Burglary FAQs:


Q: Is burglary prosecuted as a felony or misdemeanor and involves trespassing and theft?

A: Yes, and entering a building or automobile, or loitering unlawfully with intent to commit any crime, not necessarily a theft – for example, vandalism.

Q: Is burglary defined as breaking and entering into a dwelling with intent to commit a crime?

A: Yes.

Q: Is burglary a felony?

A: Yes, and even when the intended crime is a misdemeanor, and the intent to commit the crime can occur when one "enters or remains unlawfully" in the building, expanding the common law definition.

Q: Is burglary divided into four degrees?

A: Yes.

Q: Is burglary a serious offense?

A: Yes, and a felony in some jurisdictions.

Q: Is burglary a misdemeanor?

A: Yes.

Q: Is burglary punished more severely than housebreaking?

A: Yes.

Q: Is burglary defined as: if any person breaks and enters the dwelling of another, in the nighttime, with intent to commit a felony or any larceny therein, shall be guilty of burglary, punishable as a class 3 felony?

A: Yes, provided, however, that if such person was armed with a deadly weapon at the time of such entry, he shall be guilty of a class 2 felony.

Q: Is burglary always a felony?

A: Yes, and even in third degree.

Q: Is burglary a felony punishable by not more than twenty years?

A: Yes, should the burglar enter with a dangerous weapon, they may be imprisoned for life.

Q: Was burglary punished as burglary in the first degree?

A: Yes, while housebreaking was punished as burglary in the second degree.

Q: Is burglary committed by one who forcibly enters a building without consent and with intent to steal or to commit another felony?

A: Yes.

Q: Is burglary defined as: If any person in the nighttime enters without breaking?

A: Yes, or in the daytime breaks and enters or enters and conceals himself in a dwelling house or an adjoining, occupied outhouse, or, in the nighttime enters without breaking or at any time breaks and enters or enters and conceals himself in any office, shop, manufactured home, storehouse, warehouse, banking house, church or other house, or any ship, vessel or river craft, or any railroad car, or any automobile, truck, or trailer, if such automobile, truck or trailer is used as a dwelling or place of human habitation, with intent to commit murder, rape, robbery or arson in violation of Virginia State code section 18.

Q: Is burglary the broadest?

A: Yes, and applies to any building or other premises.

Q: Is burglary treated as being more serious if the burglar is armed with a dangerous weapon when the burglary is committed or arms himself/herself during the commission of the burglary?

A: Yes.