Burglary

What is Burglary?

Burglary is the entering of a building[1] with the intent to commit a theft or felony. No breaking or forced entry is required. A person enters a building when some part of their body or an object under their control crosses the outer boundary. The outer boundary includes the balcony to a home. A building is broadly defined as any structure that has walls on all sides and is covered by a roof. First degree burglary, commonly known as residential burglary, is the entering of an inhabited dwelling, which is a place where someone lives or sleeps. All other burglaries are of the second degree and commonly known as commercial burglaries.

What Are the Consequences?

First degree or residential burglary is treated as the more serious of the two burglary offenses because the building entered is an inhabited dwelling. In fact, it is so serious that it is considered to be a strike[2]. If you are convicted of this this offense, you will receive a felony and face up to 6 years in prison and $10,000 fine. If, during the burglary, you inflicted "great bodily injury" (a significant or substantial injury) on another, you face an additional and consecutive 3-6 year state prison sentence, depending on the nature of the injury, and the nature of the victim.

Second degree burglary, on the other hand, can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of your case and your criminal history. If you receive a felony, you will face up to 3 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If you receive a misdemeanor, you will face up to one year in county jail[3] and a $1,000 fine.

All burglary convictions include probation, a stay away order, and court fines and fees. In addition, it is important to know that your burglary conviction can be used by the D.A. as a prior to raise your sentence the next time you are accused of burglary or theft.

How We Can Help You

If you are being accused of burglary, Lavy Law is the best firm to help you win. As a prior prosecutor who has handled countless burglary cases, we know how to get your charge dismissed or reduced. As a counselor at law, we know how to empower you during this intimidating process. As a trial attorney, we know how to argue and win your case before a judge or jury.

We suggest that you read our Recent Cases to see a case won just like your own.

If you are being accused of burglary, Contact Us for a free consultation.


[1] Although buildings usually the object of a burglary, you can also be prosecuted for entering locked vehicles or other structures and places specified in Penal Code section 459.

[2] A strike is a serious or violent felony offense as defined in the California Penal Code. A person who has a strike will receive a longer prison sentence and greater punishment for a subsequent felony conviction.

[3] Instead of serving time in county jail, a person may be day for day credit by doing community service activities (ie: picking up trash) through a Sheriff's Work Alternative Program. In order to be eligible, a person must be sentenced to (?)

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