Burglary Laws in California - Penal Code 459 PC
In California, burglary under California Penal Code 459 PC can be described as an individual entering a building to commit felony theft, typically grand theft or petty theft.
The prosecutors have to prove that the individual had the intent to steal or commit a theft crime when they entered the building. However, they do not have to prove that the individual committed a theft crime.
In California, there are two types of criminal charges related to burglary: First-degree burglary and Second-degree burglary.
First-degree burglary is a serious theft crime committed in someone's home. It is commonly known as residential burglary. The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office must prove that you had the intent to commit a felony theft before you entered the home. Penal Code 460 PC defines first-degree residential burglary.
If prosecutors cannot provide any evidence of intent before entry was made, then the burglary charge can be reduced to a trespassing charge. If the goal was to commit a misdemeanor crime, then a criminal charge of burglary cannot be proven.
First-degree burglary is a felony theft crime and qualifies as a “strike” under California's Three-Strike Laws.
Any other type of burglary is considered a second-degree burglary. This criminal burglary charge typically involves entering a business complex or other commercial structures. Second-degree burglary charges are also known as commercial burglary.
This type of theft can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or felony crime. The difference between misdemeanors and felonies in second-degree burglary criminal charges is the value of the property stolen and the defendant's prior criminal record.
Contact our Law Firm for Help
If you have been arrested for residential burglary or commercial burglary, you will need to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.
Suppose you are convicted of this theft crime. In that case, you could face incarceration in jail or prison, hefty fines and restitution, and a permanent criminal record that could cause severe restrictions on your ability to find employment.
Because of the potential life-long consequences of a burglary conviction, it is critically important that you seek the legal representation of a skillful criminal attorney immediately.
We will pursue and prepare all legal defenses to first-degree or second-degree burglary charges, auto burglary, or possession of burglary tools under California Penal Code 466. We will aggressively fight the prosecutor's case to obtain the best possible outcome.
Call our law firm to receive a free case evaluation if you seek the most qualified attorney to represent you against your burglary charges.