Southern California Burglary Defense Attorney
Are you facing burglary charges? Get help from an expert burglary defense attorney now
Burglary is defined as entering a room, structure, or locked vehicle with the intent of committing a crime (typically theft) once inside. It is important to note that intent is a key part of the definition of burglary. If you don’t develop the intent to steal until after you are already inside, it is theft, not burglary. It is also important to understand that although burglary is often called breaking & entering, you do not actually have to break or force your way into a room or building in order to be charged with burglary. Walking into a department store with intent to shoplift or to assault an employee is a burglary. You don’t have to actually walk into the building to commit a burglary either. Even reaching your arm into an open window for the purposes of stealing something could be considered burglary. Regardless of why or how you ended up charged with burglary, you’ll want an expert Southern California burglary defense lawyer to represent you in court.
Penalties for Burglary
The penalties for burglary depend on the type of burglary as well as on whether the crime is charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. First degree burglary or residential burglary, which involves entering a structure where people are living, is always prosecuted as a felony in California. If convicted of this type of burglary, you can face up to six years in state prison. Second degree burglary, or commercial burglary, which involves entering a business or other non-residential structure, can be treated as a misdemeanor or a felony at the prosecutor’s discretion. Penalties for commercial burglary include up to three years in state prison. Misdemeanor burglaries do not count as one of your strikes under California’s three strikes law, but felony burglaries do.
Possible Legal Defenses
In order to defend against a burglary charge, a southern California criminal defense attorney may attempt to prove that you have been misidentified as the culprit, or that although you were present at the time of the burglary, you were not involved. Another very good strategy is to undermine the prosecution’s attempts to prove intent. If you did not intend to commit a felony or a theft until after you entered the area, no burglary was committed. Similarly, if your criminal defense lawyer can prove that you only took items that belonged to you already, or that you honestly believed that the owner of any items you took had given you permission to do so, no burglary could have occurred.
Choosing Your Southern California Burglary Defense Lawyer
Because burglary cases can be complicated, it is vital to choose the right burglary defense attorney who has sufficient experience in handling this sort of case. Dan E Chambers has the skills and experience needed to evaluate the prosecution’s evidence and determine how to combat that evidence. As a former prosecutor himself, he knows how prosecutors think and he can outmaneuver them in your legal defense.
The Following Penal Code Sections Apply to Burglary: PC 458 Through 464