Burglary, under California Penal Code Section 459 is also known as “breaking and entering a property”, with the main aim being: to steal something or commit a crime. Note that even if force is not used, it is still considered to be a burglary.
First Degree Burglary and Second Degree Burglary:
Burglaries committed where someone lives are automatically classified as a first degree burglary.
Burglaries can be committed in any type of building, whether it’s a home, business, boat, store or anywhere else. For burglaries that occur in structures where people don’t live, these are considered to be second degree burglaries.
Once someone enters a property to steal, even if it’s just the person’s arm that was used, it’s still measured to be a burglary. In addition, without stealing anything, if someone entered a property to commit a crime, then this is also classified as a burglary.
California burglary sentencing and punishment:
First degree residential burglary is always a felony. If you are convicted of first degree residential burglary, you face:
- either probation with up to one year county jail, OR two, four, or six years in the California state prison , and
- a maximum fine of $10,000.
A conviction for first degree burglary also counts as a strike under California Three Strikes Law.
Second Degree Burglary can be either a:
- Misdemeanor, which is punishable by six thousand dollars and one year in jail
- A felony punishable by ten thousand dollars and prison time of 16 months, 2 or 3 years.
If there were any other crimes committed, burglars will be charged for those as well. In some cases an assault may have occurred in order to fulfill the steal or crime, and in these instances, an assault prosecution will be taken to trial as well.
Defenses to California Burglary Charges:
- Permission or consent to enter the property given by owner or occupant
- Intoxication or another reason why the defendant did not have a specific intent to commit a crime after entering the property
- Defendant may have been misidentified, falsely accused or set up for the burglary
If you are facing charges for burglary, an experienced burglary defense attorney can help. Call us today for a free consultation – (619) 238-1905.