Burglary has always been considered an especially dangerous offense, particularly when it’s committed in the first degree. First degree burglary occurs in a dwelling whereas second and third degree burglary occur in buildings. A dwelling involves the potential for confrontation between the burglar and the owner and family of the dwelling. The risk of death or serious bodily injury is much greater in a home setting than a mere building and this is reflected in the potential sentence is of up to 25 years.
Burglary in the Third Degree (PL 140.20) in Albany
A person is guilty of burglary in the third degree when he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building with intent to commit a crime therein.
Burglary in the Third Degree is a Class D Felony and carries a possible prison term of up to 7 years.
Burglary in the Second Degree (PL 140.25) in Albany
A person is guilty of burglary in the second degree when he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building with intent to commit a crime therein, and when:
- In effecting entry or while in the building or in immediate flight therefrom, he or another participant in a crime:
- Is armed with explosives or a deadly weapon; or
- Causes physical injury to any person who is not a participant in the crime; or
- Uses or threatens the immediate use of a dangerous instrument; or
- Displays what appears to be a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm; or
- The building is a dwelling.
Burglary in the second degree is a Class C Felony and carries a possible prison sentence of up to 15 years.
Burglary in the First Degree (PL 140.30) in Albany
First degree burglary has all of the elements listed above, except it must occur in a dwell instead of a building. It is also an affirmative defense in a case where the defendant displays a weapon, but it isn’t loaded. Burglary in the First Degree is a Class B Misdemeanor with a possible prison sentence of up to 25 years.