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Possession of Burglar's Tools

The State of New York has a specific law that addresses the possession of burglar's tools which is a distinct and separate crime from trespass, robbery or burglary. The crime involves the possession of burglar's tools with an intent to use the tools commit a crime. In many cases, it is difficult to prove any such intention.

Queens Lawyer for Possession of Burglar's Tools Charges

Although possession of burglar's tools is a misdemeanor, the criminal charge carries with it serious direct and collateral consequences. If you were charged with trespass, burglary or possession of burglary tools then contact the Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner.

Experienced criminal defense attorney Rochell Berliner handles cases all over New York City, including Queens, The Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.

Information Center for Burglary Tool Possession

The Rationale for Criminalizing Possession of Burglary Tools

The crime of possession of burglar's tools under New York law almost always involves charges for another criminal offense such as burglary or trespass. The rationale for the criminal charge of possession of burglar’s tools is similar to the rationale for penalizing an attempt to commit a crime. In both cases, the criminal charge provides for a punishment based on the intention to commit a crime regardless of whether the crime was actually committed or not.

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New York Penal Law 140.35 for Possession of Burglary Tools

Possession of Burglary Tools or Burglar's Tools is a Class "A" misdemeanor under New York Penal Law 140.35. Possession of Burglar's Tools can be alleged under New York law when a person allegedly possesses any instrument, tool, or other article commonly used, designed or adapted for facilitating or committing a crime involving forcible entry into a house, building or premises.

Possession of Burglar's Tools can also involve tools used to commit a larceny by a physical taking or theft of services. The possession of Burglar's Tools must be under circumstances evincing an intent to use or knowledge that some person intends to use the tools in the commission of a theft, larceny, robbery or burglary-type offense.

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Definitions used in New York's Possession of Burglary Tools Statute

For purposes of the Possession of Burglar's Tools crime, the term possess is defined as having "physical possession or otherwise to exercise dominion or control over tangible property." The term intent is defined to mean a "conscious objective or purpose" to possess a tool to be used in the commission of an offense involving forcible entry into premises, an offense involving larceny by a physical taking, or an offense involving theft of services.

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Types of Items Considered to be "Burglary Tools"

The most common items considered to be burglar's tools include master keys, lock picks, ski mask, explosives, or wire cutters. New York's statute on possession of burglar's tools is extremely vague because it also includes any other tool or object allegedly designed or commonly used to commit a crime.

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Additional Information on Burglary Tools

Jury Instructions for Possession of Burglar's Tools - One of the best ways to understand a criminal charge like possession of burglary tools is to read the jury instructions.

Wiki page on Burglar's Tools Crime in New York - Find out more about the laws prohibiting the possession of burglary tools in each of the 50 states throughout the country.

Burglary under New York Law - Read more about how charges for burglary are prosecuted in the State of New York. Under New York's Penal Law, burglary is always considered a felony offense, even in the third degree. The charge is more serious if the person accused used what appears to be a dangerous weapon including a firearm or knife, or if he or she enters a dwelling or occupied dwelling.

  • Burglary in the second degree, N.Y. Penal Law section 140.25
  • Burglary in the first degree, N.Y. Penal Law section 140.30

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Finding an Attorney to Fight Charges of Possession of Burglary Tools

If you were arrested for possession of burglary tools or any property or theft crime in Queens or New York City, you will want to immediately seek legal representation. Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner represents clients throughout New York City including Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Manhattan.

Queens criminal defense lawyer Rochelle S. Berliner will provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call 718-261-5600 or send an online message to set up a free, confidential consultation.

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Rochelle Berliner
Rochelle Berliner

Rochelle Berliner grew up in Queens, NY. She started New York Law School in January 1989 and graduated in June 1991. Immediately after law school, she started working at the New York County District Attorney’s Office, where she stayed for approximately 14 years...

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