Burglary can be either a felony or a misdemeanor. All first degree burglary charges are felonies and under California Three Strikes Law, is considered a serious felony. Second degree commercial burglary can be charged as either a felony, if the theft or attempted theft is in of a value of $400 or more, or as misdemeanor if the value of the items stolen are less then $400. Burglary is charged under Penal Code Section 459.
If a person has previously been convicted of a theft crime and then is charged with another theft, then the crime will most likely be charged as a felony.
The punishment for a conviction of burglary as a felony is a maximum of 3 years of state prison. If a person is sent ot prison, upon their release they will be on parole for three years. The maximum sentence for a misdemeanor burglary is 1 year in county jail and three ears of probation.
California law states that burglary is a “specific intent crime.” That means that the defendant, at the time he entered into a building, he must have had the intent to commit the crime of theft or some other felony inside of the location. The prosecutor must prove more then the person entered the location. The prosecution must prove that the at the “moment” the defendant entered there was the requisite intent. A top rated Los Angeles Burglary Defense Attorney will be able to evaluate a California Burglary case and aggressively defend you from this serious felony
In most cases, the ability of the prosecutor to convict the defendant of burglary will depend on whether the specific intent can be proven. The intent can be shown by either direct evidence or circumstantial evidence. Direct evidence is when the person makes a statement to the police that that they entered the location with the intent to steal an item. Circumstantial evidence is when an inference of the person’s intent can be made based upon certain facts. For example, if a person is found in a residence with burglary tools and a bag full of valuable from inside the house then it is a reasonable inference that they entered with the specific intent to commit a theft and they will be convicted of first degree burglary. In the case of second degree burglary of a store, if a person is caught stealing and did not have any money to pay for the items, then it is circumstantial evidence of the intent of the person when they entered the store.
There are two clearly defined defenses to burglary. They are as follows:
Consent by the owner or person in charge is an absolute defense to the crime of burglary in violation of California Penal Code Section 459. The consent could be that the person being charged with the crime is actually the owner, or if the actual owner agrees to allow the person inside the building knowing that the person had the intent to commit a theft.
Intoxication may be a defense to burglary because it interferes with the ability of the defendant to form the required specific intent. However, it must be that someone else drugged the defendant. In most cases, voluntary intoxication is not a defense.
Because of the significant consequences to a person charged with a burglary crime, it is important to immediately hire a Los Angeles burglary crimes defense attorney as soon as you are either investigated or charged with an offense. Hiring a former prosecutor who now practices theft crimes defense can make the difference between having a conviction for a theft offense and having the case dismissed.
Hiring an Experienced Los Angeles and Southern California Burglary Crimes Attorney
Attorney Michael Kraut is a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney that has been helping clients in Southern California fight their burglary crime charges. Mr. Kraut is a former prosecutor and will review your case and determine a plan to give you the best defense possible. He will file motions, and determine how to effectively argue your case to convince the prosecutor or the judge that the case is weak and the charges should be dismissed.
Mr. Kraut handles cases in Los Angeles County including burglary cases in Pasadena, Beverly Hills burglary cases, Los Angeles burglary cases, and throughout Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Orange and Ventura Counties in Southern California. Mr. Kraut will go to court with you and assist in getting you released from custody and explaining to the judge why you should not be held in jail. He can also assist in having a bail bondsman in court to facilitate an immediate release from custody. When you learn there is a Los Angeles theft crimes case filed against you, contact Los Angeles Burglary Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group at (323) 464-6453 or (888) 334-6344.