Decades ago, a person could be found guilty of burglary only if he broke into a house at night. Over time, the definition of burglary has been codified in Penal Code section 459 and has greatly expanded what conduct it covers. Today, under California law, the offense of burglary is committed when a person enters a house, commercial building, car, boat or aircraft, with the intent to commit theft or any felony.
Degrees of Burglary
1) According to Penal Code section 460(a), first degree burglary consists of burglary of an inhabited house, boat or trailer coach. It is a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to 6 years in state prison and is considered a "strike" for the purposes of the "Three Strikes Law".
2) Pursuant to Penal Code section 459, second degree burglary (also known as commercial burglary) consists of all other types of burglaries. It is the prosecutor's discretion to charge commercial burglary as either a felony or misdemeanor. As a felony, it is punishable by up to 3 years of prison. As a misdemeanor, the punishment is for no more than 1 year in county jail.
The most common kinds of second degree burglary (commercial burglary) are:
a) Burglary of a store (entering a store to shoplift)
b) Breaking into a locked car
How We Can Help
If you have been arrested or charged with burglary in Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Menifee, Wildomar, Hemet, Corona, Perris, Banning or Riverside, the first step is to contact an experienced and effective criminal defense attorney. We are ready to help. Since 1999, our office has successfully represented numerous individuals facing burglary charges. We understand that besides the possible loss of your freedom, a felony conviction for burglary can also have serious consequences for future employment opportunities. Don't jeopardize your future by hiring an inexperienced attorney because at the end of your case, you will get what you paid for.
For more information about how we can help you, please call (951) 842-2347.