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A General Overview of Burglary Charges in the State of California

When a person has been charged with burglary in the State of California, it will typically imply that the person has entered a property with the intention of stealing or committing a crime. Being accused of burglary in the State of California is a serious matter and can result in a misdemeanor or even felony charges.

If you or someone you love has been charged with burglary in the State of California, consult a proficient attorney who has experience in dealing with criminal defense charges. As a defendant, understanding your rights is vital; seek the support of an attorney who can answer your questions and champion for your rights if the district attorney is attempting to prosecute you for burglary or related charges.

California Penal Code 459: Burglary

Under the State of California Penal Code Section 459, burglary is defined as a person entering a room, house, apartment, or other form of infrastructure with the intention to commit a felony or grand/petit larceny. Burglary charges in California can be divided as first or second degree burglary charges. For more information about what your charges can implicate, seek the advice of a knowledgeable attorney.

Possible Penalties for Burglary Charges in the State of California

First degree burglary charges in the State of California indicate a felony. First degree burglary convictions could carry a 2-6 year imprisonment. Second degree charges are commonly referred to as wobblers. This means that the charges could be either a misdemeanor or a felony. Second degree convictions charged as misdemeanors can include monetary fines and a one-year imprisonment. Second degree convictions charged as a felony can indicate an up-to three year imprisonment.

Necessary Elements to a Burglary Conviction

Under California law, a burglary conviction means that a person entered a premises with the intention to commit a felony or theft. This means that at the time of entering the premises, the defendant had the intention steal or to commit a felony. If a person has entered a building for business purposes and has later returned to commit a crime, this individual might not be charged with burglary.

One scenario can involve a person who has attended a realtor’s open house event with the interest to purchase the property. Upon visiting the property, the individual saw and decided to steal a valuable from the home.

Entering the property for a business-intended purpose may not carry burglary charges because the primary and/or original intent was not to steal the valuable. It is also worth noting that burglary charges can also include other charges such as, but not limited to the following:

  • Murdering another person,
  • Arson,
  • Sexually assaulting an individual,
  • Stealing illicit drugs or paraphernalia,
  • Committing domestic violence, or
  • Assault and battery charges.

Consult With a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or someone you love has recently been charged with burglary in the State of California, seek the legal expertise of a proficient criminal attorney who has experience with burglary defense cases. Burglary charges in California are serious and can impact a person’s life for a very long time. A skilled attorney can help you build a strong defense that could lessen or perhaps completely eradicate the charges.

The attorneys at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP., are highly skilled in the field of burglary cases in California. The firm is dedicated to ensuring that that the rights of their clients are upheld in a court of law. If you have been charged with burglary, seek the support of a criminal defense attorney who will fight to protect your rights.

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Stephen Levine, is a Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Defense — an honor achieved by only the top criminal law attorneys in California. Mr. Levine has over 40 years of experience in criminal defense and family law serving Southern California, and is a highly regarded Super Lawyer as well as AV Rated attorney.