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Burglary Breaking and Entering


Burglary, also known as breaking and entering, is a Theft crime in Tennessee. It involves unauthorized entry into a home, building, or other property with the intention to steal something or commit a criminal act. The state has specific laws that define and address the offense of burglary.

The Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 39, Chapter 14, Section 402, states burglary is defined as the unlawful entry into a building, structure, vehicle, or any other premises without the owner’s consent, with the intent to commit a theft or felony (criminal act).

Burglary is a Felony

Burglary is considered a felony in Tennessee, and the penalties for this crime can vary depending on the circumstances and severity of the offense. The state has categorized burglary into three degrees, each with its own set of penalties.

Penalties for a Conviction of Burglary

Class C Felony burglary is the most serious form of conviction for burglary. It occurs when in the commission of breaking and entering with intent, they are armed with a deadly weapon or if they cause bodily injury to another person. This is considered aggravated burglary. Class C felonies carry possible sentences of 3 to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000

Class D Felony burglary is less serious but still carries harsh penalties A Class D felony is punishable by imprisonment for a term between 2-12 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000,

Class E Felony burglary carries lesser penalties for conviction in Tennessee. Class E felonies carry possible sentences of 1 to 6 years in prison and fines up to $3,000.

Enhanced Factors in Penalty Sentencing: It’s important to note that these penalties may be subject to enhancement if the offender has prior convictions or if aggravating factors are present during the commission of the crime. Tennessee law carries stiff enhanced penalties for repeat violent offenders and criminal gang offenders.

Under the repeat violent offender law known as the “Three-Strikes Law,” an offender who commits a third “violent offense” faces a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Those convicted of a criminal gang offense can receive enhanced penalties, such as punishment that is one or two classifications higher than the underlying offense.

Defense Against Burglary Charges

There is no doubt that a felony conviction for burglary comes with significant jail time and fines. In addition to these punishments, a conviction of any level results in a permanent criminal record that may haunt you for the rest of your life.

As an experienced trial lawyer, Attorney Clarke will use his talent and skills to defend you. He will challenge the prosecution’s evidence and seek the best outcome possible. He understands that being accused of a crime and facing a possible conviction will be one of the toughest times you will experience. Let us work with you to develop a defensive strategy for your situation.

Do not hesitate to obtain our legal counsel. Contact the Clarke Law Firm today at 615-796-6299 or online.