Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney for Burglary Charges in Shreveport-Bossier City, LA

If you’re facing criminal charges for burglary in Shreveport-Bossier City, LA, you need legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney like Michael J. Vergis. At The Law Offices of Michael J. Vergis, our Northwest Louisiana criminal defense lawyers provide aggressive defense strategies for those facing charges for such a serious crime.

With an in-depth understanding of Louisiana criminal law, our Northwest Louisiana burglary defense attorneys will work tirelessly to ensure your rights are upheld and your voice is heard. To schedule a free consultation with Shreveport-Bossier criminal defense attorney Michael J. Vergis, contact our law firm by calling (318) 698-3724 or by reaching out online today.

Northwest LA burglary attorney

What is Considered Burglary?

Burglary, sometimes also referred to as “breaking and entering,” involves unlawfully entering a structure intending to commit a crime. In Louisiana, burglary is defined under state law, which specifies that a person commits burglary when they enter a building, vehicle, or other enclosed space without permission and with the intent to commit a felony or theft. 

Burglary vs. Robbery

Burglary and robbery are often used interchangeably but refer to different crimes with very different legal consequences. 

Burglary is the act of unlawfully entering a building or structure with the intent to commit theft or another felony, regardless of whether the crime is carried out. It is prosecuted under Louisiana law as a felony offense and can result in significant jail time. 

On the other hand, robbery is a type of theft crime that involves the use of force or threat of force to take property directly from another person. Unlike burglary, a robbery occurs in the victim’s presence and involves a direct confrontation, escalating the offense to a violent crime. Both offenses carry severe penalties, but the distinction lies in how the crime is committed and the specific intent behind the actions.

If you’re facing criminal charges for burglary OR robbery in Northwest Louisiana, contact the Law Office of Michael J. Vergis for a free case evaluation with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys. 

Shreveport Burglary Attorney

Types of Burglary Charges in Louisiana

In Louisiana, there are a number of different criminal offenses that can be considered burglary. From simple burglary to aggravated burglary, the penalties for these criminal charges can vary based on the nature of the crime. Understanding the different types of burglary charges in Louisiana is critical for anyone facing such accusations.

Simple Burglary Charges

Simple burglary is one of the most common burglary charges in Louisiana. It involves unauthorized entry into any structure, such as a building, vehicle, or watercraft, with the intent to commit a felony or theft. Even though simple burglary doesn’t require an encounter with the alleged victim or the use of a weapon, it’s still considered a serious crime, resulting in jail time and fines. 

Aggravated Burglary Charges

An aggravated burglary offense occurs when someone unlawfully enters a building or property with the intent to commit a felony or theft, and one or more of the following conditions are met: the perpetrator is armed with a dangerous weapon, commits assault and battery on a person within the structure, or is accompanied by one or more people.

Due to these aggravating factors, aggravated burglary carries harsher penalties, often including significant jail time. 

Unauthorized Entry Charges

Unauthorized entry occurs when someone enters a structure or property without permission but without the specific intent to commit a felony or theft. This type of charge involves trespassing or entering an area that’s explicitly off-limits, such as a private residence, business, or enclosed property, without the owner’s consent.

While it doesn’t carry the same implications as burglary, unauthorized entry is still a criminal offense and can result in penalties like fines or imprisonment. 

Home Invasion Charges

Home invasion charges involve unauthorized entry into someone’s residence with the intent to commit a crime of violence or when armed with a dangerous weapon. This type of burglary is considered a violent crime, and its penalties can include significant prison sentences, especially if the invasion involves physical harm or threats to the occupants.

Looting Charges

Looting charges in Louisiana are pressed when individuals unlawfully take goods from a business, residence, or other location during a state of emergency, such as after a natural disaster or civil unrest. This crime is characterized by exploiting chaotic circumstances to commit theft.

Offenders are harshly prosecuted for looting charges since the crime involves taking advantage of a community already in distress. Penalties for this criminal charge are severe, often including enhanced sentences compared to standard theft charges in Louisiana.

Bossier City Burglary Attorney

What is the Penalty for Burglary in Louisiana?

Individuals arrested for burglary can face different felony charges depending on the crime’s severity, criminal history, and other circumstances that can influence the specific penalties. It’s important to note that many of the penalties listed below are for first-time offenses, and any subsequent charges can lead to increased jail time and fines.

