Burglary is defined simply as the entering of the property of another with the intent to commit theft or any other felony. In California, burglary can be either of the first or second degree. Entering the home of another with the required intent is first-degree burglary and is considered a “strike” if you are convicted. Entering into all other property belonging to another with the required intent is considered second-degree burglary. Second-degree burglary is commonly referred to as “commercial burglary.” Both first and second-degree burglaries are considered felonies but only second degree can be filed as, or reduced to, a misdemeanor if the circumstances are right. In residential burglary cases, you will always be charged with a felony.
The sentence you will receive for a burglary conviction in California, including Orange County, depends on the facts surrounding your case. Residential burglary will generally be treated much more severely than will commercial burglary, but again this will depend on the facts of each case. Burglary charges are most commonly filed in association with theft charges but also are filed in conjunction with sex crimes, homicide, assault, and other felonies. Depending on the underlying crime, a burglary charge can carry “sentencing enhancements” which can add anywhere from one year to life to the sentencing range. Your prior criminal history will also affect the sentence in your case.
The crucial element for a defense to a burglary charge is whether the accused person had the required intent to commit the underlying crime at the time he or she entered the home or business. Frequently, the prosecution must rely on circumstantial evidence to prove this intent. Circumstantial evidence is, however, subject to reasonable interpretation.
If you are charged with or arrested for burglary you must seek legal counsel immediately. Orange County attorney Edward Flores has handled hundreds of burglary cases over his career, both as a prosecutor and as a criminal law attorney. He has won trials in many burglary cases and knows all aspects of burglary defense.
Mr. Flores, a former Orange County Senior Deputy District Attorney, handles burglary cases throughout Southern California and Orange County including city of Orange, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Irvine, and all of South Orange County. Contact our law office today.
See New Orange County and California Laws for 2010
California Laws for 2009
Orange County criminal lawyers - complete listings of Orange County criminal lawyers and attorneys for Orange County.