Burglary, Larceny and Robbery

Burglary, commonly known as breaking and entering, is committed when a person “enters or remains unlawfully in a building with intent to commit a crime therein.” In addition to homes and other structures, the term building encompasses vehicles and boats.

Burglary is Classified in Different Degrees

Note that it is common parlance to say that a home “was robbed” but the proper, legal terminology is that the home was burglarized (or "burgled" in British English). Both robbery and burglary are classified in degrees based on the manner of commission. While most often the crime that is the object of the burglary is some sort of theft (called larceny in Connecticut law), any crime will satisfy the requirement. 

First degree burglary occurs when an individual commits a burglary while armed, inflicts an injury to a person during the burglary or enters the dwelling at night. If armed, a mandatory minimum prison sentence applies. 

Burglary is always a felony. There is no such thing as misdemeanor burglary. It may be possible to negotiate a substitution down to criminal trespass, but that could be difficult. Courts and prosecutors take burglaries, especially residential burglaries, very seriously. Jail time is highly probable for a burglary, especially if there were other people in the home. 

HOME INVASION

Home invasion is a much more serious version of burglary. It is committed when an individual enters or remains unlawfully in a dwelling while another person (a resident or occupant) is present and, in the course of committing a crime therein, the perpetrator is armed or commits or attempts to commit a felony against a person inside. It is an A felony and carries a ten-year mandatory minimum sentence. 

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Larceny

Larceny is the wrongful taking of property from its owner with the intent to deprive that person of property or to appropriate that same property to himself or a third person. There are many ways for larceny to be committed, including shoplifting, embezzlement, extortion, receiving stolen property.

Larceny is classified into degrees based on the value of the taken property and the manner in which it was taken. First-degree larceny is a class B felony, second-degree larceny is a class C felony and third-degree larceny is a class D felony. Fourth-degree larceny is a class A misdemeanor, fifth-degree larceny is a class B misdemeanor and sixth-degree larceny is a class C misdemeanor.

Robbery

Robbery is essentially an act of larceny by force or threat of force. A person commits robbery when, “in the course of committing a larceny, he uses or threatens the immediate use of physical force upon another person for the purpose of:

  • (1) Preventing or overcoming resistance to the taking of the property or to the retention thereof immediately after the taking; or 
  • (2) compelling the owner of such property or another person to deliver up the property or to engage in other conduct which aids in the commission of the larceny.”

One does not have to be armed to commit robbery. Like burglary, robbery is always a felony and a very serious one at that. Rarely does a person convicted of robbery not receive jail time. 

CRIMINAL TRESPASS

Criminal trespass is committed when a person enters or remains in a place after being told not to be there. Depending on the degree, it could be either a posted sign or a personal communication. Unlike burglary, criminal trespass is a misdemeanor and does not require the intent to commit a crime.

Simple Trespass

Simple trespass is not a crime but an infraction. The only potential penalty is a fine, not jail. Sometimes, with good attorney representation, this can be a substituted charge for a criminal trespass. 

Burglary Attorney in Connecticut

If you are facing larceny, robbery, burglary, home invasion or trespass charges, Connecticut attorney Chris DeMatteo possesses the knowledge and experience to defend you. He has practiced criminal defense law for years in state and federal courts. He will listen and discover the facts, craft a defense and stand by your side to protect your rights. Contact Chris for a free consultation.