Possession of Burglary Tools – Penal Code 466 PC
California Penal Code Section 466 PC makes it illegal to be in possession of tools that have been associated with burglary. Some of these tools include:
- a picklock
- vise grip pliers
- water-pump pliers
- slim jim
- tension bar
- lock pick gun
- tubular lock pick
- bump key
- floor-safe door puller
- master key
- ceramic or porcelain spark plug chips or pieces,
While these are common tools that many people own, it is illegal to possess them if you intend to break into any building, railroad car, aircraft, vessel, trailer coach, or vehicle. It is also illegal to attempt to alter any tools or keys in order to break into any structure, vehicle, railroad car, or vessel.
California Penal Code 466.3 – if you possess a key, tool, explosive, or instrument designed to break in to or damage a coin operated machine, like a vending machine, laundry machine, parking meter, or moneychanger, and you intend to commit theft from one of these types of machines you can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony crime.
California Penal Code Section 466.5 – if you possess a motor vehicle master key or wheel lock master key and intent on using them for a crime, you could be charged with misdemeanor crime.
Prosecution of Possession of Burglary Tools -California Penal Code Section 466 PC
In order for you to be convicted of possession of burglary tools, the prosecution must prove all of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You were in the possession of the type of tools prohibited in California Penal Code Section 466 PC
- You intended for the tools to be used in the commission of a crime
Sentence and Punishment of Possession of Burglary Tools
If you are convicted of violating California Penal Code Section 466 PC, you could face a sentence of up to six months in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. You may also be ordered to serve up to three years of summary probation.
Possible Defenses to Possession of Burglary Tools
If you have been charged with possession of burglary tools, a skilled criminal defense attorney can raise several defenses on your behalf. These defenses may include:
No criminal intent – it is not enough to have the listed tools in your possession or even to make or alter the tools listed. The crime occurs when you possess one or more of those tools and intend to illegally enter a structure, rail car, vessel, or vehicle. If you do not intend to illegally enter a structure or vehicle to commit a crime, you should not be convicted of this crime.
- Illegal Search and Seizure –If the police have charged you with possession of burglary tools that they found during an illegal search and seizure such, your case may be dismissed.
- You did not know the tools you possess were used in a burglary – You should not be convicted of possessing burglary tools if you did not know the tools were used or were to be used in a burglary. For example, you borrow your nephew’s truck and are pulled over by police for speeding. The tools are laying in plain sight in the bed of the truck and police recognize them as burglary tools. Since you did not know they were used in a burglary, and you were not involved in the burglary, you should not be convicted of violating California Penal Code Section 466 PC.
Frequently Asked Question Regarding Possessing Burglary Tools
At Wallin & Klarich, we frequently receive questions from those facing burglary tools possession charges. These include:
I have a slim jim and a picklock because they are handy to have when my kids lock their keys in the car or in the house. Can I be convicted of possessing burglary tools when I only break into my own home and car?
While you may have some explaining to do if you get caught breaking into your home or vehicle with these tools, simply having these tools is not illegal.
I bought a bunch of tools from a yard sale to use at my job. While I was on my way to work, the police stopped me and saw the tools. They said the tools have been used in a burglary and they are pressing charges against me. Can I be convicted?
You should contact your attorney right away and explain him or her how you came to own the tools. Your attorney should be able to defend you against the charges because you did not know the tools were used in a crime and you have no intention of committing a crime.
My son and his friend have been charged with burglary after they were stopped by police because someone matching my son’s description had been seen stealing stereos out of cars in the neighborhood. My son had a slingshot and his friend had box cutters, but they are innocent. Can they be convicted?
Because the boys were caught with burglary tools on them and vehicles had been burglarized in the neighborhood, your son and his friend need to hire experienced attorneys. While having a slingshot is certainly not a crime, your son and his friend will want to show that they were not involved in any criminal acts and that they did not intend on committing any criminal activity with the tools.
Contact Wallin & Klarich if You Have Been Charged with Possession of Burglary Tools
If you or a loved one has been charged with possession of burglary tools, it is crucial that you contact a Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney immediately.
Wallin & Klarich has been successfully defending those facing burglary, theft, and burglary tool possession charges for over 30 years. We can help you, too. We will analyze the facts of your case and plan a defense strategy that will help you get the very best outcome possible in your case.
With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is a skilled Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.