The definition of burglary, under California law, is when an individual enters:
- a building – private or commercial, attached garage, warehouse
- a vehicle – e.g., auto, truck, camper, airplane
- a vessel – e.g., a boat, or
- a cargo container – e.g., a railroad car
– with the intention of (a) stealing something or (b) committing a felony.
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Get a Good Criminal Lawyer
If you have been charged with burglary, it’s important to have a knowledgeable and assertive criminal lawyer working on your behalf. Anna R. Yum is a highly experienced defense criminal lawyer, and as a former prosecutor in Riverside County, San Diego, she is able to anticipate what the prosecutor may do in your particular circumstances.
Only Intent Must Be Proven
The San Diego criminal lawyer does not need to prove that you successfully stole anything or committed a felony after entering; he or she has only to prove that you intended to do so when you entered. In addition, the manner in which you entered is not crucial to the charge of burglary.
Two Categories of Burglary
In San Diego and the rest of California, there are two categories of burglary:
- a burglary committed in a private residence (residential burglary) is a first-degree burglary, and always a felony
- a burglary of any other building, etc. (a commercial burglary ) is a second-degree burglary, and may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. [A crime that may be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony is sometimes called a “wobbler.”]
A conviction for first-degree burglary can result in a sentence as high as six years in a state prison. First-degree burglary is also a “strike offense” in California and must be handled by a San Diego criminal lawyer.
Second-degree burglary is usually charged when a person is accused of entering a business establishment or vehicle, etc. with the intent to commit a theft or felony therein. Generally, if the burglary charge regards an intent to commit a theft where the value of the property is less than $400, the burglary will be charged as a misdemeanor, which, although it seems like a less severe charge, can result in a year in county jail for the convicted. A felony second-degree burglary conviction is punishable by up to three years in state prison.
Protect Your Rights
No matter what the facts are in your case, you have Constitutionally guaranteed legal rights, including the right to a criminal defense lawyer. Your case may be eligible for a dismissal of charges, or probation, or a plea agreement. Contact San Diego Criminal Lawyer, Anna Yum at her law office in San Diego to arrange a consultation and learn more about your legal options.