Temecula Burglary Defense Lawyer

Defending Against Burglary Charges in California

Whether you weren’t thinking or made an honest mistake, The Law Office of David E. Grande understands how shocking and terrifying it can be to face criminal charges. Regardless of whether you were a first-time offender or lacked awareness of your illegal actions, burglary allegations can lead to serious criminal consequences in California courts, making it all the more imperative to consult with a skilled burglary defense lawyer when faced with burglary charges in Temecula or the surrounding area. 

What Constitutes Burglary in CA?

In California, burglary is defined under Penal Code section 459. According to this law, burglary is the act of entering a building, room, or locked vehicle with the intent to commit theft or any felony once inside. The key elements of burglary in California are:

  • Entry: The defendant must enter a building, room, or locked vehicle. This can include entering through an open door, window, or any other means of access.
  • Intent: At the time of entry, the defendant must have the intent to commit theft or a felony once inside. This intent can be formed either before entering or after entering.

Burglary in California is divided into two degrees:

  1. First-degree burglary: This is burglary of an inhabited dwelling, such as a house, apartment, or any other place where people live. First-degree burglary is considered a felony and carries a higher penalty.
  2. Second-degree burglary: This includes burglary of any other structure, such as a store, warehouse, or office building. Second-degree burglary is also a felony but is generally considered less severe than first-degree burglary.

It's important to note that even if theft or a felony is not completed once inside, the act of entering with the intent to commit such a crime is sufficient to be charged with burglary.

Burglary charges in California can lead to costly penalties. Call (951) 221-4331 to request a free consultation with our Temecula defense lawyer.

Understanding Burglary in California

Burglary is a serious type of theft crime codified in California Penal Code § 459 PC. Under California law, burglary is defined as entering a vehicle, residential area, or commercial structure with the intent to commit: 

  • Grand larceny 
  • Petit larceny
  • Any felony offense

First-Degree vs. Second-Degree Burglary

There are two types of burglary offenses in California, including: 

  1. First-degree burglary – This type of offense entails burglarizing a residential structure.
  2. Second-degree burglary – This type of offense entails burglarizing a non-residential structure, such as a store or business.

Is Forced Entry Required for Burglary Charges?

No. It’s important to understand that regardless of forced entry, defendants can still be charged with burglary in California. The same is true even if the burglary crime isn’t completed, as “criminal intent” is the deciding factor in any burglary case. 

Penalties of a California Burglary Conviction

The criminal penalties of a burglary conviction in California will vary depending on the unique circumstances and nature of the crime. The associated penalties for first- and second-degree burglary offenses are outlined below: 

  1. First-degree burglary is always a felony offense in California. It’s punishable by 2-6 years in state prison. 
  2. Second-degree burglary is a “wobbler” offense in California, meaning it may be charged as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the severity of the crime. If the offense is classified as a felony, it’s punishable by 16 months to 2 years in jail. Misdemeanors are punishable by up to 1 year in jail. 


Defending the Accused in Temecula Since 2002

At The Law Office of David E. Grande, our seasoned criminal defense attorney provides high-quality representation to the accused in Temecula and beyond. If you require an experienced defense against criminal charges in California, look no further than the dependable advocacy offered by Attorney David E. Grande. Our aggressive defense lawyer has a longstanding reputation for going the extra mile for his clients in a variety of criminal cases, from domestic violence to theft crimes.

Charged with burglary in Temecula? Contact us online to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in California. 

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