California Burglary Attorney – California Penal Code 459 PC

What is California burglary per PC 459?

Under California Penal Code 459, you can be found guilty of burglary in California for entering a building, vehicle, vessel, or cargo container (structure) with the intention of either stealing something or committing a felony. The sentencing and punishment for California burglary are quite severe, and you will need an experienced burglary attorney in California to aggressively represent you.

To be convicted of California burglary, the prosecutor must prove that you entered the building with the intent to commit a felony. If you decided to commit a felony after entering the building, you may be guilty of another crime.

The California Burglary Lawyers at Wallin & Klarich explain the difference between First Degree Burglary and Second Degree Burglary in California.

Are you facing charges of burglary in California under PC 459?

First Degree Burglary and Second Degree Burglary

There are two types of burglary charges in California: first and second degree burglary. The main distinction between the two is that first degree burglary, also called residential burglary, requires that you entered another person’s residence with the intent to commit a felony; whereas, second degree, or commercial burglary, occurs in any other type of structure.

First degree burglary is a felony, and counts as a strike; it’s a very serious offense. Second degree burglary is a “wobbler,” meaning that it can either be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. Whether you’re charged with a felony or misdemeanor for second degree burglary depends on a number of factors including: whether you have a criminal record, whether you’re currently on probation, the type of structure entered, the time of day and other considerations.

What are the best defenses to California burglary?

There are a number of defenses that can be raised to burglary charges in California. Some of the best defenses to burglary include: failure to read Miranda rights, lack of intent, consent, intoxication, alibi, mistake of fact, and illegal search and seizure. Whether or not you have any defenses available depends on the facts of your case. A California burglary attorney will be able to determine what defenses, if any, may work for you.

California burglary sentencing and punishment

First degree burglary, or residential burglary, is a felony offense. Under California Penal Code 461(1), residential burglary is a strike offense meaning you will have to serve at least 85 percent of your sentence, regardless of good behavior. First time offenders may face up to 6 years in state prison. Second degree burglary, or commercial burglary, can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor. If you are convicted of commercial burglary as a misdemeanor, you are facing one year in county jail.

Burglary FAQs

Given that burglary is such a complicated area of law, it’s not surprising that a lot of people have questions about it. To help you better understand the differences between burglary and other types of crimes, we’ve answered some of the more common questions our clients have in our FAQ section. There, you will find answers to questions like:

  • What is the difference between burglary and larceny?
  • What is the difference between burglary and robbery?
  • What is the statute of limitations for burglary?


Contact an experienced California burglary lawyer at Wallin & Klarich today

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Contact the burglary defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich today

If you or a loved one is accused of a California burglary charge, please feel free to contact one of our experienced California criminal attorneys. We’re happy to answer any questions you have and guide you through this stressful matter.

With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Ventura, Victorville and West Covina, our team of professionals experienced in burglary cases in California will be with you when you call.

Call Wallin & Klarich today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL. We will get through this together.

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