According to an NJ.com report, Rutgers University’s Douglass Campus suffered a break-in in late August. The burglar damaged offices on the second and third floors of the College Hall building on 125 George Street in New Brunswick.
A staff member witnessed an unidentified individual enter the building at 7:00 p.m. on a Sunday evening. Police arrived to find the damaged offices later that night. No arrests were made in connection to the burglary and vandalism that took place.
Contrary to popular belief, a charge of burglary need not accompany a theft or attempt of theft. Burglary occurs simply when one enters a building without license or privilege with the intent to commit a crime therein.
In this case, the crime that the burglar allegedly committed is criminal mischief. While more difficult to prove, a crime need not actually occur for one to be charged with burglary. The court must only show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the burglar intended to commit a crime within the structure in question.
Burglary can be a crime of the second or third degree, depending upon various factors. A second-degree burglary will occur if a victim is injured or if the defendant brandishes a weapon. In New Jersey, second degree charges are punishable by 5-10 years incarceration, steep fines, and contrary to third degree charges, the defendant will enjoy no presumption against incarceration. Third degree charges, on the other hand, are punishable by 3-5 years in jail. However, if the burglary in question is a first offense, then the defendant enjoys a presumption against incarceration and will likely gain admittance into a diversionary program.
Rutgers students returning for the Fall 2014 semester should be careful at all times, protecting themselves and their belongings. The Courts of New Brunswick and Piscataway each hear a number of criminal charges during the academic year.
For more information on burglary charges, feel free to explore our website of contact the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver at 732.659.9600.