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Theft Crimes

San Diego Burglary Defense Lawyer

Charged Under PC 459? Call For a FREE Consult: (619) 304-9190

Burglary is a crime many know, but few actually understand. In California, Penal Code (PC) Section 459 defines burglary as entering any commercial or residential building or structure with the intent to steal or perpetrate some other type of felony. Burglary is a broad crime, can include nearly any type of structure or residence (from homes and apartments to stores, locked vehicles, abandoned buildings, boats, and barns), and is committed merely by entering any of those structures with the requisite criminal intent – even if no theft or felony was actually carried out.

Given the complexities of burglary cases, the fine details of criminal intent they entail, and the serious penalties at stake, anyone charged with burglary should protect their rights and interests by working with an experienced criminal defense team. At Premier Criminal Defense, we have what it takes to help.

When your future is on the line, place your trust in experienced legal advocates and a Former Prosecutor. Call (619) 304-9190 to request a free and confidential consultation.

Burglary Charges in California

California’s burglary law is subdivided into different offense levels:

  • First-Degree Burglary – The burglary of a “residence,” which includes any type of inhabited structure, such as a motor home or RV, trailer coach, or a boat or vessel.
  • Second-Degree Burglary – Burglary of anything other than a residence is considered second-degree burglary. This charge is common in cases involving stores, businesses, and other various commercial type structures.

Burglary, whether it is “res burg” or “commercial burglary,” is a distinct and separate offense from other theft crimes. This includes the crime of shoplifting, which is distinguished under PC 459.5 and was created after California voters passed Prop 47 in 2014. Shoplifting involves entering any open business or store with the specific intent to steal property valued at $950 or less.

Penalties and Defense

First-degree burglary is a felony and a “strike” offense in California, and it carries up to 6 years in prison. A “wobbler,” second-degree burglary may be charged as either a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in county jail, or a felony punishable by up to 3 years. The severity of charges and potential penalties are ultimately dependent on the individual factors involved – from your criminal history and the nature of the crime to the discretion of the prosecutor handling your case.

An experienced criminal defense attorney familiar with California burglary and theft crime laws, the local courts and District Attorneys, and effective defense strategies can help you explore your available options. Generally, these strategies focus on having charges dismissed, dropped, or reduced, avoiding penalties or securing alternatives to imprisonment, negotiating positive plea deals, or prevailing at trial.

Remember, law enforcement officers who investigated or arrested you must have complied with proper protocol, and prosecutors have the burden of proving your guilt (via proof of your intent) beyond a reasonable doubt. Any infringement of your Constitutional rights or failure to meet this burden may provide the basis for strategic motions and the pursuit of a positive outcome.

What Sets Out San Diego Criminal Defense Team Apart?

Premier Criminal Defense is a firm passionate about protecting clients’ rights, freedoms, and futures, and ensuring police, prosecutors, and our government are held to the standards by which they’re bound. Reasons why we’re trusted by clients and families across San Diego include:

  • Former Prosecutor – Our Founding Attorney, Thomas Slattery, is a former prosecutor and veteran criminal lawyer with over 17 years of experience in the field.
  • Creative Solutions – We focus on meticulous investigations and creative problem solving to tailor defense strategies to our clients’ unique situations.
  • 24/7 Availability – We care about our clients, acting as both advocates and attorneys who make it a point to be available at all hours of the day.
  • Affordable Rates – We’re passionate about ensuring equal access to justice, and leveraging experience, technology, and proven techniques to provide cost-efficient representation.

Learn more about our legal team and how we can fight for you or your loved one anywhere in San Diego or the surrounding communities. Call (619) 304-9190 or contact us online for a FREE case evaluation.

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