Torrance Burglary Defense Attorney

What is Burglary?

Burglary Defense AttorneyThe crime of burglary occurs when someone enters a structure illegally for the purpose of committing a crime. Although many people associate burglary with stealing, a burglary charge can arise even if nothing was stolen. According to California Penal Code Section 459, the prosecution can charge you with burglary if you unlawfully enter a building with the intent to commit any felony

You need to hire a knowledgeable burglary defense attorney for accusations this serious. Our skilled attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 40 years of experience helping clients accused of burglary in Los Angeles County. We negotiate with prosecutors to get your burglary charge reduced or dropped, and in the meantime, we prepare a solid defense to fight for trial. Timing is critical in every criminal case, so consult with our attorneys today if you face burglary charges in Torrance. 

What The Prosecution Must Prove | First-Degree Burglary Conviction 

First-degree is taken very seriously by prosecutors and results in a felony charge. This is because first-degree burglary takes place in a home or residence, which presents a significant danger to the occupants. According to PC 459, the prosecution must prove the following elements to convict you of burglary in Los Angeles County: 

  1. You entered a residence or room inside the home. 
  2. The burglary occurred in an inhabited house or any other dwelling established inside a building (PC 460(a)). 
  3. Before entering the residence, you had the intent to commit a felony or theft inside the inhabited dwelling.

What Prosecution Must Prove | Second Degree Burglary Conviction

Second-degree burglary takes place in any other non-residential structure. Many people refer to this crime as commercial burglary. The prosecution can file a misdemeanor or felony charge for second-degree burglary since it is a “wobbler” offense. They make the final decision based on your criminal history and the circumstances of the burglary. The following factors can make felony burglary charges more likely:

  • Active probation 
  • Prior burglary convictions
  • The burglary occurred within 30 days of making a threat against the owner of the structure.

The prosecutor must prove the following elements to convict you of burglary in Torrance: 

  1. You illegally entered an uninhabited structure or space, including but not limited to: a shed, mechanic garage,  shop, storage facility,  warehouse, store, barn, or shed.
  2. Before entering, you intended to commit a felony or theft inside the structure. 

Possession Of Burglary Tools | PC 466

You may also face a charge for possession of burglary tools in Torrance. Under PC 466, it is illegal to possess burglary tools with the intent to commit a theft in Los Angeles County. Burglary tools may include but are not limited to:  

  • Picklocks
  • Crowbars
  • Screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Bolt cutters
  • Flashlight 
  • Slim jim
  • Tension bar 
  • Any type of lock pick
  • Master or bump key 

Burglary Punishments & Sentencing | What You’re Facing

A conviction for violating PC 459 can result in harsh punishment. The judge determines your sentence according to the specific crime charged and your criminal record. We’ve outlined the penalties for first-degree and second-degree burglary below. 

First-Degree Felony Burglary

Since the law classifies first-degree burglary as a felony, the penalty for the crime can be severe, especially if you have prior “strikes” on your record. For example, if this is your second strike conviction, the court can sentence you to double the penalties. If this is your third strike conviction, you face 25 years to life in prison for the burglary charge. The standard penalties for first-degree burglary in Torrance include: 

Note: In the event of sentencing, specific circumstances of the crime can decrease your sentence. These are called mitigating factors. Your Wallin & Klarich attorney can present these to the court to get your burglary sentence reduced. If successful, you may receive felony probation along with 90 days to a year in county jail instead of years in prison. The court will consider the following mitigating factors:

  • No prior criminal record 
  • Mental or physical conditions that can cloud judgement
  • Substance or alcohol abuse
  • You played a minor role in the burglary
  • Avoided harming people or damaging property
  • The crime was an attempt to provide for your family’s basic needs. 
  • Remorse for the burglary

Second-Degree Felony Burglary

The prosecutor ultimately decides whether you face felony or misdemeanor charges for second-degree burglary, which is why you need an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Our skilled defense attorneys can negotiate with the prosecutor before trial and get your burglary charges reduced or dropped. If your case involves less than $950 loss, the prosecution will likely reduce your felony second-degree burglary to a misdemeanor with the right negotiation strategy. For a felony second-degree burglary conviction in Torrance, the legal penalties include: 

  • Incarceration for 16 months, 2, or 3 years in state prison
  • A fine of up to $10,000
  • Felony probation

Second-Degree Misdemeanor Burglary

A conviction for second-degree misdemeanor burglary in Torrance results in fewer penalties than the above crimes. However, it is still not a conviction you want on your record. For misdemeanor burglary conviction, you face the following punishment: 

  • A maximum of one year in county jail
  • A fine of up to $1,000 
  • Misdemeanor probation

Burglary Tools PC 466

A conviction for possessing burglary tools in Torrance results in the following penalties in addition to your punishment for burglary: 

  • Up to six months in county jail 
  • A maximum fine of $1,000.
  • Probation 

Professional and Personal Consequences 

Aside from the legal penalties, you’ll also endure significant consequences resulting from your burglary conviction in your personal and professional life. Employers may immediately label you as a thief and fire you or refuse to hire you. Potential landlords may view you as a risk to other tenants and reject your housing application. You could face scrutiny from your friends and family members due to your burglary conviction, which may lead to arguments and damage your relationships. With so much pressure, you may feel like giving up, but it’s important to remember that legal help is available. 

