Defense Against Burglary Allegations


Burglary and Related Offenses

Tennessee state law specifies conditions that must exist for one to be charged with burglary and burglary-related offenses. Tennessee Annotated Code (T.C.A.) § 39-14-402 defines Burglary as the unlawful entering of a location, without the effective consent of the property’s owner, in conjunction with committing or intending to commit a felony, theft, or assault. Simple burglary charges may range from a Class E to a Class D felony depending on the property burglarized.

Aggravated Burglary, as defined by T.C.A §39-14-403, is the burglary of a habitation, meaning any structure that is designed or modified for the overnight accommodation of persons. Aggravated burglary is a Class C felony.

T.C.A § 39-14-404 defines Especially Aggravated Burglary as the burglary of any location in which a victim suffers serious bodily injury. Especially aggravated burglary is a Class B felony.

Other burglary-related offenses include the following:

Criminal Trespass – T.C.A § 39-14-405: entering or remaining on a property or any portion thereof, without effective consent from the owner. Criminal trespass is a Class C misdemeanor.

Aggravated Criminal Trespass – § 39-14-406: entering or remaining on a property without the owner’s effective consent and causing fear for the safety of another or damaging or destroying any barrier(s) designed to keep trespassers from entering the property. Aggravated criminal trespass charges may range from a Class B to a Class A misdemeanor.

Vandalism – § 39-14-408: knowingly causing damage or the destruction of any personal property without the owner’s effective consent. Punishments for acts of vandalism are based on the value of the property according to the provisions for theft under T.C.A § 39-14-105 as follows:

Value Punishment
$500 or lessClass A misdemeanor: Up to 11 months 29 days in jail and up to $2,500 in fines
$500-$1,000Class E felony: 1-6 years in prison and up to $3,000 in fines
$1,000-$10,000Class D felony: 2-12 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines
$10,000-$60,000Class C felony: 3-15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
$60,000-$250,000Class B felony: 8-30 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines
More than $250,000Class A felony: 15-60 years in prison and up to $50,000 in fines

Provisions for Authorized Terms of Imprisonment and Fines for Felonies and Misdemeanors are set forth in T.C.A. § 40-35-111 as follows:

Offense Level

Punishment(s)

Class A felonyFifteen (15) to sixty (60) years of imprisonment. In addition, the jury may assess a fine of no more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), unless otherwise provided by statute.
Class B felonyEight (8) to thirty (30) years of imprisonment. In addition, the jury may assess a fine of no more than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), unless otherwise provided by statute
Class C felonyThree (3) to fifteen (15) years of imprisonment. In addition, the jury may assess a fine of no more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), unless otherwise provided by statute;
Class D felonyTwo (2) to twelve (12) years of imprisonment. In addition, the jury may assess a fine of no more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), unless otherwise provided by statute
Class E felonyOne (1) to six (6) years of imprisonment. In addition, the jury may assess a fine of no more than three thousand dollars ($3,000), unless otherwise provided by statute
Class A misdemeanorNo more than eleven (11) months, twenty-nine (29) days of imprisonment or a fine of up to two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or both, unless otherwise provided by statute;
Class B misdemeanorNo more than six (6) months of imprisonment or a fine of up to five hundred dollars ($500), or both, unless otherwise provided by statute; and
Class C misdemeanorNo more than thirty (30) days of imprisonment or a fine of up to fifty dollars ($50.00), or both, unless otherwise provided by statute.

The criminal defense attorneys at The McKellar Law Firm are knowledgeable and experienced with Tennessee state laws. We are committed to the needs of our clients, attentive to their requests, and determined to protect and ensure their rights. We can provide you with professional, legal advice, address your concerns, and make certain that you are not charged unfairly or excessively.

If you have been accused or are under investigation for burglary in the state of Tennessee, it is important to contact an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible. Convictions for burglary can result in serious consequences, which may impact your future personal and professional opportunities. Contact the criminal defense attorneys at The McKellar Law Firm today at 865-566-0125.

Protect Your Rights — Contact Us

If you're under investigation for burglary or have already been charged with a crime in Tennessee, it is important to contact an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible. Convictions for burglary can result in serious consequences, which may impact your future personal and professional opportunities.

To make an appointment at McKellar & Easter, Attorneys at Law, call 865-566-0125 or send us an email. All initial telephone consultations are free and we accept credit cards.