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Could a first time burglary/larceny offender receive a lesser sentence under these circumstances?

Raleigh, NC |

The offender in question is charged with first degree burglary and larceny. No weapons were involved. He has apologized and returned the items stolen back to their owner, and willingly turned himself in to the local sheriff, where he has been detained ever since. He has no prior felony convictions, and claims to genuinely wish to make things right and accept the punishment for his bad decision. I've already researched the consequences of a class D felony in North Carolina, and understand the severity of these charges. However, I would like to know if the defendant could possibly enter a plea bargain and/or, based on his lack of a prior record and efforts to set things right, receive probation/deferred judgement, or any other way of avoiding prison time if he remains on his best behavior.

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Attorney answers 4


This person definitely needs to hire a local attorney to work out the best possible deal with the State. Any criminal defense attorney in wake county should (after hearing all the facts) be able to tell him where the best deal is for a first time offender.


Our local DA's office treats residential break-ins very seriously. They typically will not reduce the charge below the felony level, and will not offer any type of deferral program that would allow the defendant to have the charge dismissed and expunged. If the defendant here has no prior record, and the facts of the case aren't particularly egregious, the prosecutor will probably be willing to offer a plea deal to a reduced charge (eg, felony second-degree burglary or felony breaking & entering), but won't go lower than that absent extraordinary circumstances. A reduction is very important in this case because a Class D felony carries mandatory jail time, and the lower felonies don't. The prosecutor would probably also agree to probation instead of additional jail time, but it all depends on the circumstances of the case.

Of course, if the prosecutor does not make a reasonalbe offer, the defendant has the right to plead not guilty and request a trial. Trials can be expensive and risky, but if there is no good alternative, then it may be the only option.

If the defendant has not already spoken with an attorney, he should do so immediately. I practice in Raleigh and would be happy to talk to you more about the case; please see my profile for contact information.


You should meet with a local defense attorney to discover whether or not your expectations are unreasonable.

There is no confidentiality online. Volunteering to answer this question does not create an attorney-client relationship. The accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The likelihood of a positive outcome- exoneration or a mitigated sentence- is increased with the help of an experienced criminal litigator. Seek out an experienced criminal litigator for a free consultation. If you cannot find one on Avvo, search at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers ( Speak to several attorneys and hire the one that makes you feel confident and comfortable. NACDL local members:

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Could not agree more with Daniel. I've done some felony work in Wake County and home invasions are treated quite seriously there. Get an attorney who can analyze your case and properly advise you. Best of luck!

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