Burglary is a kind of property crime that occurs if someone enters a home, business, building, or locked vehicle with the intent to commit petty theft or a felony.
Burglary is a crime of intention in California. This means that individuals can face burglary charges even if they do not successfully carry out petty theft or a felony. Learn more about burglary with the Simmrin Law Group by calling (310) 997-4688.
Burglary as Defined by the State of California
The state of California provides details about what constitutes burglary through Penal Code §459. According to PC 459, burglary specifically involves the act of entering a:
- Locked vehicle
Individuals face burglary charges if they enter the structure or vehicle with the goal of committing theft or carrying out a felony. Additionally, burglary charges should only apply if someone:
- Stole or intended to steal something worth more than $950 OR
- Entered a non-commercial establishment OR
- Entered a commercial establishment outside of business hours
Individuals do not have to successfully commit theft or a felony to face burglary charges in California. Merely entering a structure with the intent to commit these crimes will constitute a “burglary.” Get more information about this subject from a property crimes lawyer in Los Angeles.
Burglary Charges Apply Even if a Door Is Unlocked
Sometimes, individuals enter a building that is unlocked with the intention to take something or commit a felony. The state of California will still consider this action to be an act of burglary. Entering an unlocked apartment to steal a television will count as a burglary in Los Angeles.
Note that this regulation does not apply to individuals entering a vehicle. Individuals should only face burglary charges for entering a locked vehicle. Entering an unlocked vehicle to steal something or to take the vehicle could lead to other criminal charges in Los Angeles.
You can learn more about the definitions of burglary if you contact our team at the Simmrin Law Group. Our burglary lawyers in Los Angeles are prepared to answer your questions. Call our team at (310) 997-4688 and start getting more information.
The Consequences of a Burglary Conviction in California
The court system in Los Angeles handles burglary charges very seriously. Individuals can end up facing:
- Years of incarceration
- Thousands of dollars in fines
- Time on probation
Individuals generally face harsher penalties if they are accused of entering a residential property with the intent to commit theft or a felony. However, commercial burglary can also lead to fines and jail time.
Building Your Defense Against a Burglary Charge
You do not have to just accept a burglary charge here in Los Angeles. Members of our team can step in to help you handle these accusations. We can work to show that:
- You took property that belonged to you
- You were falsely accused of burglary
- You did not intend to commit theft or a felony
Our team will focus on your unique needs after you are accused of burglary. We can work to block evidence against you. In some situations, our team can get your charges dismissed or reduced to an acceptable level.
Burglary vs. Robbery Charges in California
Many people are curious about the difference between burglary and robbery charges in California. We’ve discussed what constitutes a burglary already. Individuals may face robbery charges instead if they are accused of:
- Taking the personal property of another person
- Against the will of the property owner
- Through the use of force or fear
The use of force or fear sets robbery charges apart from burglary accusations. Individuals should only face charges for robbery if they take someone’s property while in the person’s immediate presence.
Note that the court system divides robbery charges into first- and second-degree robbery. Individuals face first-degree robbery charges only if they commit robbery:
- In an inhabited structure
- In a motor vehicle
- While near an ATM
As you can see, people can face robbery charges while they are in an inhabited structure, like a home or apartment. However, individuals should not face robbery and burglary charges for the same criminal act. The prosecution will have to pick one charge or the other to pursue.
The Simmrin Law Firm Can Help You Fight a Burglary Charge
You can reach out to the Simmrin Law Group to learn more about what constitutes burglary. Our burglary lawyers in Los Angeles can also focus on building a defense if you are accused of this property crime. We are ready to handle all your needs after you reach out to us for a risk-free consultation. Start working on your defense by calling (310) 997-4688 or filling out our online contact form.