If you are facing burglary charges in California state court, you need an aggressive, successful and experienced defense lawyer. Burglary is a serious criminal offense that requires a skilled criminal defense attorney who will fight for your innocence. Mary Frances Prévost is an experienced burglary defense lawyer who aggressively represents defendants in San Diego and the surrounding areas. For a free and confidential consultation about your burglary case, call (888) 909-7896.
California Penal Code § 459 defines burglary as entering a:
with the intent to commit a felony (or a petty theft) once inside.
Sometimes, burglary is referred to as “breaking and entering.” This has led to a common misconception that in order to be convicted of burglary, someone must forcibly enter a room or structure. However, only auto burglary requires an actual break-in. You can still be convicted of burglary if you entered a home or business through an unlocked door or window with the intent to commit a felony or steal something once inside.
Burglary is a broadly-defined criminal offense that encompasses a wide range of activities. Examples of burglary under California law include, but are not limited to:
California law recognizes two categories of burglary, first degree burglary and second degree burglary.
Under California law, burglary of an “inhabited dwelling house” such as a house, apartment, hotel room, or any other structure where people are living is always a felony. It is known as “first degree burglary” or “residential burglary.”
The penalties for first degree burglary in California include up to six years in state prison. It is important to understand that first degree burglary counts as a strike under California’s three-strikes law.
Under California law, a burglary committed at a store, business, or any place where people are not residing is considered “second degree burglary.” This offense is also known as “commercial burglary.”
Second degree burglary is known as a “wobbler” offense. This means that prosecutors may choose whether to file the charge as either a misdemeanor or felony. Typically, prosecutors will seek felony charges if the defendant has a prior criminal record or the offense was committed in a particularly serious way.
If you are convicted of felony second degree burglary charges, you could be sentenced to up to three years in state prison. If you are convicted of misdemeanor second degree burglary charges, you could be sentenced to up to one year in county jail.
There are several defenses to burglary charges in California. The information in this section is for information purposes only. You should consult with an experienced burglary defense attorney to learn more about what defenses are available to you in your case.
Legal defenses to burglary charges in California include, but are not limited to:
Mary Frances Prévost offers her clients years of courtroom experience. She is dedicated to zealous representation of individuals facing California burglary charges in courts in San Diego and the surrounding areas. To discuss your burglary case, call (888) 909-7896.
Do not leave your freedom to chance. Contact the Law Offices of Mary Frances Prévost today.