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Burglary in Norfolk County

Burglary in Norfolk

Burglary in Norfolk County is a crime that involves the illegal breaking and entering into a property at night with the intention to commit a crime and is regarded as a felony that attracts harsh penalties.

According to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 Section 16, anyone who breaks and enters a building, ship, vessel, or vehicle or attempts to, with the intent to commit a felony at night, is liable to 20 years in jail or two and a half years in a house of correction if convicted.

Additionally, the breaking and entering of a building, ship, vessel, or vehicle, whether in the daytime or nighttime, with intent to commit a misdemeanor is punishable by six months jail term or a $200 fine or by both imprisonment and fine.

According to data provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s UCR Program, there were 4 cases of Burglary in Norfolk county between 2016 and 2019. One case in 2016, none in 2017 and 2018, and three cases in 2019.

What is the Difference Between a Robbery and Burglary in Norfolk County?

Robbery in Norfolk County is the crime of taking or an attempt to take a person’s belongings with the use of threat, violence, or force. Robbery is considered a violent crime committed against an individual, while burglary is classified as a property crime. There were 8 cases of robbery in Norfolk between 2016 and 2019, including 4 cases in 2016, 1 case in 2017, 3 cases in 2018, and no cases in 2019. A crime is considered a robbery if any or all of the following took place

  • The use of any physical force or violence against the victim
  • Threatening or coercing the victim to give up belongings
  • Instilling fear of bodily harm on the victim
  • Taking or attempting to take another victim’s property

On the other hand, a crime is considered burglary in Norfolk County if

  • There was an unlawful breaking and entering
  • The crime was committed at night time
  • The house was broken and entered with the intent to commit a felony

How to Beat a Burglary Charge in Norfolk County

To successfully beat a burglary charge in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, the offender may require legal assistance. Criminal defense attorneys with experience and skills defending burglary cases can assess the facts of the case and available evidence to create a suitable defense for the accused, which may include

  • Claiming lack of intent due to involuntary intoxication. If successful, the court may dismiss the case on grounds that the prosecution could not prove intent, a fundamental element of the crime.
  • Arguing that the defendant is innocent. This is the most basic burglary defense aimed at convincing the court and creating plausible doubt in the minds of jurors. Using this defense, the lawyer could challenge any evidence presented by prosecutors or provide an argument that describes the defendant as an unlikely culprit.
  • Relying on entrapment. The defense may claim the defendant was baited by law enforcement officers to committing the crime.

What are the Degrees of Burglary in Norfolk County?

According to Section 14, Chapter 266 of Massachusetts General Laws, burglary is categorized as

  • Armed burglary isunlawfully entering into an occupied property at night, while armed, and with intent to commit a felony, or assaulting a person who has legal right to be on the property. The penalty for armed burglary is life imprisonment in the state prison or for any term not less than ten years.
  • Whoever commits burglary while armed with a machine gun, assault weapon, rifle, shotgun, or firearm is punishable by life imprisonment in the state prison or any term of years not less than 15 years.
  • A repeat offender may be sentenced to life imprisonment or at least 20 years imprisonment.
  • Breaking and entering into a dwelling house with the intent to commit a felony without arms is punishable by a term not more than 20 years in prison. For repeat offenders, the penalty is a minimum of 5 years imprisonment.

Residential Burglary vs. Commercial Burglary

Residential burglary, also known as domestic burglary, is the unlawful breaking and entering of an inhabited dwelling house, while commercial burglary is the illegal breaking and entering into a shop, store, or any other commercial building with the intention to commit a petty or grand theft.

For residential burglary in Norfolk County, the building must be a home, apartment, or any other kind of structure that a person lives in.