What Is Aggravated Burglary?

Aggravated burglary is entering someone's house to steal something with the intent to commit another crime or while using or carrying a weapon. Not all states make a distinction between burglary and aggravated burglary. Some states allow for more serious punishment for burglaries committed with aggravating circumstances.

Aggravated burglary consists of regular burglary plus another crime. This other crime may be using or threatening to use a weapon, planning to commit a felony, planning or committing a sexual assault or causing bodily injury. Each state that specifies aggravated burglary as a separate offense from burglary has different laws about what constitutes the "aggravated" portion of the charge.

The states that have aggravated burglary charges available include Wyoming, Ohio, Utah, Tennessee, Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Montana, as of 2014. Other states may add additional charges to a burglary charge if the situation warrants. Punishments for aggravated burglaries are much more severe, and can include as much as triple jail time or a life sentence. Hard labor is required by those found guilty of aggravated burglary in some states. Additionally, more time must be served in prison before parole is offered. Those found guilty of an aggravated burglary with a sexual offense must register as a sexual offender.