Burglary, often referred to as “breaking and entering”, is the crime of breaking and entering into a structure for the purpose of committing another crime. The entry must be unauthorized but does not need to include the use of force. While burglary is often associated with theft, any unlawful entry for the purpose of committing any crime, such as theft or assault, constitutes burglary.
Under California Penal code 459, you can be found guilty of burglary in California for entering a building, vehicle, vessel or cargo container (structure) with the intention of either stealing something or committing a felony.
Burglary of a house, apartment, hotel room (or other structure where people are living) is always a felony in the state of California. It is known as “First Degree Burglary” or “Residential Burglary”.
Sentencing for First Degree (Residential) Burglary:
Burglary at a store, business (or any other place where people are not residing) is considered “Second Degree Burglary” in the state of California. It is also referred to as “Commercial burglary”.
The criminal statues on the books in each state provide their own specific definitions of what constitutes burglary. What distinguished the burglary from less misdemeanors such as trespassing is that, with burglary, the prosecution has to prove that a defendant intended to commit a felony (not necessarily involving stealing) or a theft inside a building, at the very moment the defendant entered.
Prosecutors may elect to file a “Commercial Burglary” charge as a misdemeanor or a felony based on an individuals circumstances and criminal history.
Sentencing for Second Degree (Commercial) Burglary
A “Burglary Tool” is any instrument or tool you can use to enter a structure. It also includes any tool that can assist you in committing a burglary.
Examples of Burglary tool may include:
Penal Code 466 PC makes it a misdemeanor to possess burglary tools with the intent to enter any building to commit a felony. Punishment for Violators May include:
A person commits First-degree burglary (Burglary 1) if, armed with explosives, a deadly weapon, or a dangerous instrument, he enters or remains unlawfully in a building with the intent to commit a crime therein. Burglary 1 is a class B felony punishable by a maximum of 20 years imprisonment with a mandatory minimum of five years, a fine up to $15,000, or both.
A person commits Second-degree burglary with a firearm (Burglary 2a) if, armed with a firearm, he enters or remains unlawfully in a dwelling at night with the intent to commit a crime therein and uses, threatens to use, displays, or represented that he has a firearm. Burglary 2a is a class C felony punishable by a maximum of 10 years imprisonment with a mandatory minimum of one year, a fine up to $10,000, or both.
If you have been convicted of a burglary crime, Seven Legal will work aggressively to defend you. Call for a free consultation today so we can start working on your behalf.