trial begins, which may result in lowering of charges. Our New York criminal lawyers are not afraid to go to trial if necessary. We have done it before many times and achieved great results.

Try to Work out A Plea Deal

If the case should not be tried for the benefit of the defendant, the defense attorney should negotiate a plea deal. Most criminal cases are actually settled through negotiations long before a trial ever starts. Your lawyer is going to try to work out a plea deal with the prosecution. This is very common regardless of the evidence against you. A plea deal could reduce the severity of the charges, keep charges off your criminal record or prevent you from spending time in jail. New York criminal attorneys with Joseph  Potashnik & Associates are highly skilled and tough negotiators, the kind you need on your side to reach a favorable plea deal. You cannot do this alone without extensive knowledge of the law in New York.

Argue For a Lower Sentence

There are instances where a conviction is going to be unavoidable because of the evidence or other circumstances. An attorney is necessary in these instances because it might be possible to argue for a lower sentence. A judge has a large amount of discretion when attempting to determine your punishment. An experienced lawyer from Joseph Potashnik & Associates can try to introduce mitigating factors to show your crime is not as serious as first thought. You might be able to stay out of jail or avoid fines with a good attorney.

Stop Intimidating Tactics

You might become the subject of intimidating tactics by people within the criminal justice system. The prosecutor might threaten you with extra charges or might file hostile motions against you. These tactics are sometimes used in New York City to try to intimidate you into accepting a bad deal or just admitting guilt for no reason. Your lawyer will be actively protecting you against these strategies. You do not have to worry about intimidating tactics once you have professional representation.

Can you be deported after a Burglary conviction

Burglary is one of the crimes, which can result in adverse immigration consequences. Under the immigration law, a non-citizen who has been convicted of either aggravated felony crime (under the definition by the immigration statute) or a crime of moral turpitude can be deported. Burglary may be considered an aggravated felony as defined by the statute and it is also considered a crime of moral turpitude. This means that if you are not a citizen and are facing a burglary charge in New York, you need to take it very seriously. Our attorneys have represented hundreds of non-citizens in criminal matters and unlike many other attorneys, we have our own immigration specialist on staff.

If you are facing burglary charges in New York, please contact Joseph Potashnik & Associates today to set up an immediate consultation.