Friday, August 24, 2012

Increased Penalties For Burglary Are Pending in NJ

Pending legislation upgrades second degree burglary of a residence to first degree if the actor is armed. Due to the danger to human life which is always present during a home invasion, the NJ Assembly passed A-1035 on March 15, 2012. This bill is now on the desk of Governor Christie. The bill is sponsored by Assemblymen Anthony Bucco of Morris and Somerset, Ralph Caputo of Essex, Michael Patrick Carroll of Morris and Somerset and Jon Bramnick of Morris, Somerset and Union. Burglary is defined in the bill as entering or surreptitiously remaining in a dwelling or structure adapted for overnight accommodation of persons. The text of the bill includes that no one need be present when the burglary occurs. To be considered armed under the bill, the actor may display "what appears to be" explosives or a "deadly weapon." In the situation of a burglary, the actor and the victims are often surprised to encounter each other within the residence. The results are frequently deadly and the actions the parties may be confusing to each other. An actor encountered by a homeowner may be perceived as armed by virtue of an object the actor is holding with no intent to use the object as a weapon. The terms of this statute will greatly increase the penalties for such an actor to up to 10-20 years in prison and $200,000 in fines. This blog is for informational purposes only and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney regarding your specific matter. If you are a defendant in a burglary matter, you should consult an experienced criminal law attorney immediately in order to protect your rights. For more information on burglary, robbery, theft, shoplifting or other criminal law matters in New Jersey visit

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