San Diego Burglary Attorney

California Burglary Attorney – California Penal Code 459PC 

Hiring the right San Diego burglary attorney is extremely important. The charges and penalties associated with each can vary greatly depending on the circumstances and the details of alleged crime. Robbery, burglary and theft are different in terms of the law. The definition of a burglary is the unlawful entry of a building with the intent to commit some type of crime, in most cases, theft.

What is California burglary per PC 459? 

California PC 459 states that a person can be found guilty of entering a vessel, cargo container, building or vehicle with the sole intention of committing a felony or stealing something. In California, the sentencing and subsequent punishment for burglary can be severe. Hiring a qualified burglary attorney that can aggressively defend your rights is important. 

If you are to be convicted of the burglary charge, it must be proven that your sole reason for entering the building was to commit a felony. If the decision was made to commit the crime after you were inside the building, you would be guilty of a different charge.

First Degree and Second Degree Burglary 

California has two separate burglary charges. They are first degree burglary and second degree burglary. First degree burglary is the charge for entering a person's residence, while second degree burglary involves entering into a commercial property or business.

First degree burglary charges are considered to be felonies. A second degree burglary charge, however, can be entered as either a misdemeanor or felony charge. When an offense can be filed as either a felony or misdemeanor, it is known as a wobbler. With a second degree charge, the facts of the case will eventually determine its seriousness. A past criminal record, whether or not you are currently serving probation, the time of the offense and the type of structure involved will all help to determine whether the charge is a felony or a misdemeanor.

What are the best defense options for California burglary?

In California, there are several different defenses that can be used in a burglary case. They include lack of intent, mistake of fact, illegal search and seizure, consent, failure to read the defendant's Miranda Rights, verifiable alibi and intoxication, just to name a few. The facts of your case will determine what defense best suits your needs. Hiring a reputable burglary attorney will help you determine which defense is best.

Essentially, one must enter a structure belonging to someone else, without permission, to be charged with burglary. “Structures” can include

  • Businesses
  • Residences
  • Vehicles
  • Storage facilities (including sheds and warehouses)

Next, the prosecutor must demonstrate the intention of committing another crime, such as

  • Arson
  • Assault
  • Homicide
  • Robbery
  • Theft
  • Rape
  • Vandalism 

California burglary sentencing and punishment

Residential, or first degree burglary is considered to be a “strike” offense. It is also a felony. According to California PC 461(1), a strike offense is one in which 85 percent of your actual sentence must be served, even if you are on good behavior. A person with a first offense can face up to 6 years of prison time. Individuals facing a second degree burglary (commercial burglary) charge, may end up with either a felony or a misdemeanor. If they are charged with a misdemeanor, it can result in a year in the local county jail.

Legal Assistance

Burglaries often are charged as felonies, but a capable defense attorney may be able to have a felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor. A good burglary lawyer will ensure that all facts related to the case are presented. The knowledge of the attorney could mean the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor trial.

For legal assistance with a burglary case, contact Ross Law Center. Our criminal defense attorneys have the skill and knowledge needed to ensure the best possible outcome. Your initial consultation is free.

Ross Law Center
750 B Street #3300
San Diego, CA 92101
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Ross Law Center
380 South Melrose Drive #363
Vista, CA 92081
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