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Burglary Defense Attorneys in Dothan Alabama

For those who have been arrested and charged with burglary in the state of Alabama, there are a handful of important things to consider, including: a charge is not a conviction and you have the right to defend yourself against any and all charges, and that if you are convicted of burglary, the penalties could be severe. As such, working with an experienced Alabama criminal defense attorney when facing criminal burglary charges is highly advised.

At the law offices of Smith & McGhee, P.C., our team of Alabama criminal defense lawyers and staff will review your case for free, and then go to work building your defense and protecting your rights. If you have been charged with burglary, do not wait a moment longer – contact our law office today to begin the process of preserving your best interests now.

What Is Burglary in Alabama?

In Alabama, the crime of burglary is classified by different degree, with burglary of the third degree being the least severe (classified as a Class C felony) and burglary of the first degree being the most severe (classified as a Class A felony). As found in Alabama Code Section 13A, the difference in the three degrees of burglary are as follows:

  • Burglary in the third degree. Burglary in the third degree occurs when a person:
    • Enters illegally, or remains illegally, within a building or dwelling with the intent to commit a crime 
  • Burglary in the second degree. Second degree burglary occurs when a person enters or remains illegally within a building with the intent to commit a crime and:
    • Is armed with explosives;
    • Is armed with a deadly weapon; or
    • Causes injury to another person.
  • Burglary in the first degree. The most serious burglary crime is burglary in the first degree, in which a person unlawfully enters or remains illegally within a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime and:
    • Is armed with explosives;
    • Is armed with a deadly weapon; or
    • Causes physical injury to another person.

Essentially, for a person to be convicted of burglary, the prosecution must prove that the person entered or remained within a dwelling or a building illegally, and that that person had the intent to commit a crime. The degree of burglary that a person may be charged with/convicted of depends upon the type of structure that was entered (i.e. building vs. dwelling) and whether the person had weapons or explosives. Keep in mind that the prosecution must only prove intent to commit a crime, and does not need to prove that the person actually committed a crime to secure a burglary conviction.

The Penalties for Burglary in Alabama

Being charged with burglary can have serious penalties if the person is convicted of the crime. A Class A felony in Alabama is penalized by an imprisonment period of at least 10 years, but not more than 99 years. The convicted person may also be required to pay a large fine. Depending upon the circumstances, the convicted person may also be required to participate in community service, serve a probationary period, and more. If the person is convicted of the less serious offense of a Class C felony burglary (burglary of the third degree), the penalty is still an incarceration period of at least one year, although not more than 10 years.

Keep in mind that no matter the length of jail time or the sum of the fee that you may be required to pay if you are charged with burglary in Alabama, a criminal conviction can have a significant effect on your life. A criminal felony conviction for burglary will show on your permanent criminal record, and may be available for future landlords, employers, and more to see. This may limit your opportunities, and make it very challenging for you to get back on your feet again.

Defenses to Burglary Charges

When you hire the skilled criminal defense attorneys at the law offices of Smith & McGhee, P.C. for legal representation when charged with burglary, we will immediately begin exploring different defenses to the charges against you. Some of the most common defenses to burglary charges that may be appropriate for your circumstances include:

  • Lack of intent to commit a crime;
  • Consent to enter the property (and therefore did not enter nor remain on the property illegally); or
  • Entrapment

In many cases, actual innocence is also a defense to burglary. When this is the case, we will help you to build your case, gather evidence on your behalf, and refute evidence gathered by the prosecution against you. We can also file motions to have evidence suppressed or withheld from court, ensure that your constitutional rights are protected, and negotiate with the prosecution to secure a plea bargain when a jury verdict of innocent feels impossible.

Why Work with the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers at the Law Offices of Smith & McGhee, P.C.

At the law offices of Smith & McGhee, P.C., our experienced Alabama criminal defense lawyers have what you are looking for in a legal professional when your future is on the line. Choosing the right attorney is one of the most difficult decisions you will make when facing criminal burglary charges – we want you to know that our lawyers have the breadth of legal knowledge, skills, experience, and pure talent your case demands and deserves.

If you want to do everything possible to secure the best outcome for your criminal case, you need a lawyer who cares about you. When you contact the law offices of Smith & McGhee, P.C. our compassionate legal professionals will always put you first. To learn more and start working on building your case today, contact our law firm at (334) 702-1744. You can also request more information by sending us a message using the online form found on our website. An initial consultation is offered free of charge.

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