At Wallin & Klarich, we understand how overwhelming a burglary charge is for you. We also know that expert legal representation may be outside your budget in these trying times. To help you afford the legal defense you deserve, we offer affordable payment plans and partner with EPAY Finance. We have over 40 years of experience fighting for clients charged with burglary in Southern California. If you face charges of burglary in Torrance, don’t delay hiring our experienced burglary defense attorneys. Contact us today and learn how we can help you fight your burglary charges!

Fight Back | Possible Defenses Against Burglary Charges

Burglary charges in Torrance are nothing to take lightly. However, when you hire Wallin & Klarich, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing you’ll have a solid burglary defense. We understand the complexities of burglary law, and by investigating the details of your arrest, we’ll understand the best strategy for your burglary case. Over the past 40+ years, our law firm has represented many clients accused of burglary in Los Angeles County. We’ve negotiated to get their burglary charge reduced or dismissed and prepared convincing defenses resulting in not guilty verdicts. We may use the following defense strategies for burglary in your case, including but not limited to: 

Lack Of Intent

One of the critical elements of any burglary case is whether the accused had intent to commit theft or felony before entering the building or home. According to PC 459, the prosecution must prove you had a plan to steal something or commit a felony before unlawfully entering the structure. If they cannot prove this beyond a reasonable doubt, the court must drop your burglary charge. 

For example, let’s say you’re drunk and break into a building to keep warm. Once inside, you find an envelope of cash in a drawer and decide to steal it. In this case, your attorney will argue that you had no intent to commit a crime when you entered the building, and there was no way you could’ve known about the cash in the drawer before entering. Our attorneys have successfully defended many clients facing burglary charges based on their lack of intent, and we can do so for you as well. 


Sometimes police arrest a person for burglary without knowing all the facts. In other cases, owners give a person permission and later claim they never did so due to poor memory or simply out of spite. We can argue this defense on your behalf if the owner gave you verbal or written permission to enter the building. Your attorney may present witness testimony or written proof to convince the court to drop your burglary charges. We have years of experience presenting this defense in other burglary cases with successful results. 


An alibi is an effective defense for burglary cases where the police did not arrest the accused at the crime scene. For example, the police come to your home and charge you with first-degree burglary for breaking into your neighbor’s apartment and stealing cash. However, you were attending a wedding at the time of the crime. In this case, we can present proof of your alibi, such as witness testimony from wedding guests, receipts from your travel, and possibly digital location evidence to persuade the court of your innocence. 

Hiring A Top Burglary Defense Attorney | How We Can Help You

You don’t settle for an average lawyer with your future at stake. Instead, you hire an experienced attorney with the knowledge to defend you against serious charges. At Wallin & Klarich, we believe everyone deserves excellent legal representation. Choosing the right defense lawyer for your burglary case requires careful consideration of many factors. Four key aspects quickly set skilled law firms apart from the rest:  

  1. Commitment to clients
  2. Integrity in action 
  3. Legal expertise 
  4. Community respect 

Our Commitment To You | The Wallin & Klarich Difference 

At Wallin & Klarich, we are committed to our clients. When you trust us with your case, we never take it lightly because we understand your life’s hanging in the balance. We set aside time to go over what to expect and any new developments in your case, so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Our attorneys treat you with integrity, starting with an honest, genuine conversation between us. We’re upfront with all our fees from the very beginning, and once we’ve had time to investigate your case thoroughly, we lay all your available options on the table. To ensure your questions and concerns never go unheard, we return your phone calls and emails within 24 hours and keep an on-call criminal defense lawyer for after-hours legal emergencies. Most importantly, we guarantee a judgment-free environment for you and your loved ones.

Wallin & Klarich | Unparalleled Legal Expertise

Torrance Burglary Defense Attorney

Our 40+ years of experience sets us apart from the crowd of defense lawyers. We’ve defended thousands of clients facing burglary charges with remarkable success. Some of our clients came to us with nowhere else to turn and no hope of winning their case. However, our background allowed us to spot strengths in their cases, which an attorney with less experience would’ve missed.

By tailoring our defense strategies to fit the specific details of your case, we increase your chance of success. We have the added advantage of knowing the techniques of local prosecutors and the personalities of judges in Torrance. Our passion for defending the unfairly accused is the driving force behind each of our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich. 

Discover how our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help you fight burglary charges in Torrance, CA. Contact us today, toll-free at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free consultation with a highly-skilled burglary attorney.

Respected & Recognized | Wallin & Klarich

The community recognizes the Wallin & Klarich name for our strong values and legal expertise. For over 40 years, we’ve built our powerful reputation by maintaining our integrity, valuing our relationships with clients, and consistently striving to redefine excellence. For more insight, check out our recent and past success in the courtroom. 

Our Notable Cases | Wallin & Klarich Newsworthy Legal Strategies

Many attorneys point to their experience or skill in defending burglary cases, but our attorneys deliver positive results even in the most complex legal dilemmas. Over the past 40+ years, many of our legal battles have captured the media’s attention. Television, newspapers, and the digital world have covered some of our most notable moments. We encourage you to explore our newsworthy cases below to learn more about our law firm. 

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