Orange County Burglary Attorney
When someone is charged with burglary, he or she may also be charged with several other offenses. In California, burglary is categorized into degrees – all of which can be penalized by state prison time. If you have been charged with burglary, then it is critical to contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer to represent your interests. California burglary laws can be complex and typically important issues are overlooked by those who lack the experience in handling serious cases. The Law Offices of John D. Rogers provides effective and immediate representation to those standing accused of burglary. Our attorneys understand the serious nature of the offense and are prepared to explore every avenue to have the charged dropped or reduced.
Overview of the Crime of Burglary in California
Burglary is defined under Penal Code section 459 pc making it unlawful to enter a structure harboring the intent to commit a felony or theft crime therein. There are different meanings for the term structure that plays a pivotal role in the appropriate degree and punishment. California law categorizes burglary into separate degrees depending on the type of structure entered by someone.
- Residential Burglary: Residential burglary is also known as “first degree burglary” occurs when a person enters or attempts to enter a residential structure. A residential structure is a place of habitation such as home, apartment, tent, or motorhome. It’s categorized as a serious felony applied to California’s Three Strike Laws. Consequently, residential burglary is punishable by 2, 4, or 6 years in state prison. However, residential burglary could transition into a violent felony if someone was present inside the home when the burglary was committed.
- Commercial Burglary: Commercial burglary is burglary in the second degree and it’s a crime against commercial establishments such as stores, bars, or other businesses. With virtually the same elements as residential burglary, commercial burglary is a wobbler allowing the prosecutor to file misdemeanor or felony charges. Commercial burglary is punishable in the county jail for not more than one year as a misdemeanor, whereas a felony carries a sentencing range of 16 months, 2, or 3 years in the county jail.
- Auto Burglary: Auto burglary occurs when someone enters or attempts to enter a vehicle. This charge requires that the vehicle be locked prior to gaining entry. Examples include breaking the window or picking the door lock to gain entry. There’s no requirement that anything be stolen but only that a person had the intent to steal or commit a felony. Like commercial burglary, auto burglary is a wobbler punishable as a misdemeanor by up to one year in the county jail or 16 months, 2, or 3 years in the county jail as a felony.
Common Defenses to Burglary Charges
If you’ve been charged with burglary, then securing representation of an experienced burglary defense attorney in Orange County as early as possible is crucial to prepare your defense. An effective investigation includes subpoenaing officer or businesses for video footage capturing the incident, interviewing witness, and photographing all bruises or markings on your body. Typically defenses to burglary charges include:
- Lack of Intent to Commit a Theft or Felony
- Falsely Accused by Mistaken Identification
- Bona Fide Claim of Right to the Property
- Consent from the Owner of the Property or Residence
Contact an Orange County Burglary Lawyer
Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney John Rogers has extensive experience representing clients who have been charged with burglary, theft, or other related crimes. His office has an unmatched understanding of the laws concerning residential, commercial, auto burglary and will explore every pertinent fact when mounting your defense. Our office can evaluate the strength of the prosecutor’s case against you and develop a defense that applies to your case. Contact the Law Offices of John D. Rogers to schedule a free case evaluation. There’s no question that early intervention could mean the difference of serving a jail sentence or having the case rejected altogether.
- Robbery – California Penal Code 211 PC
- Grand Theft – California Penal Code 487 PC
- Petty Theft – California Penal Code 484(a) PC
- Shoplifting – California Penal Code 459.5 PC