New Jersey has set up strict and severe penalties for offenders accused of burglary, even if the offender is only a juvenile. When your child is charged with a crime such as burglary, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can provide practical advice and potentially abate the underlying offense. The criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John F. Marshall are prepared to use their skills to assist you in obtaining a satisfactory outcome. Our team of attorneys is prepared to defend your son or daughter throughout all phases of a juvenile burglary complaint and disposition. We handle juvenile complaints statewide, including those filed in Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Union County, Ocean County, Essex County, Somerset County and Hudson County.
NJ Burglary Law as Applied to Juveniles
Your child could be charged with burglary, under N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2, if he or she enters a research facility, structure, or portion of that structure with the purposes to commit an offense and the juvenile has no license or privilege to enter that structure. The distinction between a regular theft offense and a burglary offense is the unlawful entering of a structure, which includes an apartment, hotel room, or business office. It is important to note that a juvenile will still be charged with a burglary offense, regardless of whether a “breaking and entering” had occurred, so it is irrelevant whether the accused actually physically broke into the building. There is also an emphasis on the trespassory element of burglary—that the actor entered without lawful permission. A juvenile can be charged with burglary, despite general permission to enter a home, so long as his or her entry was in excess of the permission granted, in some circumstances this can even include the juvenile’s own residence. Regina v. Jones (1976).
Grading of Juvenile Burglary Offenses
If a juvenile is charged with a burglary offense, it is usually a third degree offense and this is punishable by up to 2 years of incarceration. However, if in the course of committing the burglary, the juvenile inflicts or threatens to inflict bodily injury on another person, or if he or she is armed with a deadly weapon, then they will be charged with a second degree offense and face up to 3 years in detention.
A juvenile charged with burglary is a serious matter that should be handled by an experienced juvenile lawyer because there is a possibility of incarceration. The Law Offices of John F. Marshall has been successfully representing juveniles and their families for over forty (40) years. Our lawyers are available to assist you throughout the entire state, including Monmouth County, Ocean County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Union County, Somerset County, Essex County, Hudson County, and Morris County. Come into one of our six offices today and talk to a juvenile defense attorneys for free.