Burglary is defined as entering a building with the intent to commit a theft or other felony. Burglaries can be classified into types:
- First Degree Burglary – Also called residential burglary, this type included breaking into a home, garage, boat, trailer, airplane, railroad car, or any inhabited portion of any building.
- Second Degree Burglary – Auto or commercial burglaries that are often charged in conjunction with shoplifting charges.
A burglary may be charged as either a felony or as a misdemeanor. First degree burglary charges are punishable with up to 6 years in prison. If convicted of burglary, you will also receive a strike. Under California law, everyone is allowed three strikes to their records. Each time you commit an additional offense it will automatically increase the allowable punishment under the law. In other words, first-time offenders will usually receive the lowest punishments while repeat offenders will receive the highest.
Second degree burglary may be punished through jail time with a maximum sentence of 3 years in prison. The sentence depends on how the charge was filed and it can be either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the specific circumstances.
Burglary charges are serious and carry stiff penalties. It is important to hire an experienced criminal attorney to vigorously defend you against these charges. Burglary prosecutors must prove intent to enter and steal property in order to get a conviction. The actual burglary did not need to occur in order to prosecute the crime. Your attorney will work to reduce the charges and to aggressively defend your case.