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Burglary and Criminal Trespass Lawyer in Pennsylvania

Burglary and criminal trespass are serious crimes in Pennsylvania. Hiring a burglary and criminal trespass lawyer can be helpful if you have been charged.

Are you facing criminal charges for burglary or criminal trespass? The attorneys at Kitay Law Offices can help you mount a strong defense. First, make sure you understand the following information about burglary and criminal trespass. This will help you grasp the basics before you speak with a burglary and criminal trespass lawyer.

What is Burglary in Pennsylvania?

Under Pennsylvania law, burglary is entering a building with the intent of committing a crime.  This is illegal.

Burglary is a felony throughout Pennsylvania. The degree of the felony depends on the circumstances of the crime. The prosecutor’s goal is to get a burglary conviction. However, the prosecutor must prove, beyond a reasonable reasonable doubt, the defendant did both of the following:

  • did not have permission to enter a private property
  • did so with the intention of committing a crime while inside

Intent to Commit a Crime

Proving that a defendant entered the building with the intent to commit a crime is an important piece of a prosecutor’s case. However, it is not necessary that a crime was committed for a guilty verdict to stand. It is only necessary to prove there is an intent to commit the crime for a burglary conviction. This is why you should always speak with a burglary and criminal trespass lawyer to review the facts of your case.

Criminal Trespass

Unlike burglary, with criminal trespass the defendant must knowingly enter a private property without the permission or authority. A private property for this charge is not simply a building or structure open to the public, like a shopping mall. In order to secure a charge of criminal trespass, the prosecutor must prove the defendant did disobey warning of entry signs without permission.

However, the warning signs must be clearly posted. This is to say, the warning signs are not obstructed by trees or dirt. Thus, ignoring a no trespassing sign, lying about who you are or breaking down a locked gate would support a criminal trespass charge.

Categories of trespass with penalties include a fine, jail time, or both include:

  • Defiant Trespass: This is when a person enters onto property even though there was a notice against doing so.
  • Simple Trespass: When a person knowingly enters private property with the intent to bother the owner or do some damage to the premises. The damage is not as severe as a burglary.
  • Agricultural Trespass: Trespassing onto land used as private property
  • Agricultural Biosecurity: Trespassing into agricultural biosecurity areas: Biosecure areas are places for the management of biological threats. Such threats may be from foreign or widespread organisms, pandemic diseases and bioterrorism.

    Burglary and Criminal Trespass Lawyers

    Build a Strong Burglary Charge Defense with Kitay Law Offices

Contact a Burglary and Criminal Trespass Lawyer at Kitay Law Offices

If you are facing a burglary or trespass charge, you can contact a criminal defense lawyer at Kitay Law Offices today by calling 888-KITAYLAW. We’ll review the specific facts of your situation and advise you regarding how we can create the best defense for your case. Furthermore, we will make sure a burglary and criminal trespass lawyer is assigned to your case.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can a Burglary and Criminal Trespass Lawyer help me beat burglary and criminal trespass charges?

To begin with, your lawyer will ask a lot of questions. A legal team should conduct a lot of research about the burglary charge.

For example, there will be a need to determine the following:

  • Was the building or structure abandoned at the time of the offense?
  • Was the premises open to the public?
  • Did the defendant have license or privilege to enter the property?

What is included with a criminal trespass charge?

Someone can receive a criminal trespass charge if they knowingly:

  • do not have authorization to enter or remain in a structure
  • enter a structure through a scam
  • break into any building or occupied structure
  • go onto another person’s land to commit a crime

Depending on the facts of a case, the charges could be a summary offense, misdemeanor, or felony property crime.

What does a defiant trespass charge include?

Defiant Trespass means that someone knowingly did not have permission to enter or remain in a place where there is a no trespassing sign posted or actual communication from another person saying “Stop!” Defiant Trespass may be a summary offense, third-degree misdemeanor, or first-degree misdemeanor property crime. A burglary and criminal trespass lawyer can help you determine the likely scenario for your unique situation.

What exactly does intent to commit a crime mean?

The defendant’s state of mind at the time of entry into the building without permission is the determining factor. For a burglary conviction, the defendant must have both decided to commit a crime, and then entered the building to commit a crime.

The crime does not have to be accomplished in order to prove that there is an intent. Proving the defendant did have intent to commit a crime in a building in which he or she is not permitted will satisfy the two elements of burglary. As result, a conviction is more likely.

What is a home invasion?

In Pennsylvania, home invasion is indeed a burglary. The big difference here is that the burglary does not take place in someplace like an office building. It takes place in an actual residence where people live. Consequently, a home invasion can be punished more severely. It may be a felony of the first degree if someone is at home at the time of the burglary.

