Virginia Arson, Burglary, Spying, and Trespassing Laws

Northern Virginia Defense Attorney Explains Crimes Against Habitation


  • Virginia Burglary Laws
  • Virginia Trespassing Laws
  • Virginia Arson Laws
  • Virginia Spying Laws
Virginia Burglary Laws1 Virginia Trespassing Laws2 Virginia Arson Laws3 Virginia Spying Laws4

What is a crime against habitation? It may sound strange, but most adults are likely familiar with most of these offenses. An offense against habitation refers to one of several different criminal offenses involving land, buildings, or dwellings occupied by people. The four offenses offenses covered by our Virginia criminal defense attorney and Fairfax criminal attorney are as follows, and may be accessed by clicking the appropriate links below, or the images:

Crimes Against Habitation:
Virginia Trespassing,
Arson, Burglary, & Peeping Laws
Explained by our Fairfax Criminal Attorney

Burglary Defense

Virginia Burglary Laws

Team Leader & Fairfax Criminal Attorney Clarifies:

  • what constitutes breaking and entering?
  • does night vs. daytime matter?
  • what happens when a weapon is involved?
  • is burglary the same as robbery?

… and more about Virginia burglary defense.

Fairfax criminal attorneyVirginia Arson Law Page

Principal Fairfax Defense Attorney Covers:

  • does arson always involve fire?
  • is it considered arson if a car is ignited?
  • how tough is Virginia on arsonists?
  • is it illegal to set fire to grass?

…and more information about Virginia arson laws.

Virginia Trespassing LawsVirginia Trespassing Laws

Founding Fairfax Criminal Lawyer Explains:

  • What if the defendant did not intend to trespass?
  • Is notice required before arrest?
  • What are some potential trespassing defenses?
  • Is it illegal to trick someone into trespassing?

…and more about Virginia trespassing laws.

Virginia Spying Law PageFairfax criminal attorney

Experienced Virginia Criminal Lawyer Answers:

  • may a landlord look through his own window?
  • is looking through a bathroom stall crack illegal?
  • are police allowed to spy on citizens?
  • how long will a convicted peeper go to jail?

…and more about the Virginia peeping and spying law.

These offenses are all quite different:

  • each can be uniquely defended in specific ways;
  • elements the Commonwealth Attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt differ; and,
  • the potential penalties and consequences vary.

Additionally, each offense is penalized by the Commonwealth of Virginia for different underlying purposes, even though all of these crimes against habitation usually involve a dwelling house, certain premises, or other type of structure.

Due to the ways these Virginia crimes against habitation vary, our Virginia-serving, Fairfax criminal attorney and legal team has made the decision to dedicate separate pages to cover each one of these Virginia crimes. Use the links above, or use our home page navigation (see the drop-down menu below the main criminal defense menu item).

The Importance of Acting Fast and Our Virginia and Fairfax Criminal Attorney and Legal Team’s Dedication to Serve

If you are here because you or a loved one faces a pending charge in Northern Virginia, then our legal team at Vincenzes Law, PLLC, founded by Brenton D. Vincenzes, encourages you to request a free consultation. Similarly, if you are here because you or a loved one’s charge has already been resolved but you want to find out whether or not an appeal or expungement of the criminal record is possible, give us a call at 888.695.6565 or send us an online message.

Call Our Northern Virginia-Serving Fairfax Criminal Attorney
ANY Time, ANY Day

As long as you are calling to discuss a charge in Virginia (past or current), you may call us at your convenience. Although our typical business hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., our phones and internet message systems are connected to our principal founding Virginia and Fairfax criminal defense attorney 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If we are able to answer, we will do so at any hour, on any day.

We offer such dedicated service because we understand how important deadlines can be. Plus, we would prefer a person reach out and contact our firm sooner rather than later, even if we are not technically open. This is so that we can best prepare for the matter. Simply put, the more time your lawyer has, the better you will be served.

Additional Points from or Fairfax Criminal Attorney
(Related to Habitation Crimes)

It should be noted that burglary is not the same offense as robbery. Robbery is a crime against a person, as opposed to a crime against habitation. As a result, robbery is prosecuted with more vigor (generally speaking). Our Fairfax criminal lawyer covers robbery on another page. Similarly, our founding Fairfax criminal attorney also covers theft crimes (such as larceny and embezzlement) on a separate page. Theft crimes are not crimes against habitation, but people often confuse burglary as theft offenses by automatically assuming a burglary charge involves an allegation of thievery.

Why Choose the Vincenzes Law Firm, or our Fairfax Criminal Attorney?

If you or a loved one has been:

  • charged and faces a pending criminal case;
  • recently subjected to a criminal investigation;
  • accused of a criminal offense, either by a law enforcement official or private citizen;
  • charged and found not guilty; or,
  • charged and the case was dropped (nolle prosequi disposition)

…and if the pending or past arrest or charge occurred in Northern Virginia, we are willing to discuss potential representation by offering you a free consultation, flat-fee quote, and explanation of the strengths, weaknesses, and possible defenses.

But, Do We Serve Your Location?

