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What Are the Penalties for a Burglary Conviction in California?

 Posted on September 08, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Untitled---2023-09-08T114004.382.jpgBurglary is a serious crime in the state of California. This offense, which is also known as “breaking and entering,” involves unlawfully entering someone's property with the intent to commit theft or any other felony. If you are charged and convicted of burglary, you may face severe penalties, including jail time, fines, and a permanent criminal record. Understanding these penalties is crucial if you are currently facing burglary charges, and by working with an experienced attorney, you can determine your best options for defense.

Types of Burglary Charges

In California, there are two types of burglary: first-degree burglary and second-degree burglary. The penalties for burglary will depend on factors such as the location of the alleged offense and a person’s criminal history.

  • First-Degree Burglary: This form of burglary involves breaking into an inhabited dwelling like a house or apartment where people are present. This is considered a more serious offense due to the possibility of harm to people in a building.

  • Second-Degree Burglary: This burglary charge may apply when someone is accused of breaking into a non-residential building like a store, office, or warehouse. A person may be charged with burglary even if a building was not occupied at the time of entry.

Penalties for Burglary Convictions

The penalties a person may face if they are convicted of burglary can vary depending on the nature of the alleged offense and whether a person has any previous criminal convictions on their record. If convicted of first-degree residential burglary in California, a person may be sentenced to imprisonment in a state prison for two, four, or six years. 

A person who is convicted of second-degree burglary may face a sentence of up to one year in a county jail. However, if a person has previous convictions for burglary, violent crimes, or certain other types of offenses, they may be charged with a felony, and they could face a sentence of up to three years in prison.

Defenses Against Burglary Charges

If you are facing burglary charges in California, a number of different defense strategies may be available. With the help of a criminal defense lawyer, you can determine how to minimize the consequences you may face, or you may even be able to have your case dismissed. Potential defense strategies may include:

  • Lack of intent: Burglary requires proving intent beyond a reasonable doubt. Your defense attorney may argue that you did not intend to commit theft or any other felony when entering someone else’s property.

  • Mistaken identity: If there is a lack of evidence linking you to the crime scene, and witnesses cannot identify you, it may be possible to raise doubt about whether you committed burglary.

  • Illegal search and seizure: If police officers conducted an unlawful search and obtained evidence against you illegally, it may be possible to exclude those pieces of evidence during a criminal trial.

  • Inaccurate witness testimony: People who claim to have witnessed a crime can be unreliable or biased. If your attorney can cast doubt on the credibility of witnesses or question their version of events, this may weaken the prosecution's case against you.

Contact a Fremont Burglary Defense Attorney

If you are facing burglary charges in California, it is crucial to seek legal help as soon as possible. An Alameda County property crimes defense lawyer can review your case, build a strong defense strategy, and protect your rights throughout the legal process.

At Fuller Law Firm, we understand the seriousness of burglary charges, and we are dedicated to fighting for the rights of our clients. We will provide you with a free consultation where you can discuss your case confidentially with us and determine your best options for defense. Contact us today at 408-234-7563 to schedule your consultation.




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