California Penal Code Section 459 defines burglary as entering a structure with the intent to commit a theft or a felony once you are inside the structure. A prosecutor must prove:
- you entered a structure
- that at the time that you entered the structure, you had the intent to steal or to commit another felony
California Penal Code Section 460 breaks down burglary into first and second degree crimes. First-degree burglary is a felony and consists of the burgling of a building or structure in which people inhabit. This is often referred to as residential burglary. If convicted of first-degree burglary you could face up to 6 years in California state prison and a $10,000 fine. In addition to these penalties you may receive a strike on your criminal record pursuant to California’s three strikes law.
Second-degree burglary, known as commercial burglary, can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor and consists of every kind of burglary that does not amount to first degree. If you are convicted of second-degree burglary and it is charged as a felony, you may face up to 3 years in California state prison and a $10,000 fine. If you are convicted of second-degree burglary and it is charged as a misdemeanor, you face up to a year in county jail and a $1,000 fine.
Depending on the circumstances, such as if you inflicted great bodily injury on a person or used explosives during the commission of the burglary, additional years will be added to your prison sentence. This applies to both first and second-degree burglary.
Let Us Help You
If you find yourself facing burglary charges, an experienced, diligent, and aggressive criminal law attorney will help your case tremendously. Senior Partner, Vu Trinh, is among a very small and elite group of attorneys who are designated by the State Bar as Certified Criminal Law Specialists. Take comfort in having an attorney on your side that will walk you through every step of the process and get you the justice you deserve. Call The Law Offices of Trinh & Bettencourt today and set up a consultation.