In Utah, burglary charges may involve more — much more — than simple theft.
Our state’s statutes classify a variety of serious crimes under this innocuous-sounding label. And in fact, you needn’t steal anything at all to be charged and convicted.
How Utah Laws Define Burglary
If you enter a building with the intention of committing a crime, you may be charged with burglary, even if you don’t take anything.
The important distinction here is that you don’t have to actually commit the act with which you are charged. The prosecutor simply must prove that you had the intent to do so.
The crimes for which a burglary charge can be leveled include assault, sexual battery, lewd behavior and, yes — theft. That said, a burglary charge can be brought against you if you committed, or had the intent to commit, any type of felony when you entered a building.
Aggravating Factors in Utah Burglary Charges
Utah statutes allow the attachment of aggravating factors to many crimes, rendering them eligible for more severe punishment.
Some potential aggravating factors include causing bodily harm to the victim or using a weapon. The charges may be elevated also if the victim was unusually vulnerable, if the offender was in a position of authority over the victim or if the crime was unusually cruel or depraved.
Burglary charges qualify — at minimum — as third-degree felonies. If the crime is committed in a home, it may become a second-degree felony. Aggravating factors raise it to a first-degree felony.
Minimum penalties involve a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison. For aggravated convictions, the offender faces a $10,000 fine and a potential life sentence.
Fight Utah Burglary Charges with an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
The ambiguity that can potentially be involved with a burglary charge can work against you or — with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in your corner — it can work for you.
Anything from false allegations to a lack of evidence can be used to fight the charges.
Criminal defense attorney David Paul White has an impressive track record of successfully defending those who have been falsely accused of committing a crime, or who have been victimized by exaggerated allegations.
When you engage the Law Office of David Paul White, our team of legal experts goes immediately to work on your behalf. We leave no stone unturned in investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding your case, and work diligently to ensure the most favorable outcome possible.
Don’t delay in contacting us if you have been accused of committing a crime. The Law Office of David Paul White is your strongest advocate when you face any criminal allegations, including Utah burglary charges.