Even with the economy turning around for some, many people still live in poverty in Ohio and are tempted to commit crimes to provide for their families. Some turn to property crimes, such as theft, but others commit more serious offenses, such as burglary.
Burglary in Ohio is a very serious felony offense that can result in significant prison terms, fines, civil lawsuits, and difficulty finding or maintaining employment. It is imperative that you consult with an experienced Columbus and Delaware, Ohio criminal defense attorney immediately if you are being investigated or indicted for burglary.
What is Burglary in Ohio?
Burglary is one of the most serious theft-related offenses in Ohio. However, one does not have to commit theft in order to be indicted for burglary. Burglary, pursuant to R.C. 2911.12, is committing one of the following acts through the use of force, stealth or deception:
- Trespassing into an occupied structure when another person is present and intending to commit a criminal offense;
- Trespassing into an occupied structure that is the residence of another when that person is present and intending to commit a criminal offense;
- Trespassing into an occupied structure or building intending to commit any criminal offense; or
- Trespassing into an occupied structure that is the residence of another when a person is or is likely to be present.
A close reading of the burglary statute in Ohio reveals that a person does not have to steal anything to be indicted for burglary. Merely having the intent to commit some kind of crime is all that is necessary. However, intent is often difficult for a prosecutor to prove because of its subjective nature.
Burglary can also be indicted as aggravated burglary, pursuant to R.C. 2911.11, when a person trespasses into an occupied structure through the use of force, stealth or deception when another is present, the person intends on committing a criminal act, and:
- The offender inflicts, attempts to inflict or threatens to inflict physical harm on another person; or
- The offender has a deadly weapon.
Penalties for Burglary in Ohio
Burglary can be indicted as one of several different levels of felony offense. Burglary will be indicted as a 2nd degree felony of the person commits the offense when another is present and the person intends to commit a criminal offense inside the structure. This carries a penalty of 2-8 years in prison and up to a $15,000 fine.
Burglary is a 3rd degree felony when the person intends to commit a criminal offense inside the structure, but no one is present or likely to be present. This offense carries 9 months – 3 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. However, if the offender has a previous robbery, aggravated robbery, burglary or aggravated burglary conviction, the offense carries 1-5 years in prison.
Burglary, if the person trespasses into another’s residence when that person is present, but not intending to commit a criminal offense inside the residence, is a 4th degree felony. This carries 6-18 months in prison and up to a $5000 fine.
Aggravated burglary is a 1st degree felony, which will result in 3-11 years in prison upon conviction and up to a $20,000 fine.
Secondary Consequences for a Burglary Conviction in Ohio
In addition to receiving a prison sentence and significant fine for a burglary conviction in Ohio, numerous secondary consequences exist. These include restitution (i.e., paying money to the victim for the loss of property or damage to their property), difficulty securing or maintaining employment, denial of housing because of a felony conviction, loss of certain constitutional rights (e.g., voting and owning firearms) and loss of certain government benefits.
In addition, there is the potential for civil penalties. For example, a victim in a residential burglary can institute a lawsuit for damage to their property or mental, physical or psychological suffering as a result of the offense.
Burglary vs. Robbery in Ohio – What is the Difference?
Unlike burglary, robbery occurs when a person does one of the following while committing, attempting to commit, or fleeing from any theft offense:
- Has a deadly weapon on their person or under their control;
- Inflicted, attempted to inflict, or threatened physical harm to another person; or
- Used or threatened to immediately use force against another person.
Thus, both burglary and robbery are theft-related offenses. However, robbery requires that the offender have a deadly weapon, or inflicted, attempted to inflict or threatened physical harm or use of force against another person.
Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Burglary Attorney
If you have been charged with burglary in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced Columbus and Delaware, Ohio criminal defense attorney. Attorney David Johnson of Johnson Legal, LLC will discuss your case and assist you in fighting the charges. Call (614) 987-0192 or send an email to schedule a consultation regarding your burglary case. For further information, consult Johnson Legal, LLC’s Theft Offenses Blog.
Johnson Legal, LLC serves the following cities in the central Ohio area for Criminal Defense:
Westerville, Worthington, Columbus, Polaris, Reynoldsburg, Grandview Heights, Shawnee Hills, Bexley, Pickerington, Gahanna, Sunbury, Powell, Upper Arlington, New Albany, Dublin, Hilliard, Lewis Center, Galena, Clintonville, Huber Ridge, Blacklick, Grove City, Delaware, Marysville, Groveport, Newark, Canal Winchester, Obetz, Marion, Mt. Gilead, Pataskala, Granville, Whitehall, Franklin County, Morrow County, Licking County, Knox County, Union County, Madison County and Delaware County