Bill To Crackdown On Burglary Released By Assembly Panel

Legislation to crackdown on burglary is advancing toward law. The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, upgrades burglary of a residence as a crime of the second degree, and upgrades it to a crime of the first degree if committed while armed. Burglary is now punishable as a crime of the second degree if the defendant either was armed or inflicted, attempted to inflict or threatened, bodily injury during the course of the offense. In all other circumstances, burglary is a crime of the third degree.

“Residents throughout New Jersey have long had enough with crime, but at least have been able to seek comfort within their own homes,” said Caputo (D-Essex). “Now, all too often, that is even at risk with brazen burglaries. This bill sends a clear message that if you violate the sanctum of someone’s home, you’re going to face real and tough penalties.”

A crime of the third degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment between three to five years, a fine not to exceed $15,000 or both. A crime of the second degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment between five to 10 years, a fine not to exceed $150,000 or both.

“A person who commits the upgraded first degree crime of burglarizing a residence while armed would be sentenced under No Early Release Act,” said Caputo. “Under that, persons convicted are required to serve a minimum term of at least 85 percent of the sentence imposed.”

The bill was released by the Assembly Judiciary Committee. TLS.

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