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A metal briefcase opened to reveal several bundles of US dollar bills organized neatly, with some bills scattered around on a glass surface, potentially implicating theft in New Jersey.

Burglary Charges in New Jersey | What You Need to Know

New Jersey takes burglary charges seriously. As a result, it is important to understand what “burglary” means and the potential consequences involved. Read on to learn more.

How is Burglary Defined?

In New Jersey, a burglary occurs when an individual enters a structure or research facility without permission, and with the intent to commit a crime inside said building.

In New Jersey, the term “structure” is defined as any room, building, ship, vehicle, airplane, or any place adapted either for sleeping or business. An aggravated burglary occurs when the offender inflicts, threatens, or attempts to inflict bodily injury on another individual while also committing burglary. Aggravated burglary also applies to burglars who are armed with, or appear to be armed with a deadly weapon or explosive.

What are the Consequences of Burglary?

There are two types of burglary recognized by the state of New Jersey– burglary and aggravated burglary. Those facing a standard burglary charge are committing a crime of the third degree and may face up to 5 years in prison, as well as a potential $15,000 fine. However, if you are convicted of aggravated burglary, a crime of the second degree, you face up to 10 years in prison, as well as up to $150,000 in fines.

What is the Difference Between Robbery and Burglary?

The word “burglary” is often confused with “robbery.” Robbery is an aggravated theft crime. Under New Jersey law, simple theft becomes a robbery if any of the following events occur while the crime is being committed: 

  • Inflicting bodily injury or other use of force during the theft
  • Threatening or otherwise putting the victim in immediate fear of bodily injury 
  • Committing or threatening to commit a crime of the first or second degree during the course of a theft, for example, inflicting serious bodily injury or death, or using or threatening to use a deadly weapon (armed robbery)

Consequences include five to 10 years in prison as well as a fine of up to $150,000 for second-degree robbery, and 10 to 20 years in prison as well as a fine of up to $200,000 for first-degree robbery.

If you are facing charges of burglary or robbery, you will need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Reach out today to speak with our skilled and dedicated firm.


Kevin T. Conway is an experienced Bergen County criminal attorney handling DUI, DWI, traffic violations, violent crimes, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes. Attorney Conway is also experienced in commercial law matters, zoning law, and estate planning. If you need an aggressive criminal lawyer, contact The Law Office of Kevin T. Conway for a free consultation.

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