Prosecutors have to prove intent in a burglary case in order to secure a conviction. The prosecution needs to show that someone entered a building or vehicle in order to commit a felony or petty theft. You can learn more about intent if you call (310) 997-4688 to speak with our team at the Simmrin Law Group.
The Role of Criminal Intent in a Burglary Charge
Intent plays an important role in burglary charges here in Los Angeles. Individuals can face burglary charges if they enter a structure, room, or locked vehicle with just the intent to:
- Commit petty theft
- Commit a felony
Individuals do not have to actually carry out a criminal act to face a burglary conviction. Merely intended to commit a crime is enough to allow the court to handle down a conviction. However, individuals can also face burglary charges if they successfully commit theft or a felony.
Steps the Prosecution Uses to Prove Intent
It is up to the prosecution to prove intent for burglary charges in Los Angeles. Establishing criminal intent is sometimes difficult. However, prosecutors can attempt to establish intent through:
Individuals accused of burglary will be questioned by police officers and the prosecution here in Los Angeles. These individuals will ask many questions to try to get the individual to confess. It’s a good idea to contact a criminal defense lawyer to get handling these interviews.
You should know that anything said in a legal interview can later be used against you in court. For this reason, you should also answer questions from the police and the prosecution very carefully. Our team can help advise you during all legal interviews.
Possible Circumstantial Evidence
Sometimes, the prosecution will use circumstantial evidence to prove intent in burglary cases in California. For example, in a case where a man is found in a woman’s apartment at two in the morning, the prosecution could argue that his very presence indicates that he planned to commit a crime.
Intent as It Applies to First- and Second-Degree Burglary Charges
The court system in Los Angeles divides burglary charges up into two different categories. These categories are called:
- First-degree (or residential) burglary
- Second-degree (or commercial) burglary
Intent matters in both first- and second-degree burglary cases. Individuals face more serious charges if they are accused of first-degree burglary. A conviction for residential burglary can lead to up to six years of time in prison and fines.
The court treats commercial burglary as a less serious offense. However, a second-degree burglary conviction can still lead to up to three years in prison. Additionally, the court can add time to an individual’s sentence in some situations.
A Los Angeles burglary lawyer can dispute your intent if you are accused of a crime. Members of our team can work to show that you had other reasons for being in a home, business, or locked vehicle. This can help us build your defense.
Our team at the Simmrin Law Group is prepared to show that you:
- Took property that belonged to you
- Were falsely accused of burglary
- Did not intentionally commit a crime or steal anything
Allow us to focus on getting your charges reduced or even dismissed. We’ll stand up for you in and out of court here in California.
Let the Simmrin Law Group Help You Fight a Burglary Charge Today
Prosecutors can use confessions and circumstantial evidence to prove intent in a burglary case. However, the team at the Simmrin Law Group can work to build a defense to protect you from these allegations. Learn more by calling (310) 997-4688 or filling out our online contact form. Get ahold of us to secure legal assistance today with a free consultation.