Charleston, SC. Burglary Criminal Defense Attorney
Burglary is taken very seriously in South Carolina. It is a serious crime that is prosecuted strictly and with much scrutiny. Burglary charges in South Carolina expose a person to lengthy prison sentences and can be tough to defend against, especially without an attorney by your side. Don’t hesitate to contact Attorney Ashley Cornwell.
Burglary charges in South Carolina are categorized as felonies; the most serious level of crime. A burglary is simply defined as unlawfully entering a dwelling (home) or building with the intent to commit a crime. Note – the intent to commit a crime does not have to be theft but can be any crime under the South Carolina Code of Laws.
4 categorizations of Burglary Crimes in South Carolina:
Burglary in the 1st Degree
The most serious of burglary charge, SC Criminal Code defines this crime as entering a dwelling unlawfully, intending to commit a crime, and:
- Entry occurred during the nighttime hours; or
- Offender is in possession of a deadly weapon like a firearm; or
- A bystander or innocent person is physically injured during the burglary; or
- Offender has 2 or more previous burglary convictions
Burglary in the 2nd Degree Violent
This category can be defined as unlawfully entering a non-residential building while committing the aggravating factors described under the 1st degree charge.
Burglary in the 2nd Degree Non-Violent
This category is simply defined as unlawfully entering a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime. There are no aggravating factors in this category.
Burglary in the 3rd Degree
Although this is the least egregious of the burglary charges, it is still considered a felony. A 3rd Degree charge is defined as entering a building with the intent to commit a crime.
Burglary Penalties under South Carolina Law
South Carolina has some of the strictest burglary laws and punishments in the country. Having previous convictions for burglary can aggravate the sentencing and having a burglary conviction has come with life-long indirect consequences.
- 1st Degree Burglary comes with a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years to life in prison. It is considered a Most Serious and Violent crime and persons convicted under this charge are not eligible for parole.
- 2nd Degree Burglary Violent carries up to 15 years in prison. It is considered a Serious and Violent crime and persons convicted under this charge must serve 1/3 of their sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
- 2nd Degree Burglary Non-Violent carries up to 10 years in prison. Persons convicted under this charge must serve at least 1/4 of their sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
- 3rd Degree Burglary carries up to 5 years in prison. If it is a repeated offense then it can be up to 10 years in prison.
Contact Cornwell Law Today
Attorney Ashley Cornwell at the Cornwell Law firm has helped countless individuals in Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Goose Creek, Orangeburg, and throughout South Carolina. Ashley Cornwell fights tirelessly to defend her clients’ rights and seek the best possible outcome. Our firm focuses on providing legal representation and customized service which will help you deal with your legal needs. Contact us today.