Engaging in the act of burglary is a serious criminal offense in the state of California. The court system can even penalize individuals if they have the tools used in the commission of a burglary, using California Penal Code Section 466: Possession of Burglary Tools.
The Simmrin Law Group can help you go over the specific legal applications of PC 466 charges. Use this article to review examples of burglary tools, the results of a PC 466 conviction, and legal defenses that can be used to handle possession of burglary tools accusations.
Defining Burglary Tools in the State of California
Before we review the definition of PC 466, it’s important that you understand what burglary tools are in California. Any instrument or tool that can be used in an act of burglary could be considered a burglary tool. However, the court lists the following items as specific examples of burglary tools:
- Bump Keys
- Floor-Safe Door Puller
- Lock Pick Guns
- Master Keys
- Slim Jims
- Spark Plug Chips or Pieces (Ceramic or Porcelain)
- Tension Bars
- Tubular Lock Picks
- Vice Grip Pliers
- Water-Pump Pliers
As you can see, many items can be considered burglary tools in California. Note that this is not an exhaustive list. Other tools can be treated as burglary tools by the court system.
Reviewing the Definition of Possession of Burglary Tools
Now that you are familiar with burglary tools, we can focus on the definition of PC 466. Individuals can be charged with possession of burglary tools if they have any of the above-listed tools and intend to use them to enter a:
- Aircraft or Vessel
- Railroad Car
- Trailer Coach
Possession of burglary tools charges can also apply if someone:
- Attempts to Make or Alter the Above Tools to Fit or Open the Lock of a Building or Vehicle
- Makes or Alters the Above Tools to Fit or Open the Lock of a Building or Vehicles
- Makes or Alters the Above Tools While Knowing That Someone Else Will Use the Tool in a Felony or Misdemeanor
Charges Similar to PC 466 in California
The court system in California uses several criminal charges that are very similar to the possession of burglary tools. These charges can include:
- California Penal Code Section 466.1: Selling or Providing Lock Picks, Tension Bars, or Floor-Safe Door Pullers
- California Penal Code Section 466.3: Possession of Tools to Tamper with Coin-Operated Machines
- California Penal Code Section 466.5: Possessing or Manufacturing Motor Vehicle Master Keys
Convictions for these charges can lead to fines and incarceration.
Focusing on the Results of a PC 466 Conviction
California’s court system treats possession of burglary tools as a misdemeanor. The penalties for a conviction can include:
- Fines of Up to $1,000
- Jail Time of Up to Six Months
Note that possession of burglary tools charges are generally set aside – or “stayed” – if an individual is convicted under Penal Code Section 459: Burglary as well. This means that an individual would only face the penalties for a burglary conviction, which can include:
- Fines of Up to $10,000
- Prison Time of Up to Six Years
Going Over Legal Defenses for Possession of Burglary Tools Charges
Dealing with PC 466 charges can be easier if you have professional help in your corner. You can get the legal advice you need by contacting a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer right now. The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group can stand up for you by working to show that:
You Did Not Intend to Commit a Criminal Act
You should only be convicted of possession of burglary tools if you intended to carry out a criminal act with the tools that you possessed. If you had the tools for another, lawful reason then you should not face a conviction under PC 466.
You Were Not in Possession of Burglary Tools
Not every tool and item in California can be considered a burglary tool. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to help prove that you did not have a burglary tool, especially if the item in your possession was not one of the listed burglary tools proved by the court system.
Call a Lawyer to Get Help Handling Possession of Burglary Tools Charges
The Simmrin Law Group can build your defense if you are accused of violating California Penal Code Section 466: Possession of Burglary Tools. Let us begin working on your case now with a FREE initial case evaluation from our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles.
Call us at (310) 896-2723 or complete our online contact form to start getting advice about your legal situation today.