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 with the intention to commit a felony theft, normally grand theft or petty theft.
The prosecutors have to prove that the individual had intent to steal or commit a theft crime when they entered the building.
However, they do not have to provide any evidence showing that the individual actually committed a theft crime.
In the State of 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 that is 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.
If prosecutors are unable to provide any evidence of intent before entry was made, then the burglary charge can be reduced to a trespassing charge. if the intent 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 type of burglary criminal charge normally involves entering a business complex or other commercial structures. Second-degree burglary charges are also known as commercial burglary.
This type of theft crime 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 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.
If you are convicted of this theft crime, you could face incarceration in jail or prison, large fines and restitution, and a permanent criminal record that could cause severe restrictions on your ability to find employment.
Because of the potential of life-long consequences of a burglary conviction, it is critically important that you seek 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, and will aggressively fight the prosecutor's case to obtain the best possible outcome.
If you are seeking the most qualified attorney to represent you against your burglary charges, call our law firm to receive a free case evaluation.