Burglary in Seattle Often Means Jail Time
Recently, the Seattle Police Blotter detailed a police investigation into a Ballard Post Office burglary. While little of value was taken, police received a report that three men had connected a chain from their pickup truck to the front door of the post office, ripping the door off the building. They then grabbed a self-service postage station and sped away.
Police believe that while the burglars thought the postage station contained money or other valuable items, they were likely disappointed that their efforts resulted in little value. The truck belonging to the three suspects, as well as the postal station taken, were recovered and police are investigating the issue.
Burglary in Seattle
Burglary in Seattle involves entering a business or dwelling with the intent of committing a criminal act. Like many criminal offenses, there are “degrees” of burglary in the state of Washington.
First-degree burglary is the most serious and generally means the individual entered a property with the intent to commit a crime and had a weapon in their possession or actually committed an assault. This is considered a Class A felony in Seattle, so is not a charge to be taken lightly. The maximum penalty for a Class A felony is life in prison and/or a $50,000 fine.
Second-degree burglary is charged when a person enters a building other than a residence with the intent to commit a crime and is a Class B felony. Residential burglary is also a Class B felony, indicating that a person illegally entered a residence.
A Class B felony can result in a prison sentence of up to ten years and/or a fine of up to $20,000. There are always additional consequences of a felony conviction aside from criminal penalties.
A felony on your record could prevent you from obtaining employment or renting a place to live. You could be ineligible for a student college loan and could be prevented from obtaining a professional license, regardless of your qualifications.
What Must the Prosecution Prove for a Burglary Conviction?
To prove burglary in the first degree, the prosecutor must prove that you unlawfully entered another’s property with the specific intent to commit a crime against the person or the property. While on the property illegally, you either possessed a deadly weapon or assaulted another person.
Proving burglary in the second degree requires the prosecutor to show you unlawfully entered or remained on another’s property (other than a vehicle or their home), with the specific intent to commit a crime against the person or the property.
To prove you committed a residential burglary, the prosecutor must show that you unlawfully entered the home of another person with specific intent to commit a crime against that person or his or her property.
Defenses to the Seattle Crime of Burglary
Because the crime of burglary requires intent, your attorney may show that you had no intent to commit a crime against a person or the property. You may have been misidentified as the person who committed the burglary and actually innocent of the crime. If this is the case, your attorney will establish an alibi for you—i.e., you were somewhere else at the time of the burglary.
Your defense will depend on the specific facts surrounding your charges and are unique to your situation. It is always a good idea to contact an experienced Seattle criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with a crime.
Contact Our Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you have been arrested for burglary, robbery, or theft in Washington, we can help. Our Seattle criminal defense lawyers know that these are serious charges that could affect your entire life. You deserve to have someone on your side who cares about you and your future. You need Lewis & Laws, PLLC.
At Lewis & Laws, PLLC, we have defended clients in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Kirkland, and throughout the state of Washington. Contact us today at 206.209.0608 or fill out our confidential contact form. Call us today!