Ask a California Criminal Defense Attorney: What Are My Defense Options for a Charge of Burglary?

Ask a California Criminal Defense Attorney: What Are My Defense Options for a Charge of Burglary?

Burglar Stealing Items From Bedroom During Hose Break InNo matter what you’ve been charged with, any criminal charges should prompt you to contact a criminal defense attorney. In the case of burglary charges, Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell is the right firm to call. With years of experience, a unique perspective, and an aggressive style, we are here to help ensure your rights are protected. Read on to learn more about your defense options for charges of burglary and then reach out to us at 909-920-0908 for a consultation.

Burglary is not the same as theft

It’s common for people to confuse burglary and theft. The reality is that burglary doesn’t even have to include stealing anything. It’s actually simply entering a room, locked vehicle, or structure with the intention of committing a crime. For example, if you went into a department store and intended to hit one of the employees, then you’d be committing burglary.

That said, burglary does often involve stealing, which is why the terms theft and burglary are so often confused. It’s also important to note that forced entry isn’t necessarily a part of burglary – though the intent to commit a crime is. If you went into a location and decided to steal something after you were inside, then it’s theft but not burglary, as prior intent is a necessary part of burglary.

Potential consequences of a burglary conviction

A burglary conviction can result in as long as six years in prison. It all depends on whether it is charged as a first-degree or second-degree burglary. First degree involves a home or living structure and is a felony. It can be counted as a strike under California’s Three Strikes Law. Second-degree burglary involves businesses or other non-residential structures. This is a wobbler offense, which means it can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor.

Potential legal defenses for charges of burglary

There are a number of defense options, the right one of which will depend on your unique situation. The first avenue we’ll consider is proving that you have been misidentified. This may be because you weren’t present at the location at all, or that you were there but not involved. Next, we may argue that while you did commit the crime, you had no intent when you entered the building, which would mean you hadn’t committed burglary. Finally, we may work to show that you only took things that belonged to your or that you believed you had a right to take.

In the event there is a lot of compelling evidence against you, we may recommend a plea deal. If that’s the case, then we’ll negotiate aggressively to get you the best possible outcome for your case. We may be able to have the charges reduced or the sentence reduced. If you’re charged with multiple crimes then we may negotiate a deal in which you plead guilty to one and others are dropped. To find out more about your unique options, contact Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell at 909-920-0908 today.