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Oakland County Burglary Lawyer

Michigan burglary crimes are governed by case law and numerous state statutes relating to breaking and entering crimes. While many of those crimes are classified as felonies under Michigan law, the severity of the charge and the sentence often depend on factors such as whether weapons were involved, whether the alleged crime occurred in a home or commercial building, and whether anyone was home at the time.

Penalties for burglary crimes can be extremely harsh, with some charges carrying up to 20 years jail time. If you have been accused of a burglary crime, contact an Oakland County burglary lawyer immediately. An experienced Oakland County attorney can review the charges against you and determine what legal defenses are available to you so that you can make an informed decision going forward.

Common Burglary Related Offenses Under Michigan Law

Home and vehicular (motor vehicle) offenses are generally the most common burglary-related offenses under Michigan law.

Degrees of Home Invasion

Michigan’s home invasion statute applies when a burglary charge relates to residences that are either owner-occupied or rentals. There are three degrees of home invasion offenses.

First-degree offenses are the most serious and apply when an armed person breaks into and enters a home with the intent of committing an assault, theft, or other felony while inside. At least one other person must be inside the home. First-degree offenses are felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison and $5,000 in fines.

Second-degree offenses apply when a person breaks and enters a home with the intent to commit an assault, theft, or another felony while inside. It does not matter if there is anyone inside of the home at the time and the accused need not be armed. It does not matter if the accused actually succeeds in committing a crime while inside; intent alone is sufficient to be charged. Second-degree offenses are felonies punishable by up to 15 years in prison and $3,000 in fines.

Third-degree offenses are the least severe of the three. These apply when a person breaks into and enters a home with the intent of committing a misdemeanor or when the accused is violating probation, parole or pre-trial release, or a protective order. Third-degree offenses are felonies punishable by up to five years in prison and $2,000 in fines.

Vehicular Invasions

There are also many Oakland County burglary charges related to breaking into a motor vehicle. The specific charge and penalty will depend on whether the vehicle was damaged during the break-in, the value of what was taken, and whether there were any prior offenses.

Charges can be combined to justify higher sentences when part of a spree of car break-ins. Vehicular invasions can range from misdemeanors with $500 fines and 90 days’ jail time to felonies with up to ten years in prison and fines in the tens of thousands of dollars.

How an Oakland County Burglary Attorney Can Help

Burglary charges in Oakland County can carry steep penalties. Having convictions on your record can impede employment and housing opportunities and even damage family relationships.

If you have been accused of burglary, contact an experienced Oakland County burglary lawyer to discuss your situation, evaluate your defenses, and ensure that your rights are effectively represented.