Pennsylvania follows the Castle Doctrine

Interestingly, home invasions can prove even more dangerous for the defendant than a plain burglary.  This is because Pennsylvania follows a rule called the Castle Doctrine.  In fact, many states have this same rule (feel free to ask your burglary and criminal trespass lawyer for more details). Under this rule, Pennsylvanians have the right to use force to defend themselves or others.  Put simply, you can use force to protect yourself when:

  • you believe the force is immediately necessary;
  • the force is used in order to protect yourself; and
  • you are protecting yourself from another person who is using unlawful force against you

However, there are some circumstances where using force to protect yourself is not allowed.  Some examples may include:

  • resisting arrest
  • you do not actually believe the use of force is necessary to protect yourself
  • you know that you can avoid the use of force by retreating

In addition, the Castle Doctrine allows you to use force to protect others under certain circumstances.  Here, use of force is allowed when:

  • the use of force would be justified in order to protect yourself;
  • based on your observation of the circumstances, you believe that the person you are trying to protect would be justified in using force to protect themselves; and
  • you believe that your use of force is necessary in order to protect the other person

Is it illegal to possess burglar’s tools?

It is illegal to possess burglar’s tools. However, the prosecutor must establish that there is or was the intent to use them in a burglary. The penalties for possession of burglar’s tools include a fine of up to $1,000, up to 3 years in prison, or both. Because these charges are so serious, we always recommend going over your case with a burglary and criminal trespass lawyer.

Examples of burglar’s tools include:

  • Hammers and Screwdrivers – Hammers and screwdrivers are often in a burglar’s toolbox. A hammer can be used to break a window or break through a door. A screwdriver loosens exposed screws and to pry open locks. In addition, these tools are easy to hide and transport.
  • Crowbars, and Slim Jims – A crowbar is the most common tool used by burglars because it is simple to use when prying open a door or window while breaking into a residence or vehicle.

How often does a burglary occur in Pennsylvania?

As of 2016, Pennsylvania experienced 35,520 burglaries per year.  That same year, Philadelphia, alone, had almost 7,000 burglaries.  Further, data compiled as recently as 2018 shows that Pennsylvania has experienced at least 27,000 burglaries every year since 1960.

