Burglary – Commercial & Residential (PC 459):
Penal Code 459 defines “burglary” as entering into a locked vehicle, room, or structure, with the intent to commit a felony (or petty theft) once inside. Often referred to as “breaking and entering,” you can be charged with burglary even if there was no forced entry. Examples of burglary include (but are not limited to): breaking into someone’s house to steal jewelry, breaking a car window and stealing the radio, entering a bank with the intent to cash a fraudulent check, or entering a home with the intent of committing felony assault. There are two types of burglary cases, one that happens on residential property and the other on commercial property.
Penalties (PC 459):
Residential burglary is considered “first degree” burglary in California; which is burglary that occurs at any inhabited dwelling, a place where someone lives or sleeps, whether or not it is occupied. First degree burglary is always a felony. If convicted, you may be ordered to serve up to one year in county, and up to six years in California state prison, with fines up to $10,000. A conviction for first degree, residential burglary counts as a strike under California’s Three Strikes Law.
Commercial burglary is considered “second degree” burglary in California- which is burglary that occurs at a location where people are not residing. Commercial burglary is a “wobbler,” the prosecutor can elect to charge you with a misdemeanor or felony. The decision is based on circumstances of the offense with a look into your criminal record, if any. If convicted of a misdemeanor of this manner, you can expect to serve up to 1 year in county jail. A felony conviction can subject you up to 3 years in jail. However, it is important to note that commercial burglary do not count as strikes on your criminal record.
Legal Defenses (PC 459):
There are numerous defenses our team of criminal attorney’s can present on your behalf. Whether there was a lack of intent present, a mistake of fact, a claim of right, or the presence of police misconduct, we will work with you to find the best defense with the circumstances of your case.