The Importance of a Burglary Attorney

There are many benefits to hiring an attorney. You get someone to independently investigate the case. Michael Fayard knows Hawaii law and can offer an experienced opinion on whether the charges make sense or not. It could be the prosecutor is over-reaching and doesn’t have a strong case. Attorney Fayard might respond with a motion to dismiss or negotiate for reduced charges.

Having a burglary lawyer represent you means you’re prepared. You’ll learn the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecutor’s case and your defense. You’ll know what you’re up against in terms of a potential sentence. You also can feel confident that attorney Fayard is going everything he can to secure your freedom.

Burglary Charges in Hawaii

You can find Hawaii’s burglary laws in the Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) §708-810 and §708-811. If you’re charged with a crime under one of these statutes, call a lawyer right away. These are serious crimes that can lead to devastating consequences.

Burglary in the First Degree in Hawaii

You can be charged with first-degree burglary if you intentionally entered or unlawfully stayed in a building with the intent to commit a crime against a person or property, and you:

  • Were armed with or used a dangerous weapon;
  • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly inflicted or tried to inflict bodily injury on someone;
  • Recklessly disregarded a risk that the building could be someone’s dwelling, and the building was a dwelling.

Burglary in the first degree is a Class B felony in Hawaii.

Burglary in the Second Degree in Hawaii

You can be charged with second-degree burglary if you intentionally entered or stayed in a building with the intent to commit a crime against a person or property. This is a Class C felony in Hawaii.

The difference between the 1st and 2nd degrees of burglary are aggravating factors. Without an aggravating factor, like breaking into a dwelling, a dangerous weapon, or causing injuries, you could face a lesser charge. It might even be possible for an experienced lawyer like Michael Fayard to argue for the charges to be reduced to a different misdemeanor offense.

Burglary of a Dwelling During an Emergency

You can face a Class A felony if you’re charged with burglary of a dwelling during a declared emergency period. It’s a very serious offense, and you should hire a lawyer immediately. You can be charged with this crime if you intentionally or unlawfully stay in a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime, or if you recklessly disregard the risk of the building being someone’s home, and it is a dwelling, during an emergency period.

If you’re charged with burglary of a building (not a dwelling) during an emergency period, it’s a Class B felony.


$1,550,000 Plaintiff’s Verdict

Michael was co-counsel representing a maritime worker that was injured when a negligent employee struck him in the head with a bell hammer attached to a crane. Pre-trial offer was $0.00.

$1,200,000.00 Plaintiff’s Verdict

SR v. TS, et al. – I represented an elderly client that was the injured and was the victim of fraud and theft by thieves using a forged power of attorney and forged deed. Pre-trial offer was $2,500.00.

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Intent to Commit a Crime

An important element of a burglary charge is your intent to commit a crime. It can be any crime against a person or someone’s property rights. Common examples are robbery, theft, assault, rape, or criminal property damage.

How does a prosecutor prove you intended to commit a crime? It depends on the circumstances. It might be based on what you had with you at the time, such as if you had something that could be used as an instrument to commit an offense. It could be based on something you said or wrote to a person who lived in that building, which they might have construed as a threat.

The State can use all types of evidence to try and prove you intended to commit a crime while in the building. But it’s hard to prove what someone was thinking or planning. It’s best to have an experienced burglary lawyer defend you in court. Michael Fayard can specifically target this element of burglary and raise doubt about whether you had the necessary intent.

Unlawfully Remaining in a Building

You can be charged with burglary or a related crime if you initially enter a dwelling or building with permission, but then you stay, and your presence becomes unlawful. For example, if you entered a store and intentionally hid to stay after it closes. Or you might stay in a place or on someone’s land after being told to leave. If you remain somewhere after the implicit or explicit permission is revoked, your presence is unlawful and could lead to charges.

Potential Punishments for Burglary

You can face a Class B or Class C felony if you’re charged with a first offense of burglary. For a Class C felony, which is the least serious felony, you face be sentenced to up to five years in prison and fined up to $10,000. For a class B felony, you face up to 10 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.

For either charge, you might be able to avoid the maximum length of incarceration. One of the benefits of working with an attorney, even when a conviction is possible, is that you can push for a lenient sentence. By working with Michael Fayard, you can ask for supervised probation and minimal time in prison.

He is relentless to ensure his clients are well taken care of.”

- Cliff T

Related Charges

Burglary is a type of crime that often comes with other charges. Don’t be surprised to have to defend yourself against at least two different offenses. There are also related charges you might face instead of a felony burglary charge if Michael Fayard can get your charges reduced.


Criminal trespass in the first degree means you knowingly enter or unlawfully stay:

  • In a dwelling, hotel, or apartment building;
  • On enclosed property in possession of a firearm; or
  • In a public school, after being warned to leave.

It’s a misdemeanor offense.

Criminal trespass in the second degree means you knowingly enter or unlawfully stay in an enclosed area, commercial premises, agricultural lands, unused lands, or public housing. It’s a petty misdemeanor. Simple trespass means you knowingly enter or unlawfully stay on someone else’s property. It’s a violation, which is less than a misdemeanor.

Possession of Burglar’s Tools

You can be charged with the misdemeanor of possession of burglar’s tools if you knowingly possess any item designed, adapted, or commonly used to break into a building, and you intend to use the item during a burglary or theft offense. You also can face this charge if you knowingly possess a master key without authorization and intend to use it in the commission of a crime.

Let a Lawyer Defend You Against Burglary Charges

You want to give yourself the best possible chance to beat burglary charges, right? That means hiring an attorney. Public defenders are great lawyers who should be applauded for their efforts. But they’re overworked. They don’t have time to dedicate to yourself. But Michael Fayard does.

Attorney Fayard doesn’t over-book himself because he knows how important it is to focus on each case and be available for his clients. You’ll always get your questions answered, and your calls or emails returned within 24 hours.

To learn more about how Michael Fayard can help you fight burglary charges in Hawaii, use the online contact form or call 808-445-6708. You can set up a free consultation.