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LegalEagle1
LegalEagle1, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Practicing attorney licensed for over 23 years.
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What is the penalty for burglary and possession of stolen object

Customer Question

What is the penalty for burglary and possession of stolen object in Vermont? Article is less than $500 retail value, taken from a retail store during off-business hours, 1st offense by individual, no violence or threat of violence.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  LegalEagle1 replied 1 year ago.
Hello an welcome to JustAnswer.

A person convicted of burglary (of an occupied dwelling) faces a penalty of a fine not more than$1,000 and/or up to 25 years in prison.

A person convicted of burglary (not an occupied dwelling ) faces a penalty of a fine not more than $1,000 and/or not more than 15 years in prison.

Receiving stolen property valued at less than $500 carries a potential fine of $500 and/or up to 1 year in prison.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Please rate my answers with a positive rating (three or more stars) as this is the only way I receive credit for my work. If you have additional questions or need more information please ask.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

What is the probability of being charged with burglary - it is my understanding there has to be proof of 'intent' to commit a crime.


A coat was in fact stolen from a retail shop - arrestee was under the influence of alcohol at the time. No damage was done otherwise to the property (no forced entry)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Other.
Just waiting for more detailed response
Expert:  LadyLawyer12 replied 1 year ago.
Good evening. Are you still waiting for an answer from LegalEagle1? If not, I would be happy to help you?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Your help is appreciated.


 


here's the situation:


 


1) Walked into a retail store & took a single coat from the rack valued at <$250


2) Was arrested with posession of coat


3) First offense - > 40 years old, employed, not even a traffic ticket


4) was under the influence of alcohol


 


What is the probability of being charged with a felony or misdemeanor versus a fine

Expert:  LadyLawyer12 replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately, the probability of being charged with the felony is high. The prosecutor, at the charging stage, has no "motivation" to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor. In most jurisdictions, the prosecutor will charge the higher crime at the charging stage. With that being said, there is a likelihood that with your lack of criminal background and your level of intoxication at the time, that the prosecutor may later reduce the charge to a misdemeanor.

Please be advised that voluntary intoxication (i.e. being under the influence of alcohol) is not a defense to a crime. That factor may be used to mitigate the sentence but it is not a defense.

Vermont does not have sentencing guidelines but judges do look to presentence investigation reports. In these reports, a probation officer typically meets with you and possibly members of your family to learn more about you. This information will help the judge craft a sentence which is particular and hopefully sensitive to your situation. You should also expect a monetary fine which would equate to the value of the coat if it was not recovered by the store.

I have attached a report from 2001 to 2006 from the Vermont Sentencing Commission. It appears that the majority of first time convictions for burglary resulted in a deferred disposition, not actual incarceration. The report can be found here...http://www.vcjr.org/reports/reportscrimjust/reports/felsentence_files/Felony_Sentencing.pdf.

Please let me know if you have additional questions
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you - I read the report. What can we expect to occur at the court hearing? Do they typically detainee the individual? what is deferred disposition mean in real terms - actual impact to individual?


 


 

Expert:  LegalEagle1 replied 1 year ago.
Once the State’s Attorney will decide whether there is enough evidence to prosecute the case he will file charges. His decision as to how to charge you will be based upon the evidence that is available to him.

The Vermont Burglary statute provides in part

§ 1201. Burglary

(a) A person is guilty of burglary if he or she enters any building or structure knowing that he or she is not licensed or privileged to do so, with the intent to commit a felony, petit larceny, simple assault or unlawful mischief. This provision shall not apply to a licensed or privileged entry, or to an entry that takes place while the premises are open to the public, unless the person, with the intent to commit a crime specified in this subsection, surreptitiously remains in the building or structure after the license or privilege expires or after the premises no longer are open to the public.

http://www.leg.state.vt.us/statutes/fullsection.cfm?Title=13&Chapter=023&Section=01201

At a trial the States Attorney will have to show that at the time you entered the store that you intended to commit the theft. The prosecutor will have to evaluate the evidence of your case and determine if he thinks he can show that at the time you entered the store you intended to commit one of the offenses listed. He will have to evaluate the specific facts of your case. If you walked right in, grabbed a coat and ran out the door, then he may have an easy case. The same would be if you had worn clothing into the store to help conceal the theft. This shows planning. There can be many factors that go into the decision. It really depends upon how strong of a case a prosecutor thinks he has, and if he wants to use resources to prosecute you for the more serious offense. If there are not egregious fact present in your case and it can be characterized as a simple shoplifting he may decide to charge you with a low level offense.

Once he decides how to charge you will either be given a notice to appear in court for arraignment without being arrested, or will be arrested and lodged at a correctional facility until the time your arraignment. Usually the arrest happen when a person commits a violent crime or has criminal history.

In the cases where the suspect is lodged at a correctional facility, at which time the judge or court clerk determines the conditions of release or bail until the time of arraignment.

For an arraignment a hearing is held in district court, at which the defendant is informed of criminal charges and can enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. The court will also make sure you understand your rights and advise you of your right to have an attorney appointed to represent you if you cannot afford counsel.

This is also when you can inquire about diversion or deferred prosecution. The majority of diversion clients are charged with misdemeanors; typical violations are disorderly conduct, simple assault, larceny, retail theft, unlawful mischief, alcohol and marijuana violations, and bad checks. Diversion programs can accept defendants who have been charged with a first or second misdemeanor or a first nonviolent felony.

When a person is accepted for diversion community members on review boards meet with clients to develop contracts that address the particular offense and the underlying reasons for the client’s actions.

Victims have the opportunity to voice their opinion, and contracts may require participants to pay restitution, undergo counseling or substance abuse treatment, write letters of apology etc. Participants accept responsibility for violating the law and work to repair the harm they caused and, if successful, do not end up with a criminal record.

Upon successful completion of the program, the state’s attorney dismisses the case. Two years later, the Court orders the sealing of all records related to the case. If an offender does not complete the terms of the contract, the case is returned to court for prosecution.

Please let me know if you have anymore questions.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Please rate my answers with a positive rating (three or more stars) as this is the only way I receive credit for my work. If you have additional questions or need more information please ask.

My goal is to provide with best assistance that I can. Please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered.

Also keep in mind that the law may not always be settled or may not support the position you want. My role is not to tell you what you want to hear. but to provide you accurate information as to what the law provides. Please do not rate me poorly just because the information I have provided does not support the outcome you desire.


You can always request me through my profile at http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-legaleagle1 also begin your question with “For LegalEagle1”
Expert:  LegalEagle1 replied 1 year ago.
I enjoyed answering your question a few days ago. I just wanted to contact you to see if you needed any further assistance.

Also if you have not yet rated my answer, please do so. This the way I receive credit and compensation for my work.

Thanks.

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