Burglary, the unlawful entry into a property with intent to commit a crime inside, carries severe legal consequences upon conviction. Below, Liberty Law Group explains what constitutes burglary in Nebraska, goes over the potential penalties, and covers some of the legal defenses in these cases. Readers will also get clarification on the importance of consulting with a burglary defense lawyer if charged with the offense.

Omaha Burglary Defense Attorney

Our lawyers at Liberty Law Group are seasoned veterans when it comes to defending Burglary charges. Whatever the circumstances, we pledge to get straight to the facts and fight for you.

If you or a loved one has been charged with or arrested for Burglary, or are under investigation, call our firm immediately at (402) 865-0501 to request a free consultation.

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What is Burglary in Nebraska?

Under Nebraska Revised Statute §28-507, burglary is where an individual willfully, forcibly, and maliciously breaks and enters into any property or improvements made on that property. For an action to qualify as burglary, it must be carried out with the intent to commit any felony or with intentions of stealing property of any value.

The term “willfully” implies that the act is done intentionally and deliberately, not by accident. “Maliciously” suggests a harmful intent towards the property or persons affected. “Forcibly” indicates that force is used to gain entry, which could involve breaking doors, windows, or other barriers. The phrase “property or any improvements” covers not only the act of breaking into buildings or homes but also extends to structures attached to the land, like garages or sheds.

It’s important to note that burglary is not restricted to nighttime or to homes. It can occur in various types of properties and at any time, provided the elements of willfulness, malicious intent, and forceful entry are present, along with the intention to commit a felony or theft.

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What are the Penalties for Burglary in Nebraska?

According to Nebraska Revised Statute §28-507, burglary is classified as a Class IIA felony. A Class IIA felony conviction in Nebraska can result in a prison sentence of up to twenty years. Unlike some other felony classifications, a Class IIA felony does not carry a mandatory minimum sentence, allowing for a wide range of sentencing possibilities based on the specific circumstances of the case and the discretion of the sentencing judge.

Probation can be given as an alternative to jail. Burglary is an eligible offense for diversion programs in Lancaster County, including the Treatment Diversion Program, Intensive Supervision Diversion, and Veterans Diversion Program. Completing those programs generally allows the individual’s case to be dismissed and for the person to avoid having a criminal record. Each program has its own set of requirements that determine who is eligible to participate.

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What are Some Defenses to Burglary in Nebraska?

In Nebraska, defenses to burglary charges primarily revolve around challenging the elements defined in the burglary law. Since the law characterizes burglary as involving willful, malicious, and forcible entry with the intent to commit a felony or theft, defenses often focus on negating these elements. A common defense is the absence of intent; if it can be shown that the accused did not intend to commit a felony or theft upon entering property, this can be a valid defense.

Another potential defense is disputing the willfulness and maliciousness of the act. If the entry was accidental or without a harmful intent, this challenges the burglary charge. If the entry into the property was not forceful or was lawful (e.g., having permission to enter), it counters the burglary charge.

Additionally, mistaken identity or alibi defenses can be used, where the defendant proves they were not at the crime scene or that they have been wrongly identified as the perpetrator. Using an alibi defense involves witnesses, video footage, or other proof of being at a different location.

In some cases, intoxication might be used as a defense to show that the defendant lacked the specific intent required for a burglary conviction.

Finally, the defense can argue that the prosecution has not met its burden of proof. If evidence is lacking or purely circumstantial, this can be a viable defense.

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How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help Someone Facing Burglary Charges

A criminal defense lawyer assists individuals charged with burglary and other property offenses in Nebraska by examining the evidence, identifying potential legal defenses to the charges, and representing their interests in court through the whole process. They offer guidance on the legal process, ensure the defendant’s rights are protected, and work to achieve the best possible outcome. This may include negotiating plea deals with the prosecutor, preparing for trial, or pursuing dismissal or reduction of charges. Their role is to provide a defense and support the client throughout the legal proceedings.

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Additional Resources

Data summaries on burglary in Nebraska: Provides maps representing burglary per capita rates in Nebraska and total burglaries in the state. Ranks areas in the state with letter grades for burglary crime rates.

Nebraska burglary statistics: Provides an interactive chart of historical burglary data in the state. Also includes state comparisons of all states ranked by burglary rate.

FBI’s detailed information and statistics about burglary: Contains an overview of national data on burglary and links to detailed data collected using the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program, which defines burglary as unauthorized entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft, with three classifications: forcible entry, entry where no force is used, and attempted forcible entry.

Hiring a Burglary Defense Attorney in Nebraska | Liberty Law Group

Hiring a defense attorney can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Our experts at Liberty Law Group have experience fighting Burglary charges and investigations.

Our firm proudly serves the communities of Omaha in Douglas County, Lincoln in Lancaster County, Papillion in Sarpy County, Nebraska and Council Bluffs in Pattawattamie County, Iowa and surrounding areas. Call our firm immediately at (402) 865-0501 to request a free consultation to discuss your case with an attorney. We are standing by and ready to help with your defense.