Burglary charges should not be taken lightly. A burglary conviction often has serious penalties and can adversely affect many aspects of your life. If you are being investigated for or have been charged with burglary, one of the first steps that you should take is to reach out to a San Diego burglary defense lawyer to discuss your situation. Theft crime attorney Roseline D. Feral knows that being charged with a crime is a frightening experience, but you can rest assured that we can protect your rights at every step of the way.Types of Burglary Charges and Penalties
Under California Penal Code 459, a person can be found guilty of burglary for entering a building or another structure with the intention of either stealing something or committing a felony. The term “structure” is interpreted broadly and typically includes a home, apartment, warehouse, store, building, locked vehicle, airplane, or train.
Burglary in California is of two types: first degree and second degree. All first-degree (residential) burglary charges are felonies, and under California’s Three Strikes Law, they count as serious felonies. Second-degree commercial burglary can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. First-degree burglary, also known as residential burglary, requires that a person enter another person’s residence with the intent to commit a felony. An example of a first-degree burglary would be if a person broke into their neighbor’s house with the intent to steal jewelry. Second-degree burglary occurs in any other type of structure. An example of a second-degree burglary would be if a person entered someone’s ATM card pin number into a bank machine with the intent to steal money.
In California, any person accused of a crime has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and a burglary defense attorney can help San Diego residents aggressively protect their rights. This presumption requires the state to prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. The “reasonable doubt” standard requires evidence to be strong enough that it convinces the jury that the charges are true. The evidence is not required to eradicate all possible doubt, but this is still a substantial burden on the prosecution. When it comes to the crime of burglary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant entered the building with the specific intent to commit a felony. Thus, there is both an act element and a mental state element in this crime.
Penalties for the crime of burglary will vary depending on a number of factors, including whether it was a first-degree or second-degree offense, whether the defendant has a criminal history or is currently on probation, and which type of structure the defendant allegedly entered.
Each burglary case is different, and there may be defenses that are appropriate in your case. One such defense is consent. Consent by the owner or person in charge is an absolute defense to the crime of burglary. Another potential defense is intoxication. This can be a defense if the intoxication interferes with the ability of the defendant to form the required intent to commit the crime. However, this is typically not a valid defense if the intoxication was voluntary. In most cases, this defense works if someone else drugged the defendant. Other defenses may include lack of Miranda warnings, a mistake of fact, or an alibi, which means that there is evidence showing that the defendant was somewhere else when the crime was committed. We can examine the facts of your case and determine which defenses may be applicable.Discuss Your Case with a Burglary Defense Lawyer in the San Diego Region
If you have been charged with burglary, you should not delay in reaching out to a criminal defense attorney who can help you understand the process and advocate on your behalf. We have extensive experience assisting people charged with burglary, and we can put our knowledge to use in your case. We represent people in Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, Carlsbad, Encinitas, La Jolla, Oceanside, Escondido, Ramona, Rancho Santa Fe, San Marcos, Valley Center, and Vista. To discuss your case in more detail with a San Diego burglary defense attorney at no cost, contact us online or call our office at 619-232-1010. Alternatively, you can call Attorney Feral directly at 619-301-1191.