Burglary: Trespass Gone Wrong!
What is a Burglary?
In simple terms, burglary is the entry any structure where, at the time of entry, the person entering has the intent to commit any theft or any felony. The crime of burglary is codified in Penal Code section 459.
It is not required that anything be stolen, or a felony be committed in the structure, only that intruder intended to commit a theft or a felony.
Therefore, a simple trespass can become a burglary if the arresting officer thinks you were trying to steal or to do harm to someone.
Burglary can be charged as either first or second degree. A first-degree burglary is one committed in “an inhabited dwelling”, an extremely broad term which covers houses, boats, and any structure where a person lives. (Pen. Code §460.) If the owner or occupant of the structure is not home at the time of the burglary, it is still first degree Penal Code section
All other burglaries, like those committed against businesses and other non-residential structures, are burglaries of the second degree. (Pen. Code §460)
A first-degree burglary is always a felony, whereas some second-degree burglaries may be prosecuted as misdemeanors in the discretion of the prosecuting attorney.
What’s the worst that could happen?
For a first-degree burglary, a person may be sentenced up to 6 years in state prison, and now fewer than 2 years in state prison. (Pen. Code §462)
For a second-degree burglary, prosecuted as a misdemeanor, a person may be sentenced to one year in the county jail, but if prosecuted as a felony, a person may be sentenced to 3 years of state prison and not less than 16 months of state prison.
What should I do if I am charged with Burglary?
You should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney, like those at Manshoory Law Group, APC to assist you in analyzing the specific facts of your case, preparing and presenting defenses before and during trial, and making sure you understand your rights and helping you enforce them. The risks of a Burglary conviction are too great to go-it alone. Call now for a free consultation. (877) 977-7750.