The crime of burglary is a serious offense in New Jersey. However, the specific crime is often confused with the offenses of robbery and theft.

It is important to note that these are three separate and distinct charges. Understanding the key elements of the crime of burglary could be in your best interests.

How does New Jersey law define burglary?

The legal definition of the crime of burglary is outlined in The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice 2C § 18-2.  Burglary results from a person unlawfully entering a property, business, vehicle or structure with the intention of committing a crime once inside.

Often, it is assumed that the terms “burglary” and “theft” are interchangeable because theft often does occur in tandem with burglary. However, it is important to remember that there are other types of crime that can be committed once a person has illegally entered a property or vehicle. Therefore, theft is not necessary for the crime of burglary to occur.

Additionally, it is important to remember that all that is required is the intention to commit a crime once inside the vehicle or property. Whether or not the crime was followed through with does not matter as long as the intent can be established.

What are the potential penalties for burglary?


The potential penalties for burglary will depend on whether 2nd or 3rd degree charges have been filed. A conviction for 3rd degree burglary can lead to a possible prison sentence of 3-5 years as well as a $15,000 fine. A conviction for burglary in the 2nd degree is more severe, with substantial fines as well as a potential prison sentence of 5-10 years.

Understanding the law relating to burglary in New Jersey could be in your best interests. If you find yourself facing criminal charges, you should know that you have legal rights.