Burglary or Breaking and Entering Offenses in Virginia Carry Stiff Penalties

There are multiple forms of burglary or breaking and entering charges in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia, but each is a serious felony offense punishable by significant incarceration. If you've been charges with any form of burglary or breaking and entering, you need to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Burglary and Breaking& Entering Offenses in Virginia

A criminal charge of burglary generally requires someone accused of breaking and entering the home of another party with the intent to commit a felony inside. Whether the felony offense actually gets committed inside is irrelevant to the burglary charge.

While this is the traditional definition of common law burglary, the legislature has changed or eliminated a number of the common law elements. As a result, a prosecutor can now prove a breaking and entering where he could not have proved a common law burglary offense on the same facts in the past. The specific burglary and breaking and entering offenses in Virginia are discussed below:

  • Burglary (Va. Code 18.2-89): This form of burglary is the common law form discussed above involving the breaking and entering of a dwelling house (home) of another in the nighttime with intent to commit a felony or larceny inside. This form of burglary is a Class 3 felony punishable by 5–to–20 years in jail and a fine of up to $100,000. However, if the accused is armed with a deadly weapon at the time of such entry, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 felony punishable by 20 years–to life in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
  • Entering a dwelling house, with intent to commit murder, rape, robbery, or arson (Va. Code 18.2-90): If any person in the nighttime enters without breaking or in the daytime breaks and enters or enters and conceals himself in a dwelling house with intent to commit murder, rape, robbery, or arson, he shall be deemed guilty of statutory burglary, which offense shall be a Class 3 felony. However, if such person was armed with a deadly weapon at the time of such entry, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 felony.
  • Entering dwelling house, etc., with intent to commit larceny, assault and battery, or other felony (Va. Code 18.2-91): Another form of statutory burglary which is punishable by imprisonment for not less than one or more than 20 years and a fine of up to $2,500, either or both. However, if the person was armed with a deadly weapon at the time of such entry, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 felony.
  • Breaking and entering dwelling house with intent to commit other misdemeanor (Va. Code 18.2-92): If any person breaks and enters a dwelling house while the dwelling is occupied, either in the day or nighttime, with the intent to commit any misdemeanor except assault and battery or trespass, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and $2,500 fine. However, if the person was armed with a deadly weapon at the time of such entry, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 felony.
  • Entering a bank, armed, with intent to commit larceny (Va. Code 18.2-93): If any person, armed with a deadly weapon, enters any banking house or institution, in the daytime or in the nighttime, with intent to commit larceny of money, bonds, notes, or other evidence of debt, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 felony.
  • Possession of burglarious tools (Va. Code 18.2-94): It's unlawful for any person to be in possession any tools, implements, or outfit, with intent to commit burglary, robbery, or larceny. A violation of this law is a Class 5 felony.
  • Breaking and entering into railroad cars, motor trucks, aircraft, etc., or pipeline systems (Va. Code 18.2-147.1): This is generally punishable as a Class 4 felony with one–to–five years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. However, if such person is armed with a firearm at the time of such breaking and entering, he shall be guilty of a Class 3 felony.
  • Opening or carrying away pumps, etc., used for dispensing gasoline (Va. Code 18.2-151): This crime is a Class 6 felony punishable by one–to–five years in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.
  • Stealing from or tampering with parking meter, vending machine, pay telephone, etc. (Va. Code 18.2-152): A first offense is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor and a second offense is punishable as a Class 6 felony. A Class I misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine not exceeding $2,500.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

If you've been arrested for any form of burglary or breaking and entering, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer at Manikas Law, LLC today.  To schedule a consultation, call our law office or fill out our online form