  • Simple Burglary (La. R.S. 14:62) – Simple burglary is classified as a felony crime and can result in fines up to $2000 and imprisonment ranging from 1 to 12 years. 
  • Simple Burglary of an Inhabited Dwelling (La. R.S. 14:62.2) – Simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling, house, apartment, or other structure in Louisiana is also a felony charge that can result in anywhere from 1 to 12 years in prison.
  • Unauthorized Entry of an Inhabited Dwelling (La. R.S. 14:62.3) – Penalties for unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling can result in fines costing up to $1,000, probation, and up to 6 years of prison time.
  • Unauthorized Entry of a Place of Business (La. R.S. 14:62.4) – Conviction of unauthorized entry of a place of business in Louisiana can lead to fines up to $1,000, possible imprisonment of up to 6 years, or both.  
  • Unauthorized Entry of a Dwelling During an Emergency or Disaster (La. R.S. 14:62.7) – First-time offenders may face fines up to $1,500 and potential imprisonment for up to one year.
  • Looting (RS 14:62.5) – For a first offense, individuals charged with looting may face fines up to $10,000 and a sentence of anywhere between 3 to 15 years in prison. 
  • Home Invasion (La. R.S. 14:62.8) – Individuals may face fines up to $5,000 and significant prison sentences of anywhere from 1 year to up to 30 years with hard labor.
  • Aggravated Burglary (La. R.S. 14:60) – Individuals charged with aggravated burglary may face prison sentences between 1 and 30 years with hard labor.

Additional Consequences for Burglary Conviction

A burglary conviction in Louisiana carries significant consequences beyond the immediate legal penalties of fines or imprisonment. Individuals with a burglary conviction may also face other long-term consequences that affect various aspects of their lives.

For instance, employment prospects can be severely limited, as many employers conduct background checks and may hesitate to hire someone with a criminal record. Convicted individuals may also encounter difficulties in finding housing, as landlords often screen tenants for criminal history.

A burglary conviction can also affect a person’s legal rights, including the right to vote or own firearms, depending on the severity of the crime. Beyond these practical consequences, a burglary conviction can also strain personal relationships and harm one’s reputation within the community. 

penalties for burglary in Louisiana

Why You Need an Experienced Shreveport-Bossier Criminal Defense Attorney

When facing burglary charges in Shreveport-Bossier, the support of a seasoned criminal defense lawyer like Michael J. Vergis can prove invaluable to your case. With a deep understanding of Louisiana law, your criminal defense attorney can advocate fiercely for your rights and work towards receiving reduced or even dismissed or dropped criminal charges. 

If you’re facing legal issues in Northwest Louisiana, whether it is burglary, domestic violence, or drug possession charges, seeking legal advice from a reputable law firm like the Law Offices of Michael J. Vergis can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. 

How Michael J. Vergis Can Help

For over 20 years, seasoned criminal defense attorney Michael J. Vergis has successfully represented numerous clients in their criminal cases, including those involving burglary. With his extensive experience, Attorney Vergis understands the ins and outs of the legal system and works tirelessly to defend his client’s rights. Whether negotiating a plea deal with prosecutors or aggressively defending clients at trial, he strives to achieve the best possible outcome for each case. 

For individuals facing burglary charges, Mr. Vergis explores all available options, including exploring diversion programs, negotiating reduced charges, or seeking alternatives to incarceration such as community service or probation. With dedication, skill, and years of experience under his belt, Attorney Michael J. Vergis provides strong legal representation and guidance to help individuals face the many challenges that come with a burglary charge in the Shreveport-Bossier area.

Louisiana burglary attorney

What To Do If Charged with Burglary

If you’ve been charged with burglary in Shreveport-Bossier City, acting quickly and securing legal representation from a good criminal defense attorney is crucial. Acknowledge your right to remain silent, as law enforcement will use anything said against you in court, and wait for advice from your attorney on how to proceed.

Continue to follow your criminal defense lawyers’ advice, especially regarding court appearances, bail conditions, and other legal requirements. Open communication with your attorney ensures a strong defense and the best possible outcome for your criminal charge. 

Call NWLA Burglary Defense Attorney Michael J. Vergis Today for a Free Consultation

If you’re facing burglary charges in Bossier Parish, Caddo Parish, or the surrounding area, don’t wait to get the legal help you need. With extensive experience defending burglary cases, Shreveport-Bossier criminal defense lawyer Michael J. Vergis can provide the guidance and representation necessary to protect your rights and secure the best possible outcome. 

In addition to burglary cases, criminal defense attorney Michael J. Vergis also handles practice areas like family law, civil rights, and personal injury. Call The Law Office of Michael J. Vergis at (318) 698-3724 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation today and get straight to work building your attorney-client relationship. Remember, the sooner you act, the better your chances of building a strong case.