In California, burglary is a very serious crime with serious consequences. There are generally two types of burglary, commercial and residential, often called first and second degree burglary. Burglaries committed in someone's home are residential burglaries which are always felonies. All other burglaries are commercial burglaries and can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor.
California defines burglary as entering a structure with the intent to commit a felony once inside. A defendant can be convicted of commercial burglary if the defendant entered a building, vehicle, vessel, or cargo container, with the intent to commit theft or a felony. A felony commercial burglary conviction is punishable by up to three years in state prison. A misdemeanor commercial burglary carries a potential penalty of up to one year in county jail and a $1,000 fine.
The Consequences, Convictions, and Defenses to Burglary Charges
A defendant can be convicted of residential burglary if the defendant burglarized an inhabited home or a room within an inhabited home, and the defendant entered with the intent to commit theft or a felony. Residential burglary is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for up to six years.
In addition, first degree burglaries are considered "strikes" under California's Three Strikes Law, which brings substantial additional punishment and requires that you serve a longer percentage of your sentence before being released. In addition, if you have two prior strikes and are accused of any new felony, you are facing a potential sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
There are also defenses to burglary charges. One of the defenses is consent. A defendant cannot be charged with burglary if the defendant had been invited onto the property by the owner.
Additional resources provided by the author
Burglary is a very complex area of law with serious consequences for someone who is convicted. If you would like more information about burglary, go to www.wklaw.com and read our Burglary section. You will find invaluable information regarding the charges you or a loved one may be facing and the possible defenses in your case.
If you or a loved one is facing burglary charges, you should call the attorneys at Wallin & Klarich immediately. We can help you understand the complexities of this issue and provide you with the best possible defense for your case. Wallin & Klarich has over 30 years of experience successfully defending clients against these charges. Contact the experienced Southern California criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich today at 1-888-280-6839 and visit us on the web at www.wklaw.com. We will be there when you call.