dayetzi mendoza
dayetzi mendoza
18:59 02 Nov 18
I highly recommend them. They fight for your case until you win!!! I’m very content with my results.
David Daiello
David Daiello
15:54 02 Nov 18
Mr. Ken Kitay is very professional and I have been dealing with him and known him for about 15 years. He has been not only my attorney,but we have used him in several family members cases as well. When you deal with mr. kitay and his staff ,you're not only a client ,your family! Mr. Kitay and his team only know one thing ,your best interest and how to win!! On behalf of myself and my family, there's no one better we can recommend, A TRUE WINNING TEAM!!! And on a final note ,my family not only had a great attorney, he is part of our family for life. Thank you and may God bless you and your staff as you have blessed my family .
Jocelyn Gabriel
Jocelyn Gabriel
16:06 21 Sep 18
I have known Ken through a mutual friend for over 2 years. Over those 2 years Ken has been a great mentor, friend and my own personal attorney. His staff is helpful and responsive to all my questions and provides great service. Ken has a good team and they're great at what they do. I strongly recommend Ken to anyone who needs an attorney!
Iliana Cruz
Iliana Cruz
20:26 20 Aug 18
Ken was very caring and concerned about my legal situation. Ken was also very attentive and showed me the direction to take. The law firm handled my social security case and did an excellent job. I didn't have to do anything. I'll refer all my friends and family to Kitay Law offices they are amazing.
Erica Julia
Erica Julia
20:12 20 Aug 18
Ken gave me good advice and tried to help me as much as he could. He gave me a couple of different options and directions to take for my legal issue. Id refer all my friends and family to Ken
Maria Garcia
Maria Garcia
16:40 17 Aug 18
Ken Kitay is a great attorney. I think he is very kindhearted, smart and knows what he is doing. I feel very comfortable with him it's like I have known him forever. I recommend all my friends and family to Kitay Law Offices.
Maiker Lora
Maiker Lora
22:41 05 Jun 18
While no one wishes to find themselves injured, one word describes Kitay The Best . Kitay knows what he is doing. Ken is really knowledgable, trustworthy, smart and knows the right people... Kitay is an attorney who can guide you through the process. I was very impressed with Kitay's ability. I always refer all my friends and family to Ken Kitay.
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Yanissa de Leon
Yanissa de Leon
2020-03-13T16:19:29+0000
Great recommendation , Paul is awesome!!
Rocio Alava
Rocio Alava
2020-02-07T18:32:46+0000
excelente servicio muy buenas personas. los recomiendo.. te hacen sentir muy seguros y te ayudan mucho..
Monica A Masteller
Monica A Masteller
2020-01-02T19:58:11+0000
Excellent service, Excellent Lawyers, Best Law Firm in Lehigh Valley!
Yudy LR
Yudy LR
2019-10-05T14:14:25+0000
Fue dificil la mala experiencia que me tocó vivir que me llevó a buscar la ayuda legal de esta firma de abogados, quienes me han representado muy bien... me siento muy complacida y satisfecha por su buen trabajo y su buen trato... mi agradecimiento en especial es para Raysha
Gilda Martinez
Gilda Martinez
2019-08-16T21:13:14+0000
My girlfriend & I recently visited Kitay Law Office for a consultation , recommended by a friend . The services were great even though Rysha couldn’t take the case herself she pointed us in the right direction & we are very thankful .
Lori Capriglione
Lori Capriglione
2019-08-16T14:51:13+0000
The staff returned calls in a timely manner
José Fernandez
José Fernandez
2019-08-13T15:44:04+0000
Muy excelentes te ayudan y pelean por tus beneficios laborales ! Los recomiendo ..Marta es muy amable y atenta!!
Carla Buezo
Carla Buezo
2019-08-07T23:40:09+0000
Los numero #1 en todo el area de Pennsylvania. gracias por el apoyo a la comunidad hispana. Ellos an sido los abogados de mi familia por mas de 10 años. En casos de inmigración y en mi negocio.Perla y Marta son mis amigas por más de 10 años muy profesionales.Yo refiero a todos mis amigos y familiares a la s oficina de abogados de Kitay.
Yulianys Salazar
Yulianys Salazar
2019-08-07T01:44:51+0000
muy profecionales y excelente servicio al cliente, estoy tranquila de estar trbajando con ellos demuestran buena calidad humana y eso es dificil de encontrar, los recomiendo de corazon nuestra comunudad latina.
Dario Martinez Morillo
Dario Martinez Morillo
2019-07-31T15:58:58+0000
Estoy completamente satisfecho con este abogado de alentado es uno de lo mejor abogado que yo podido conocer me ayudó bastante y profesionalmente bien en mi caso es tuve una experiencia muy bien se los recomiendo
Enrique Aguirre
Enrique Aguirre
2019-07-27T18:15:59+0000
nos atendieron muy bien,y fue un placer conocernos, los felicito y los recomiendo.
Dalianna Martinez
Dalianna Martinez
2019-07-18T18:50:28+0000
Very good Service, thetas help a lot
N Fernandz Ortz
N Fernandz Ortz
2019-07-14T20:32:45+0000
exelente servicio muy confiables
Evelyn Liriano de Hernandez
Evelyn Liriano de Hernandez
2019-07-12T02:11:15+0000
i recommended Kitay 100% because the way they tread me very responsables and human be...thank you
Carlos H. Cordova
Carlos H. Cordova
2019-07-11T21:14:05+0000
Muy buena atención al cliente muy buena información
Yudiana Liz
Yudiana Liz
2018-12-18T20:59:39+0000
Me siento sumamente agradecida,con los servicios que recibí de Kitay law offices y de todos las agradables personas que forman parte de esta oficina,sigan así ayudando y representando a los que necesitamos de sus servicios,gracias bendiciones. Yudiana Liz. I feel very grateful, with the services I received from Kitay law offices and all the nice people who are part of this office, continue to help and represent those of us who need your services, thank you blessings. Yudiana Liz.
Angel Robert Ramirez
Angel Robert Ramirez
2018-11-15T02:03:21+0000
Los servicios ofrecidos por el personal de la Oficina son excelentes, tanto si vamos en persona o si llamamos por telefono. La persona que recibe a los clientes es muy amable y siempre preocupados por los requerimientos de los clientes. Excelentes Servicios!
Waldemar Morales Ortiz
Waldemar Morales Ortiz
2018-11-09T01:55:38+0000
I definitely will recommend Kitay law office they have excellent outstanding staff in Allentown office , they are friendly and professional they will help you out with your Law services.; )
Misael Rodriguez
Misael Rodriguez
2018-11-07T21:50:36+0000
Cuando estuve en la oficina de Allentown buscando ayuda para mi caso, inicialmente fui atendido por la señora Marta GUIDO , con la sorpresa de oírla hablar en español. Durante la conversación con la abogada, la señora Marta siempre estuvo muy atententa para ayudarme. Fue muy cortés y profesional. Le estoy muy agradecido con ella y con todos los empleados de esa oficina.Misael Rodríguez.
Luz Muñoz
Luz Muñoz
2018-11-07T02:25:21+0000
En la oficina de Allentown, la señora Marta fue muy amable cuando fuimos a averiguar para un caso de mi esposo y siempre está dispuesta para ayudar y su forma de tratarlo a uno de la mucha confianza y tranquilidad a uno es una excelente empleada
Yolanda Mulero
Yolanda Mulero
2018-11-05T20:50:24+0000
Excellent service. Would recommend Kitay group to any one who needs and attorney.
Mendez Luz
Mendez Luz
2015-03-10T11:57:37+0000
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