Can we start taking Crime Seriously in DC

Home Forums Public Safety Can we start taking Crime Seriously in DC

Topic: Can we start taking Crime Seriously in DC

Public Safety June 22, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Can we start taking Crime Seriously in DC

A few weeks ago an intruder tried to break into the basement apartment of my house. He got the screen off of the full-size window and started prying the window open. I was at work, but other occupants were home and ran out the door. The intruder tried to run away but was apprehended by police. Kudo’s to the fast response of the police. However, I was floored to find out the introder was charged with misdemeanor unlawful entry. The fine max. is $1000 and max time in jail is 6 months. The maximum penalty here is a joke. It certianly doesnt equate to the violating fear and anxiety myself and the other occpants feel in our house.  Is this actually going to deter anyone from commiting crimes? The man obviously was intending to break into the house, and had he gotten in before the residents ran out- who knows what would have happened. I also now have to pay to have one window replaced and the lock on my fence replaced (he stole the metal rod off the lock to pry the screen open with). I am extremely disappointed by the lack of seriousness that DC seems to take criminal activity. If this was Virginia, the offense would actually be serious. 

5 Replies Add Reply


You should sue the would-be intruder in civil court for the damage to your property.

Seems like a rational solution to the damage, but I don’t really want to keep a criminal engaged in my life in any way. This is a traumatic experience and he also knows where I live. I am really more concerned that DC coddles criminals.  A misdemearnor for trying to break into a house- especally with people home, is a joke. A scary joke. 

You can put in a community impact statement (I think that’s what it’s called) that gets taken into account during sentencing.

Out of curiousity, what would the penalty have been in VA?

The charge for this in DC was misdemeanor trespass/unlawful entry- which in my mind is a horrible injustice. This was an attempted burglary while people were home. I don’t agree the charge holds any severity.  However, in DC the maximum penalty is $1000 and 180 days in jail. In Virginia, is $2500 and a year in jail. However, my guess is that in Virginia, the police would charge someone breaking into an occupied house with a felony. 

Why don’t you ask for a meeting with the AUSA prosecuting the case? You could make him or her aware of how you feel about the charge and make sure he understands what the undercharging means to you, and he may provide you with an explanation of why that charge was chosen.

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)


Reply to this topic

You must be logged in to reply to this discussion. or