Beaufort Burglary Lawyer

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Burglary charges of any degree could become a felony on your permanent criminal record and result in a lengthy prison sentence. There are many factors to consider regarding your charges, and state legislation can be challenging to interpret.

Understanding how the laws and mitigating factors work is crucial while preparing your defense. A hard-working Beaufort burglary lawyer could handle court communication, negotiations and help you build a solid defense. Entrust your case to a diligent theft attorney at Schiller & Hamilton now.

Degrees of Burglary and Potential Penalties

Whether the court finds the defendant guilty of burglary in the first, second, or third-degree, they will receive a felony on their permanent record.

The severity of additional penalties depends on the degree and whether the defendant is accused of entering a dwelling or a building. State law defines a dwelling as living quarters or a place where the person sleeps or lodges. The code defines a building as any structure, including an automobile, water vessel, or aircraft.

A well-versed Beaufort defense attorney could answer questions and go over the various degrees of burglary.


The South Carolina Code of Laws § 16-11-313 defines burglary in the third degree as entering a building without permission with intent to commit a crime. If a court finds the defendant guilty of burglary in the third degree, they face up to five years in prison for the first offense and ten years for the second offense.


The law breaks burglary in the second degree into two categories, non-violent and violent. Under S.C. Code § 16-11-312, a person commits a non-violent burglary in the second degree by entering a dwelling without permission with intent to commit a crime during the day. If the court finds them guilty of this crime, they face a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

An individual commits a violent burglary in the second degree if they enter a building without permission by threat or with a deadly weapon and intends to commit a crime. A court can also find the defendant guilty of a violent burglary if they have two or more previous charges, commit the crime during nighttime hours, or the other party sustains an injury. A person who is guilty of a violent second-degree burglary faces up to fifteen years in prison.


A Burglary in the first-degree conviction is the most severe burglary sentencing a person can face and carries the harshest penalties. According to S.C. Code § 16-11-311, the assailant commits burglary in the first degree if they unlawfully enter a dwelling by threat or using a deadly weapon to commit a crime. The jury could also find the defendant guilty of burglary in the first degree if they committed the offense at night or had two previous offenses. A conviction of first-degree burglary is punishable by up to life in prison.

Burglary Charges in Beaufort with Enhancements

A person could face charges for burglary with enhancements if law enforcement catches them in possession of certain tools. Per S.C. Code § 16-11-20, these tools include:

  • False keys
  • Picklock
  • Nippers
  • Coils or fuses
  • Machinery
  • Steel wedge
  • Drills
  • Nitroglycerine

A felony conviction with enhancements carries the potential of five additional years in prison. Besides committing a crime, many items that could cause enhancement charges have various uses. A knowledgeable attorney in Beaufort could answer questions on burglary charges with enhancements and work towards negotiations with the state.

Call a Beaufort Burglary Attorney to Help Today

A burglary charge of any degree is a severe felony charge. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, it carries the potential of up to life in prison. The state and law enforcement take burglary seriously and work tirelessly for prosecution.

If you face these charges, reaching out to an experienced Beaufort burglary lawyer is your best defense. Skilled legal representation from Schiller & Hamilton could complete an independent investigation, thorough review, and develop the best possible defense strategies in your case.

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