Columbus Aggravated Burglary Attorney
Convicting a person of aggravated burglary in Columbus, Ohio, requires police and prosecutors to prove that several related criminal offenses occurred. The complexity of the charge and the felony penalties that can result from being found guilty make seeking assistance from an experienced and dedicated defense lawyer from Leist Warner a must for anyone who is accused of aggravated burglary.
Trespassing and Deadly Threat or Physical Injury Make Burglary ‘Aggravated’
Getting any burglary charge to hold up in court requires showing that the person accused trespassed. Any taking of property or attempt to steal that does not involve trespassing can only be prosecuted as robbery or fraud. According to § 2911.21 of the Ohio Revised code (O.R.C.), criminal trespass includes entering any building or piece of land without the permission or knowledge of the owner or occupant. Lying or misrepresenting oneself to gain admission, staying after being asked to leave, and crossing a property line without realizing it can all bring trespassing charges.
The actual charge of burglary also requires showing that the trespassing occurred because the accused person intended to steal something or did take possession of something illegally. Beyond that, several factors can make the theft aggravated. As listed in O.R.C. 2911.11, the actions that aggravate an attempted or actual burglary are:
- Trespassing when an another person (i.e., the alleged victim) is present
- Threatening or causing physical injury, mental anguish, or emotional distress
- Possessing a deadly weapon, typically interpreted to mean a gun, while trespassing
Breaking and Entering Is Treated Separately
The common understanding that breaking and entering involves using some kind of force to get inside a building is not the legal definition of that offense. Rather, the charge often shortened to “B-and-E” or “B&E” covers criminal trespass when no one else is present to be considered a victim. No doors need to get kicked in, windows broken, or walls damaged to constitute breaking and entering, only the absence of premises owners or occupants. Because of this fine legal distinction, safecracking counts as a special category of burglary and B&E under Ohio state law.
The Exact Charge Matters Greatly
Aggravated burglary involving the use of a deadly weapon automatically gets prosecuted as a first-degree felony, while criminal trespass just by itself is categorized as a fourth-degree misdemeanor. The difference in jail sentences and criminal fines resulting from convictions on the two charges can amount to more than a decade and tens of thousands of dollars.
Do Not Face an Aggravated Burglary Alone
A prosecutor from the Columbus City Attorney’s Office must produce a significant amount of evidence to secure a conviction on an aggravated burglary charge. In some cases, showing that an accused person only wanted to steal an item of value or obtain money or information by fraud is required. Examining, questioning, and, when justified, disputing and disqualifying that evidence takes expertise and hard work. Defendants need help from lawyers who will defend their rights and represent their interests. To find out if a defense attorney from Leist Warner can do this for you as you stand trial for aggravated burglary, contact us today to request a no-cost case consultation.