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.
PC 459 Penalties
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 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 (213) 985-1489 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.