Burglary Defense Lawyer in Los Angeles
If you have been charged with burglary or another type of property crime, our team at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP is here to fight for you. Burglary charges can leave you with serious penalties if convicted, which can negatively affect your future. We can review the details of your arrest and the accusations against you, and help you an effective defense.
Call (800) 462-7160 for a free consultation.
California's Burglary Laws (Penal Code 459)
According to California Penal Code 459, burglary is a type of theft crime and a person can be charged with burglary if they enter a:
- Building or structure; or
- Locked vehicle
In addition to entering property without another's permission, burglary charges also require the added legal element that the person entered the property with the intent to commit a:
- Theft; or
- Felony offense
Burglary charges can apply to any residential or commercial building, or even a room within a building. From houses and apartments, to shops and warehouses - entering any of these properties can lead to a burglary charge.
What Prosecutors Need to Prove in Burglary
Prosecutors may charge accused individuals with burglary even if there is no evidence of forced entry.
The two main elements they focus on are proving that a person:
- (1) entered a property that was not theirs with
- (2) the intent to commit a theft or felony offense inside.
Disproving these elements and challenging the government's case is possible with the assistance of experienced attorneys.
Penalties for Burglary Convictions
Penalties for burglary may vary depending on several various factors, including:
- The type of property that was entered
- The value of any goods stolen
- The felony offense committed within
- The defendant's criminal record
Generally, prosecutors may charge individuals with either first-degree or second-degree burglary.
- First-Degree Burglary (Residential): First-degree burglary involves the burglary of an inhabited dwelling (house) or other residential property where people live. Penalties can include large fines up to $10,000 and up to 6 years in state prison. First-degree burglary is considered a strike under California's three strikes law.
- Second-Degree Burglary (Commercial):Second-degree burglary is an offense charged when a person commits burglary at a commercial property, including any store or business. Depending on the facts of the case, second-degree commercial burglary may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or felony. While not a strike offense, second-degree burglary is punishable by up to a year in jail for misdemeanors and up to three years in prison for felonies.
Call to Get Started on Your Defense
If you are facing burglary charges, contact an attorney immediately. The sooner you have an attorney begin working on a defense for you, the better it can be for your case.
Call us today (800) 462-7160 for a free consultation.
If you or someone you care about has recently been charged with PC 459 – including either first-degree or second-degree burglary – you need experienced legal representation. Penalties for this offense are stiff, and the long-term consequences that come with having a burglary conviction on your record can be devastating. Learn more about your rights during a free case evaluation with a member of our legal team.
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