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Burglary in the first degree in Huntsville & Madison County Alabama

Alabama treats the burglary of someone's home more severely than other kinds of burglaries.


Under Alabama law, if someone burglarizes someone's dwelling and there are certain aggravating factors present, the crime is elevated to the most serious form of burglary, burglary in the first degree.

There are three specific conditions where the entry into someone's dwelling becomes a burglary first degree under Alabama law.

The first occurs if the burglar while entering a dwelling or while in the dwelling or while fleeing someone's dwelling, the burglar causes physical injury to any person who is not a participant in the crime.

The second type of burglary first occurs when a burglar enters the dwelling while armed with either a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument or while they're in the dwelling or in flight from the dwelling they use or they threatened the immediate use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument against another person. You should note that the theft of a weapon or a dangerous instrument during the burglary-if no one is threatened with it-does not make the crime burglary in the first degree.

The third-way burglary in the first degree occurs is when a person knowingly and unlawfully enters or remains unlawfully in a dwelling with intent to commit a crime while armed with explosives. If a burglar breaks into your home and he is a stick of dynamite that would be burglary, first. Incidentally, if he has a firecracker in his pocket, that is not burglary first because Alabama excludes commonly available firecrackers and things of that nature from the definition of an explosive device.

The definition of burglary in the first degree is found in Section 13A-7-5 of Alabama's Criminal Code. It reads as follows:

(a) A person commits the crime of burglary in the first degree if he or she knowingly and unlawfully enters or remains unlawfully in a dwelling with intent to commit a crime therein, and, if, in effecting entry or while in dwelling or in immediate flight therefrom, the person or another participant in the crime:

(1) Is armed with explosives; or

(2) Causes physical injury to any person who is not a participant in the crime; or

(3) In effecting entry, is armed with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument or, while in the dwelling or immediate flight from the dwelling, uses or threatens the immediate use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument against another person. The use of or threatened use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument does not include the mere acquisition of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument during the burglary.

(b) Burglary in the first degree is a Class A felony.

The punishment for a class  A felony is for life or not more than 99 years or less than 10 years. Prior felony convictions or other aggravating factors can increase the potential punishment for this crime.

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