Ellensburg Burglary Attorney
Prepared to Take on Your Burglary Case
In Washington, burglary is a felony. The class you can be charged with depends on whether you were accused of violating the state's first-degree, residential, or second-degree burglary law. In any case, the penalties you face are steep and include decades to life imprisonment and tens of thousands of dollars in fines. Additionally, with a mark on your criminal record, you may find it hard to take advantage of certain opportunities, such as those involving employment or housing, as your criminal history can influence people's judgments about you and the decisions they make concerning your future.
If you are facing charges, schedule a free initial consultation with our Ellensburg burglary lawyer. At Ellensburg Law, we know a criminal accusation does not make you a criminal. You might have been falsely identified or have made a mistake that you have learned from. Whatever your situation, we want to hear your side of the story and ensure your voice is heard. As a former major crimes prosecutor, Attorney Deborah King has valuable insight into how the other side operates and can use this knowledge to your advantage when developing a strategic defense.
What Constitutes Burglary in Washington?
As noted before, Washington has three separate statutes concerning burglary. Although each of these differs in terms of the specific actions the alleged offender engaged in, they share a couple of similarities.
In general, a person can be accused of burglary in Washington if they:
- Enter or remain unlawfully in a building, dwelling, or structure and
- Intend to commit a crime against a person or property while there
Under RCW 9A.52.010, a person is considered to have entered a place whether their whole body or a part of it moves into or remains on a premises. Additionally, if an object they used to commit the crime or threaten someone is inserted onto or into the building or dwelling, that is considered "entering."
A person enters or remains unlawfully in a building or dwelling when they are not licensed, invited, or privileged to be there.
What Is First-Degree Burglary in WA?
First-degree burglary is the most serious of the three burglary offenses. It occurs when someone enters or remains in a building with the intent to commit a crime, and either they are armed with a deadly weapon or assault someone (RCW 9A.52.020).
First-degree burglary is a class A felony, which is punishable by:
- Up to life imprisonment and/or
- Up to $50,000 in fines
You might be facing severe penalties, but do not lose hope in your case. Depending on the situation, defenses can be raised to challenge the accusations and seek a favorable outcome, such as dropped charges or a reduced sentence. Speak with our Ellensburg burglary attorney to learn about your legal options.
What Is Residential Burglary?
According to RCW 9A.52.025, a person commits residential burglary if they enter or remain unlawfully in a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime. The offense differs from second-degree burglary in that the law is specifically concerned with illegally entering or remaining at a place where someone lives or sleeps.
The crime is a class B felony, penalized by:
- Up to 10 years of imprisonment and/or
- Up to $20,000 in fines
If you have been accused of residential burglary, reach out to Ellensburg Law as soon as possible. We are diligent in investigating these cases and analyzing the evidence to craft compelling defenses. Our attorney is ready to jump into action right away.
What Is Second-Degree Burglary in Washington?
Second-degree burglary also involves unlawfully entering or remaining on property with the intent to commit a crime (RCW 9A.52.030). However, it differs from first-degree burglary in that it does not involve a deadly weapon or assault. It is also distinct from residential burglary in that the law states that the building entered is anything other than a dwelling or vehicle.
Like residential burglary, second-degree burglary is a class B felony, which means a conviction can result in a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and/or a fine not to exceed $20,000. However, second-degree burglary is considered a lesser offense than residential burglary, and that distinction is taken into account during sentencing.
Our burglary lawyer in Ellensburg is prepared to aggressively fight your charge and work toward obtaining an optimal result on your behalf.
Hire an Experienced Burglary Attorney in Ellensburg
At Ellensburg Law, we have an in-depth understanding of Washington's laws and the criminal court process. We are trial-tested and can pursue a just outcome inside or outside of the courtroom.
Will Tirelessly Fight to Protect Your Rights
Served as Chief Counsel in 100+ Trials
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Former Major Crimes Prosecutor
Over 25 Years of Experience