Los Angeles Burglary Defense Attorney
Illegally breaking and entering into a structure with the intention of committing a crime is the definition of a burglary. A crime that is often committed after dark, burglary is typically a crime that involves an intention to commit an offense against the possessions and habitation of another. According to PC 459, California law requires only entries for burglary to be a viable charge.
For California prosecutors to prove a charge of burglary, he or she must prove that the accused entered a property without the permission of the owner of the property with intent to commit a crime once he or she gained access to the premises. The types of properties that are most entered in California for the purpose of committing a crime, and thus, incurring a burglary charge includes:
- Residential rooms
If it is determined that the entry was not for the intention to commit a crime, prosecutors have other options for filing charges, like the alternative charge of trespassing. Regardless, if you enter the premises of another without permission, you could face criminal charges of any kind.
Types of Burglary Charges in California and the Penalties for Them
According to California state laws, the two types of burglary offenses that you can be charged with include first-degree burglary and second-degree burglary. A first degree burglary is considered to be "any burglary of an inhabited dwelling." This means that any structure designed for living, which is currently being used for a residence or business is off-limits unless you have permission to enter. It doesn’t matter if at the time of the burglary, no one is actually occupying the property; it does matter that you illegally entered the property. California state law also includes in their list of inhabited properties for which a burglary can be charged abandoned properties that may be uninhabited as a result of a natural disaster or local emergency evacuation. Second degree burglary is charged for everything not classified as a first-degree burglary, including shoplifting offenses and is punishable by not more than one year in county jail.
Considered a Wobbler charge in California, a burglary arrest can result in a charge of misdemeanor burglary or felony burglary, depending on your criminal background and the circumstances of the case. Being convicted of felony burglary can result in up to six years in prison. However, while California burglary penalties are harsh, a skilled defense attorney well-versed and experienced in burglary defense may be able to have charges reduced or dismissed. For instance, when prosecutors are having a difficult time showing proof of the crime or run into legal technicalities, they are often more than willing to settle a burglary case for a lesser charge or dismiss the case. Plus, many times when burglary cases do go to trial, when a talented defense attorney mounts a solid defense a not guilty verdict may also be accomplished.
Defenses for a California Burglary Charge
Some of the most-often-used defenses for burglary charges in California include:
- A claim by the defendant that consent or permission to enter the property was given by the occupant or owner of the property
- Intoxication or some similar reason for why the defendant did not have a specific intention to commit a crime upon entering the property
- Entrapment by law enforcement officials
R.J. Manuelian is a Well-Reputed Los Angeles Defense Attorney Experienced in Burglary Charge Resolutions
If you or someone you know has been charged with burglary in the Los Angeles area, R.J. Manuelian invites you to contact him for a free consultation concerning your pending charges. A well-reputed Los Angeles Burglary criminal defense attorney, R.J. has had great success in the negotiation of dismissals and lowering of charges in burglary cases. You can count on R.J. to fight for your rights to see that you are treated fairly and that his legal representation of your case results in the best possible outcome for your situation.