What’s the Difference Between Burglary and Trespassing?

January 25, 2021
criminal act

Sometimes people get convicted for mistakes they haven’t committed. One of the factors that largely contributes to this is ignorance about various laws. Different states have their own laws concerning DUI, murder, burglary, trespassing, and my other offense. 

It is always important to have a basic understanding of different laws to avoid wrongful convictions. In case you get arrested and you aren’t sure of the type of offense you are being accused of, then the best option is to hire an experienced Virginia criminal defense attorney. 

What is burglary? 

Burglary is the unlawful entry into the property of another person with the aim purpose of committing a crime. Burglary of residential property can come in many forms and is punished in various ways in Virginia. The most minor among these is punishable by up to 5 years in prison. However, the circumstances of a residential burglary could carry a penalty as harsh as 20 years to life in prison! 

Although there are forms of burglary between these two extremes, all forms are felonious. The degree of severity and punishment will largely depend on the factors present and how they align with the various burglary statutes in Virginia. Your Virginia criminal defense attorney can explain these to you in greater depth.

You should hire a qualified and experienced lawyer who understands Virginia’s criminal laws. This will increase your chances of mitigating or beating the charge.

What is trespassing? 

Trespassing laws in Virginia are a bit different from those in other states. Many people assume that as long as they have seen someone in their yard or passing near their home, the person has trespassed. However, according to Virginia laws, the most common forms of trespass require that the person be given a prior notice not to pass or enter a certain area for their action to be considered a trespass. 

That means putting clear signs on your property such as “no trespassing”. The other option is to directly tell a person that they are not welcomed in your property at any time. You can also talk to a criminal defense attorney Fairfax VA for more clarification on trespass laws. 

Difference between burglary and trespassing 

Although both of them are crimes, understanding the difference between trespassing and burglary can have a huge impact on your case. This is particularly important when considering the difference between burglary and certain forms of trespass such as trespassing with intent to damage or interfere with property rights under VA Code 18.2-121.

If you find yourself in a situation that seems to confuse burglary and trespassing, then you need to retain a good criminal defense lawyer Fairfax VA. A criminal lawyer can clearly distinguish between burglary and trespassing. 

Just like in most states, burglary is considered more serious compared to trespassing. It is possible for a person to trespass somewhat innocuously. This is different from a burglary which is a criminal act of entering property coupled with the intention additional criminality. 

In order to better understand the difference between burglary and trespassing, consider the intentions of the offender. The action of the person being accused can give the court a clue of their original intention of trespassing. 

But for burglary, the intention is always clear in the mind of the accused. It will take a competent and experienced criminal lawyer Fairfax VA to convince the judge otherwise. The evidence presented in court will also play a big role in determining the outcome of the case. 

Why a lawyer is important 

As mentioned earlier, the best way to distinguish the difference between burglary and trespassing is by hiring a season Fairfax criminal attorney. Criminal lawyers have extensive knowledge and experience about different aspects of the law. 

Retain a criminal lawyer as soon as you are arrested or informed of the criminal charges against you. Doing so will give your lawyer ample time to collect evidence and present a strong case in court. Representing yourself or hiring an amateur lawyer will negatively affect the case.  Rudolphi Law has a highly experienced criminal defense lawyer in Virginia. Call today for a free consultation.