In California, burglary can take several forms, including breaking and entering, residential burglary or commercial housebreaking. Under California Penal Code 459, the act of entering a building with the intent to commit petit theft, grand theft or some other felony is classified as housebreaking.

This type of case if often charged as a felony, which means you could face some serious penalties, including incarceration and hefty fines. In some cases, the defendant may receive a felony “strike”, which can have serious implications under California’s three strikes law. For these reasons, it is especially important to trust your case to a top Long Beach burglary lawyer with the experience and strategies required to maximize your chances of a positive case resolution.

If you or a loved one are facing burglary or breaking and entering charges in Southern California, including Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura and Long Beach, contact the criminal defense attorneys with The Law Offices of Jerry Nicholson to discuss your case in a fully confidential consultation session. Call 562-434-8916.

What Are the Different Types of Burglary?

In California, there are two basic types of burglary: first degree burglary and second degree burglary.

The act of first degree burglary, also known as first degree housebreaking or residential housebreaking, applies to a variety of premises, such as homes, attached garages, boats, floating homes, trailers, railroad cars, aircraft, warehouses, and the inhabited portions of any building.

The contemplated felony need not be completed in order for burglary to have occurred. Entry with the intent to commit a theft or another felony within the structure can serve as sufficient grounds to constitute housebreaking. First degree breaking and entering is considered a serious felony and it is a charge that is typically counted as a “strike” in California.

The term “second degree burglary” applies to all other burglaries, including burglaries into cars and businesses. This is also known as second degree housebreaking. These auto or commercial burglaries (including shoplifting) are generally charged as misdemeanors but there are some instances where the case may be charged as a felony.
Second degree commercial breaking and entering is often charged in shoplifting cases.

Notably, a person can be charged with second degree burglary if he or she is caught with scissors or some other cutting tool that is used to open packages or remove price tags while inside a retail business.

What Are the Penalties for Burglary in California?

Long Beach Burglary AttorneyIn California, the penalties for burglary, including breaking and entering, residential burglary and commercial housebreaking can include prison time, fines and restitution.

A case of first degree burglary is punishable by two, four or six years in state prison except in very unusual cases where probation and county jail are ordered instead. Other penalties, such as fines or restitution could also be ordered.

First degree housebreaking is also considered a “strike” under California’s “three strike” sentencing laws. As a result, if you were to be convicted of any other felonies in the future (including minor drug offenses or felony petty theft), your sentence in the subsequent case will be doubled.

In California, second degree burglary is punishable by a sentence in county jail or state prison depending upon whether the case is prosecuted as a felony or as a more minor misdemeanor.

Second degree housebreaking is considered a “wobbler” in the California criminal justice system, meaning that it can be charged either as a felony or misdemeanor. If charged as a misdemeanor, then the maximum sentence is one year in county jail. If charged as a felony, the maximum sentence is three years in state prison. However, second degree housebreaking is not considered a “strike” under California law.

As you can see, burglary charges are very serious and an experienced and skilled criminal defense lawyer should be consulted if you or a loved one have been arrested on charges of burglary.

The Long Beach breaking and entering lawyers with The Law Offices of Jerry Nicholson have many years of experience defending clients who are accused of burglary and other criminal charges. Our goal is to find a way to bring about a favorable outcome for every client.

If you or a loved one are facing burglary or housebreaking charges in Southern California, contact the Long Beach criminal defense attorneys with The Law Offices of Jerry Nicholson to discuss your case. A conviction can stay on your record for years after the trial is over, which is why it’s important to bring an experienced lawyer with you to court to defend your rights. Call 562-434-8916 today.

Burglary Statutes in Long Beach, California

The following is a look at a few of the key burglary, housebreaking and breaking and entering statutes in California.

  • Under Penal Code 459 PC, burglary is defined as entering a “house, room, apartment, tenement, shop, warehouse, store, stable, outhouse, or other building, tent, vessel, floating home, railroad car, sealed cargo container, trailer coach, inhabited camper, vehicle, aircraft or mine “with intent to commit grant or petit larceny or any felony is guilty of burglary.”
  • Under Penal Code 460(a) and (b), every burglary of an inhabited dwelling house, vessel, trailer coach, “or the inhabited portion of any other building, is burglary of the first degree. All other kinds of burglary are of the second degree.
  • Under Penal Code 462 (a), “Except in unusual cases where the interests of justice would best be served if the person is granted probation, probation shall not be granted to any person who is convicted of a burglary of an inhabited dwelling house or trailer coach…an inhabited floating home…or the inhabited portion of any other building.”
  • Under Penal Code 463(a), anyone who commits second degree burglary “during and within an affected county in a ‘state of emergency’ or a ‘local emergency resulting from an earthquake, fire, flood, riot, or other natural or manmade disaster shall be guilty of the crime of looting, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for one year.” Even those who are eligible for probation may be required to serve a county jail sentence of at least 180 days.

Our lawyers have experience representing clients facing a variety of charges besides burglary, including sex crimes, DUI, domestic violence, marijuana possession, robbery, assault, and battery. Contact our office for legal advice about your case as soon as possible after an arrest.

If you or someone in your family is facing burglary charges in Southern California, including Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura and Long Beach, contact the criminal defense attorneys with The Law Offices of Jerry Nicholson to discuss your case in a fully confidential, no-cost consultation session. Call our firm at 562-434-8916 or fill out the form on this website to receive help from a criminal defense attorney.[/fusion_text]

Leave a Reply