Capable Burglary Attorney Serving Greenville & Upstate Clients
Burglary in South Carolina is defined as entering a building or dwelling which you do not have permission to be in with the intent of committing a crime, such as theft, robbery, or assault. Burglary is treated more seriously than simple trespassing due to the intention to commit a crime therein the dwelling. If you are facing charges related to burglary, you need to retain a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible, as first degree burglary can result in life imprisonment.
Classes of Burglary
There are three classes, or degrees, of burglary crimes with the first-degree being the most serious and the third-degree being the least serious.
First-degree burglary occurs when you enter a dwelling without permission with the intent to commit a crime and aggravate the crime. Aggravating actions include using a weapon or violence as means to commit a crime, enter the dwelling at nighttime, or have two or more previous burglary convictions on your record. If convicted of this felony, you could be sentenced to a minimum of 15 years to life in prison.
Second-Degree (Violent & Nonviolent)
Second-degree violent burglary occurs when you enter a building without permission with the intent of committing a crime and using aggravating factors such as those mentioned above. The difference between a first- and second-degree burglary is that a first-degree burglary refers to a dwelling specifically, meaning a place where people regularly sleep and reside. A second-degree burglary typically applies to nonresidential spaces or buildings. Second-degree offenses are punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Nonviolent second-degree burglaries are characterized as entering a dwelling without permission with intent to commit a crime but without any aggravating factors. They are punishable by up to ten years in prison.
Third-degree burglary entails entering a building without permission with intent to commit a crime therein without any aggravating factors. It is punishable by up to five years in jail for a first offense and ten years for a second offense.