What is Burglary?

Burglary occurs when someone illegally enters a structure with the intention of committing a theft or felony therein. If there is evidence of your intentions to commit a felony prior to entering the structure, the prosecution doesn’t have to prove you stole something. A burglary conviction carries serious legal penalties and personal consequences, so you need to prepare the strongest possible defense.

You should not waste any time hiring a skilled defense attorney. To ensure you have the most effective defense, you need to hire an attorney with sufficient experience. Our burglary attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have defended clients accused of burglary in Irvine for over 40 years. We have the experience and specialized skills necessary to help you put up the best fight. Call our law firm today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (949) 776-3424 for your free legal consultation.

First-Degree Burglary Conviction | Elements Of The Crime

A first-degree burglary occurs when you illegally enter a residence or dwelling. While this charge brings aggressive prosecution, our knowledgeable attorneys can chip away at the prosecution’s case against you by targeting each element of the crime. For a first-degree burglary conviction, the Irvine prosecutor must prove:

  1. The structure that you entered meets the requirements of a residence according to PC 460(a).  
  2. You did not have permission from the owner and illegally entered the home or residence. 
  3. When you entered the building, you planned on committing a theft or felony inside the home. 

Second-Degree Burglary Conviction | Elements Of The Crime

A second-degree burglary, also known as commercial burglary, occurs when you illegally enter a non-residential structure. This can include a shop, business, or warehouse. This can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the factors of your case. Factors lead to felony second-degree charges in the majority of cases, include:

  • Past burglary or violent convictions
  • Probation for prior conviction at the time of the burglary
  • Making threats against the owner prior to committing the burglary (within 30 days) 

For a conviction, the prosecutor must prove: 

  1. You entered a non-residential structure and did not have prior permission from the owner. 
  2. You intended to commit a felony prior to entering the structure. 

Related Charges | Possession Of Burglary Tools PC 466

The prosecution can also charge you with possession of burglary tools if the police find you with tools commonly used to illegally enter a structure, such as a tension bar, screwdriver, flashlight, pliers, bolt cutters, or other lock pick tools. 

Irvine Burglary Penalties | Consequences of Conviction

In addition to legal penalties, a burglary conviction can affect other aspects of your life. In addition to jail time, having burglary on your record can affect your personal and professional life. The following are the penalties for first and second-degree burglary in Irvine, as outlined by California Penal Code 459:

First-Degree Felony Burglary:

A first-degree burglary conviction is a felony offense covered under California’s Three Strikes Law. This means you’ll have a strike on your record, and you could face increased legal penalties for this conviction and future felony offenses. With one prior strike on your record, your sentence can double, and the court can sentence you to 25 years to life for your third strike in Irvine. You’ll find the standard penalties for first-degree burglary below: 

  • Two to six years in prison
  • Strike 
  • Felony probation 

Your attorney will review your case and look for mitigating factors to reduce your sentence. Our burglary attorneys have had felony sentences reduced to felony probation and 90 days to a year in county jail, which helped our clients avoid a lengthy prison sentence. Some of the mitigating factors we’ve used in past first-degree burglary cases include:

  • Clean criminal record. 
  • Mental or physical disabilities that impaired our client’s judgment
  • Severe addictions
  • Minimal role in the burglary.
  • Did not damage property or injure residents 
  • Burglary was their attempt to provide for their family
  • Remorse for crime

Second-Degree Felony Burglary:

While second-degree burglary carries less penalties than first-degree burglary, it is still a serious crime and you still face prison time as well as hefty fines as shown below:

  • 16 months to 3 years in prison
  • $10,000 fine
  • Felony probation

However, with Wallin & Klarich on your side, you’ll have a better chance of reducing your felony burglary charges. Because we are familiar with the Irvine prosecutor, we know how to negotiate with them. If a loss of $950 or less was involved, the prosecution is more likely to negotiate with us.

