Burglary & Heroin, two words that sadly spring up together more than ever before. It is no secret to anyone living in the Hudson Valley region that opiate abuse has spurred a dramatic increase in criminal activity, particularly with crimes of theft such as home Burglary. The most common scenario involves very young adults, 18-24 years of age, who become addicted to opiate based pain medication and eventually end up using Heroin.
Opiate based drugs such as: OxyContin, Vicodin, Hydrocodone, Roxicodone and Heroin affect the brain and the nervous system by attaching to specific proteins called opioid receptors found on nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord, gastrointestinal tract, and other organs in the body. The effects of the drugs typically cause a reduction in the perception of pain and produce a sense of well being. Thus, these drugs are extremely addictive and often take control of the people abusing them. The users often turn to criminal activity such as robbery and burglary to support their addiction.
Under New York State Law there are three levels of Burglary the lowest is Burglary in the third degree. Penal Law Section 140.20 defines Burglary in the third degree as:
A person is guilty of burglary in the third degree when he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building with intent to commit a crime therein.
Burglary in the third degree is a Class D Felony that carries a maximum penalty for a first time offender of 2-7 years in state prison.
To bump an ordinary Burglary to a Burglary second degree the defendant need only to burglarize a dwelling (home) or, have a co-defendant that is armed with a weapon or, during the course of committing the burglary the defendant causes injury to any person not participating in the crime or, uses or threatens the use of a dangerous instrument and or, displays a deadly weapon.
Burglary in the second degree Penal Law Section 140.25 is a Class C Felony that carries a maximum penalty for a first time offender of 3.5-15 years in state prison.
Finally, there is Burglary in the first degree a criminal law specifically geared to home burglary. Law enforcement views Home Burglaries as the most Egregious theft crime. A defendant can be charged with Burglary in the First Degree when they burglarize a dwelling and they are either: a co-defendant, are armed with a weapon, they cause injury to a non-participant, they use or threaten to use a dangerous instrument and or they display a deadly weapon.
Burglary in the First Degree Penal Law Section 140.30 is a Class B Felony that carries a maximum penalty for a first time offender of 5-25 years in state prison.
The Burglary, Heroin saga has caused law enforcement agencies to ramp up their investigation techniques and aggressively combat home invasions. Thus, in the Hudson Valley it is mandatory for the District Attorneys to seek restitution with any Burglary conviction. As well as incarceration and parole supervision as part of the sentence for defendants found guilty of a larceny crime. If you or a family member is charged with any theft crime in Poughkeepsie, Beacon, Wappingers, Newburgh, New Paltz, Kingston, or Carmel, you need legal representation to protect your rights and explore your defenses. Call my office today to schedule a free confidential consultation.