Burglary laws in California aren’t cut and dried. The legal codes are subdivided into two major categories including first and second degree burglary. This will be further explained below.
It’s also of importance to note that burglary and robbery are not the same. Once someone enters a property or building with the intent to commit a crime, it is considered as burglary under California Penal Code 459, even if nothing was stolen. A good example would be entering someone’s home to setup a scheme for extortion, kidnapping or some other felony offense.
First degree burglary is classified as entering the property of where someone resides, or in the presence of someone else. Second degree burglary would fall under the bracket of any other place. Auto burglary is similar to this crime, wherein the burglar enters a car to steal it, or commit a felony offense.
Penalties for Burglary:
California First Degree Burglary is penalized by up to ten thousand in fines, and up to two, four or six years in prison.
California Second Degree Burglary is penalized by either a misdemeanor charge, which brings up to six thousand in fines, and up to one year in jail.
Felony penalties for second degree burglary are up to ten thousand in fines, and sixteen months, two or three years in prison.
More Notes on California Burglary Laws
- Burglary is subjected to the Three Strikes Law in California. If someone commits a third crime that falls into this precinct, the result is life imprisonment.
- If the offender is caught with burglary tools such as screwdrivers, slim jims, crow bars and others, it further supports a prosecutions argument that the offender was indeed intending to commit a burglary.
- Sentencing enhancements are given for when victims or persons present in a burglary suffered serious bodily injury.
- Other aggravating factors that may lead to sentencing enhancement include when the offender has a prior charge of burglarizing a property.
There are several valid defenses for allegations of burglary. If you’ve been accused, contact MacGregor and Collins at 1000 Quail Street, Suite 110, Newport Beach, CA 92660, or call 949-250-6097.