Although each state has its own definition of conduct that constitutes burglary, it's generally defined as unlawfully entering a structure with the intent to commit a crime. It's important to note that burglary can occur whether or not the intended crime was actually committed. For example, if someone enters a home with the intention to commit a theft, but leaves without actually taking anything, he or she has still committed burglary. Additionally, burglary doesn't require physical breaking and entering, meaning that a person who enters a building through an unlocked door or open window is still committing a burglary.
Ohio has three separate statutes addressing conduct that constitutes burglary. Although each statute addresses specific conduct and circumstances, the common element is that the offender trespasses "by force, stealth, or deception" onto another's property. While burglary is classified as a felony in Ohio, the circumstances surrounding the burglary will affect the degree of the felony.
Ohio Burglary Laws Overview
Below you will find key provisions of burglary laws in Ohio.
Ohio Revised Code Title XXIX. Crimes Procedure Section 2911.11, et seq.
Aggravated Burglary (§ 2911.11): It's a first degree felony to trespass in an occupied structure when people are present with the purpose to commit a criminal offense, and:
- The person inflicts, attempts or threatens to inflict physical harm on another; or
- The person has a deadly weapon.
Burglary (§ 2911.12(A)):
- It's a second degree felony to trespass with the intent to commit a criminal offense in either (1) an occupied structure when another person is present, or (2) an occupied habitation of any person when any person is present or likely to be present.
- It's a third degree felony to trespass in an occupied structure with purpose to commit any criminal offense.
Trespass in a Habitation (§ 2911.12(B)): It's a fourth degree felony to trespass in a permanent or temporary habitation when any person is present or likely to be present.
Breaking and Entering (§ 2911.13): It's a fifth degree felony to trespass in an unoccupied structure with the purpose to commit a theft offense or any felony. It's also a felony of the fifth degree to trespass on someone else's land or premises with the purpose to commit a felony.
Conviction of any of Ohio's burglary laws can result in imprisonment and fines:
- First degree felony: 3 to 11 years in prison and fines not exceeding $20,000.
- Second degree felony: 2 to 8 years in prison and fines not exceeding $15,000.
- Third degree felony: 9, 12, 18, 24, 30, or 36 months in prison* and fines not exceeding $10,000.
- Fourth degree felony: 6 to 18 months in prison and fines not exceeding $5,000.
- Fifth degree felony: 6 to 12 months in prison and fines not exceeding $2,500.
*For a felony of the third degree that is a violation of §2911.12 if the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty in two or more separate proceedings to two or more violations of §§ 2911.01, 2911.02, 2911.11, or 2911.12, the prison term shall be 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 42, 48, 54, or 60 months.
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Ohio Burglary Laws: Related Resources
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Get Legal Help with Your Burglary Case in Ohio
Burglary is a serious offense in Ohio and conviction can result in severe consequences. In the event that you're charged with violating Ohio's burglary laws, it may be a good idea to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Ohio to talk about your rights and options.