The Crime

Burglary is a felony offense that may damage your record and your reputation for the rest of your life.  In Tennessee, a person may be convicted of the crime of Burglary if the state prosecutor proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the person intentionally or knowingly:

  1. Enters a building other than a habitation (or any portion thereof) not open to the public, with intent to commit a felony, theft or assault; or
  2. Remains concealed in a building, with the intent to commit a felony, theft or assault; or
  3. Enters a building and commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft or assault; or
  4. Enters any freight or passenger car, automobile, truck, trailer, boat, airplane or other motor vehicle with the intent to commit a felony, theft or assault or commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft or assault.

The crime of Burglary is elevated to the more serious offense of Aggravated Burglary if:

  1. The burglary involves burglary of a habitation.

Burglary may yet be further elevated to the crime of Especially Aggravated Burglary if:

  1. The burglary involves burglary of a habitation or building other than a habitation; AND
  2. The victim suffered serious bodily injury.

If you have been charged with the crime of Burglary, Aggravated Burglary, or Especially Aggravated Burglary, you should immediately contact the Knoxville criminal defense attorneys at the Oberman & Rice Law Firm.

[Sources: Tennessee Code Annotated §§ 39-14-401, 39-14-402, 39-14-403, 39-14-404]

The Penalties

Under Tennessee law, the crime of Burglary is a Class D or E Felony and may result in some or all of the following consequences:

  1. A sentence of 1 to 12 years in prison (probation for a portion of the sentence, or the entire sentence may be allowed in appropriate circumstances);
  2. A probationary period;
  3. A fine of up to $5,000.00; and
  4. Court costs.

The crime of Aggravated Burglary is a Class C Felony and may result in some or all of the following consequences:

  1. A sentence of 3 to 15 years in prison (although more difficult to obtain, probation for a portion of the sentence, or the entire sentence may be allowed in appropriate circumstances);
  2. A probationary period;
  3. A fine of up to $10,000.00; and
  4. Court costs.

The crime of Especially Aggravated Burglary is a Class B Felony and may result in some or all of the following consequences:

  1. A sentence of 8 to 30 years in prison (although extremely difficult to obtain, probation for a portion of the sentence, or the entire sentence may be allowed in appropriate circumstances);
  2. A probationary period;
  3. A fine of up to $25,000.00; and
  4. Court costs.

[Source: Tennessee Code Annotated §§ 39-13-401, 39-13-402, 39-13-403]

Other Consequences of a Burglary Conviction

In addition to the court-mandated penalties described above, a person convicted of Burglary may also experience serious collateral (other) consequences.  A Tennessee Burglary conviction may result in the loss of college scholarships or the ability to seek admission to a higher learning institution.  A conviction may also impact one’s ability to maintain or seek employment and may result in negative action to a professional license (e.g. nursing).

Furthermore, a conviction for Burglary may potentially remain on one’s criminal history forever, thus allowing current and future employers to access records of prior convictions.  However, under current Tennessee criminal law and expungement law, in certain circumstances one may be able to erase or expunge a Burglary conviction from public record.  For more information about Tennessee expungement law, you may wish to review the information contained on our sister website, http://www.eraseyourrecord.com/index.html.

Why Hire An Attorney Immediately?

It is important to act quickly in order to gather and preserve favorable evidence.  Key evidence (faces, dates, events, and conversations) fades from memory over time.  Certain witnesses need to be interviewed as soon as possible.  Also, video recordings and other evidence may be destroyed.  Therefore, it is critical to begin an investigation as soon as possible to ensure valuable evidence is not lost.  Success or failure in any criminal case may be determined in the decisions of the defendant and his or her Tennessee Criminal Attorney in only a few hours or days after an arrest is made.

Contact Us Today

If you or someone you know has recently been charged, contact the Oberman & Rice Law Firm today so that we can begin preparing a defense for your case.  Submit your information for a free case evaluation from our Knoxville defense attorneys or call our office at 865-249-7200.