Second-Degree Misdemeanor Burglary:

A misdemeanor burglary conviction carries the following penalties in Irvine: 

  • One year in jail
  • $1,000 fine
  • Informal probation

Burglary Tools PC 466:

You could also face the following penalties for possessing burglary tools: 

  • Six months in jail
  • $1,000 fine 
  • Informal probation 

Professional and Personal Consequences:

In addition to the legal consequences, you will also face the consequences that come with the stigma attached to a burglary conviction. This could interfere with your current and future relationships as well as limit your career options. When the financial and personal problems pile up, many people in your situation struggle to rebuild their lives after conviction. However, you can take the first step toward avoiding a burglary conviction today.  

By consulting with our skilled burglary attorneys at Wallin & Klarich, you put yourself in the best position to win your burglary case. For over 40 years, our meticulous defense strategies have helped thousands avoid wrongful convictions in Irvine and throughout Southern California for over 40 years. Our defense firm has built a solid reputation you can trust with reasonable rates, affordable payment plans, and extensive knowledge. Contact us today to receive your free consultation!

Defeat Burglary Charges | Possible Defense Strategies

With Wallin & Klarich you will receive the one-on-one attention other defense attorneys don’t offer. With this one-on-one attention to your case, we will strategize the best possible defense for your case. Moreover, we have the presentation skills and passion for the law to deliver a powerful argument. Below, you’ll find a few of the best defenses for burglary that we could use in your case.

Lack Of Intent:

A burglary conviction requires evidence of your intent to commit a theft or felony prior to entering the structure. Your Wallin & Klarich attorney will challenge this fact and weaken the prosecution’s allegations against you. 

For example, after a night of drinking you enter your apartment complex and accidentally enter your neighbor’s apartment. The cops arrest you for burglary because the neighbor claims you stole money. 

However, your Wallin & Klarich attorney could argue that the incident was a mistake. You never intended to steal anything prior to entering the apartment. 


If you were arrested for burglary even though you had the owner’s permission, we could argue for a dismissal of your case on these grounds. We could present witnesses or other evidence such as texts or phone calls to prove your innocence. Consult with our attorneys and find out how we can help get your burglary case reduced or dropped in Irvine. Call us today for your free legal consultation! 


An alibi is an effective defense when you are arrested at some other location besides the crime scene. For example, you are walking down the street when the police stop and arrest you for a burglary two blocks over. 

However, when they alleged you committed the crime, you were inside a convenience store chatting with a few friends. We can present video evidence and witnesses to prove this fact. 

Choosing A Top Burglary Defense Attorney | We’ll Fight For You

With so many defense lawyers competing for your attention, it’s easy to get overwhelmed or choose the wrong one. When you choose a defense attorney, you need to evaluate what they can do for you. Do they have experience and a solid track record? Are your best interests their priority? Don’t just take their word for it. Consider how they make you feel as well. Wallin & Klarich has years of experience fighting legal battles and working with clients. It’s easy for us to articulate what we bring to the table that separates us from other defense firms. We are known for the following characteristics:

  1. Trusted Legal Advocates
  2. Exceptional Negotiators
  3. 40+ Years of Practice 
  4. Specialized Legal Expertise 

Trusted Legal Advocates | The Wallin & Klarich Difference 

You need to be able to trust your defense attorney. It’s bad enough to worry about the prosecution without stressing about your defense team. With Wallin & Klarich, you never have to question our loyalty. You’ll receive one-on-one attention and genuine care when you visit our office. We are here for you when you need us, and we’ll fight for your best interests.

Exceptional Negotiators | 40+ Years of Success

You need a criminal defense lawyer who understands the best way to negotiate inside and outside court. We’ve honed our negotiation skills during our 40+ years of practice, and we continuously strive for excellence. Find out how our expert negotiators can help you defeat false accusations of burglary in Irvine, CA. Contact us today toll-free at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (949) 776-3424 for a free consultation with a local burglary attorney that you can trust! 

We’re here to help you!

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Irvine, CA 92614

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