When we say Northern Virginia, we mean the following counties:

  • Arlington
  • Fairfax
  • Prince William
  • Stafford
  • Spotsylvania
  • Loudoun
  • Fauquier

…or the Cities of:

  • Alexandria
  • Fairfax
  • Manassas / Manassas Park
  • Fredericksburg
  • Falls Church

…or the numerous towns, including but not limited to:

  • Clifton
  • Leesburg
  • South Riding
  • Front Royal
  • Dumfries
  • Occoquan
  • Hamilton
  • Hillsboro
  • Haymarket
  • Quantico
  • Middleburg
  • Remington
  • Round Hill
  • The Plains
  • Herndon
  • Vienna
  • Burke
  • Reston
  • McLean
  • Great Falls, and all other local areas within the above counties, cities, and towns.

Why is it so Important to Contact Our Firm if You or a Loved One Faces a Pending Criminal Case?

  • potential jail time and loss of liberty;
  • hundreds, thousands, or hundreds of thousands in fines;
  • loss of driving privileges;
  • loss of employment;
  • a possible defense you are not even aware exists which could exonerate you.

Only a Virginia licensed (presently active and in good standing) legal professional is qualified to talk to the prosecution before a trial in order to advocate on your behalf for a dropped charge or plea bargain.

If you are accused of a crime by any person, or are under investigation, it is important to talk to a Virginia or local Fairfax criminal attorney because:

  • it is not wise to ever talk to the police if you have not been charged (it is also unwise to talk to the police if you have been charged, without a lawyer by your side);
  • you do not want to accidentally say or do something to implicate yourself; and,
  • you deserve to understand your Constitutional rights.

If a previous arrest or charge did not result in a guilty verdict, then you should discuss the matter with our Virginia expungement lawyer, because:

  • a criminal arrest record is public;
  • all arrests and criminal charges remain on an adult’s record for life, unless expunged;
  • the process is complicated, involves numerous steps, and requires strict requirements;
  • your future and employment prospects may depend on a successful criminal background check!

Furthermore, only a Virginia criminal lawyer can provide legal advice and analysis of your unique facts based on:

  • current statutory law;
  • Virginia and federal case law precedent;
  • Virginia constitutional principles; and,
  • U.S. Constitutional protections and rights.

Plus, our Northern Virginia serving local Fairfax criminal lawyer can explain the legal reasoning behind any and all possible defense theories, which puts you or your loved one in a far better position as opposed to being left alone without the knowledge or the power, forced to simply hope for a positive outcome.

Do not leave your criminal record or your liberty to chance. The criminal justice system is not a game.

The Commonwealth Attorneys and Police Officers are on a Mission:

Their mission? Prosecute you if they think you are guilty. Police officers have no formal legal training (no Bar requirement, and no law school education), and Commonwealth Attorneys (prosecutors) are your opponents: neither are your friends.

The Vincenzes Law Firm is unique and has earned a positive reputation. We believe it is a result of the fact that:

  • our founder takes the time to get to know our firm’s clients on a personal level
  • our representation is compassionate, friendly, but unwavering and trial-fierce
  • if you are our client, then your Fairfax criminal attorney from the Vincenzes Law Firm will answer your phone calls personally, and…
  • Our clients do not get the run-around nor do they have to ever talk to a secretary. Period.

The good news to those who are apprehensive about talking to a lawyer due to financial concerns is that many excellent lawyers offer free consultations. Our Northern Virginia criminal defense attorney and firm, as well as our founder — a Fairfax criminal lawyer — is always willing to talk to someone who has a pending charge in a Virginia judicial district.

Similarly, the Vincenzes Law Firm is willing to talk to anyone who wishes to find out whether or not expungement in Virginia is feasible. To make matters easier and more convenient, we offer online case evaluations, but it is usually a better idea to schedule an in-person discussion to truly allow our Virginia criminal lawyer and firm to understand the situation and so you can get to know one another on a personal level. Call us at 888.695.6565 or send us an inquiry here. We will be happy to take your call or reply as soon as we can.

Image references:

“Robber” by chanpipat | “Burned House” by think4photop | “Burned Abandoned House” by think4photop |”Robber Hiding Under A White Wall” by chanpipat | “Spy Lady” by adamrvia | “Lady Looking Through Binocular” by | “No Unauthorised Persons Sign” by artur84 | No Trespassing Sign: No trespassing by Djuradj Vujcic.jpg via Wikipedia Commons

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Brenton D. Vincenzes is a lifelong Fairfax County resident and Fairfax Criminal Defense Lawyer. He is a member of the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National College of DUI Defense, NORML, and has been awarded the following in 2014-15: Top 100 Trial Lawyer (National Trial Lawyers) Top 40 Under 40 Trial Lawyer (National Trial Lawyers) Nationally Ranked Top 10 Under 40 Defense Attorney (National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys) 10 Best in Client Satisfaction for Criminal Defense (American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys) Nationally Ranked Top 1% Attorney Award Recipient (National Association of Distinguished Counsel) As a local leader, Mr. Vincenzes mentors troubled youths, volunteers his time to serve at his church, takes select pro bono clients, and strives to improve the community. Mr. Vincenzes represents men, women, and juveniles through zealous and diligent advocacy, strategic planning, and skilled trial work preparation. Mr. Vincenzes' areas of criminal law practice are broad, and include most felonies and misdemeanors such as: reckless driving, DUI & DWI, drug offenses, assault and battery, domestic violence, assault on an officer, destruction of property, alcohol offenses, firearm offenses, larceny, shoplifting, embezzlement, fraud, and other theft offenses, and moving traffic violations among others. His private legal services are available in most Northern Virginia jurisdictions, including Fairfax County, Arlington County, Prince William County, Loudoun County, Stafford County, Alexandria, Manassas, Leesburg, South Riding, and other cities and towns.

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