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I'm 18 years old and was just charged with an underage. I'm also being charged with burglary. Where do I stand.

Smithton, PA |

The burglary charge is due to the fact we were partying in an abandoned house, owned by the bank. Some damage was done but a lot was there prior to us going in, kids have been breaking into this house for years. I was also charged with an underage, but I was not given a breathalyzer test. Basically I need to know what I'm looking at as far as charges go, and my legal options

Attorney Answers 5


  1. The burglary charge is a felony so you better retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you. If you can't afford one, proceed immediately to the public defender.


  2. Seems you have at least some of the answers in your question. You've identified underage, and burglary; I would also expect to see a criminal conspiracy charge from your background facts. In terms of what will end up happening, I hope you can understand that no attorney is going to be able to tell you that with any precision. The much more important consideration at this time is what are you going to do. You need to be proactive and consult with qualified criminal defense counsel ASAP rather than let things unfold according to the Commonwealth's plan. Do not post anymore information on the Internet, and do not talk with ANYONE other than legal counsel, especially the police. Many of the attorneys who participate on this site offer free, if limited, initial consultations. Take advantage of that fact and start getting some affirmative help. I practice criminal defense throughout the southwestern counties of PA. Feel free to contact me it you wish to discuss this in greater detail and in private. (412) 551-4960


  3. I defer to Pennsylvania counsel in terms of "what might happen" and your need to get an attorney to defend these charges, but would hold out a ray of hope that if this was a vacant, empty foreclosed house simply used by kids to party (and there were no sales of drugs going on, "crack house" like), your lawyer would be able to argue that these charges are widely overblown and that there is no "felony burglary" (i.e., theft or items taken from the house, unless you were stripping the copper pipes or causing other vandalism), conspiracy or anything for which you should get prison time, especially for a first criminal offense. It was good you didn't get breathalized, and I assume no one drove drunk from this party and caused an accident or injury victim for which "someone must pay".

    You may be able to even have this pled down to a violation like disorderly conduct, adjourned in contemplation of dismissal (charges thrown out after six months or so where you don't get into other trouble), or the records sealed. A lot depends on state law, but there are usually "diversion" options for minor crimes. Get a lawyer and hopefully the ADA will be someone who your lawyer can work with.

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  4. You need a competent criminal defense attorney NOW! Get legal representation NOW!

    I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this response on the avvo website. I have not been retained to represent you. I am licensed to practice law in Kentucky and in federal court in this state and the Southern District of Indiana. You need to seek legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your area..


  5. The best thing you can do is hire a lawyer who does criminal defense. The case will probably turn out to be criminal trespass as either a summary or misdeameanor. Probably end up with probation for a short time for the burglary and a fine for the underage drinking, The burglary charge will go away. Email or call me if I can help. 215-266-3696. Doug Dolfman

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