November 16, 2023 By Paul Wallin

What Does A Prosecutor Have To Prove In A Burglary Case?

Burglary is the act of unlawfully entering a building with the intention of committing a crime. In accordance with California Penal Code Section 459, burglary charges can be filed even without theft being involved. Burglary occurs when an individual enters a building, home, structure, room, container, or vehicle with the intent to commit larceny or any felony offense. You can be charged with either first-degree burglary or second-degree burglary depending on the specific facts of your case. What elements the prosecutor has to prove in order to convict you varies depending on if you’re facing a first-degree or second-degree burglary charge.

No matter which degree of burglary charge you face, you need an experienced defense attorney representing you. Choosing Wallin & Klarich to represent your case puts you in a better position to receive the best outcome for your case. We have over 40 years of experience in Southern California. Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL  for your free appeal consultation!

What the Prosecutor Must Prove

For a first-degree burglary charge, the prosecutor must prove the following elements:

  1. You entered a home 
  2. The burglary happened in an inhabited dwelling house, or the inhabited portion of a building
  3. When you entered the home or building you intended to commit a felony or theft therein. 

For a second-degree burglary charge, the prosecutor must prove the following elements:

  1. You entered an uninhabited building
  2. When you entered the building you intended to commit a felony or theft therein.

For each degree of burglary, the prosecutor must prove all of the following elements. If the prosecutor fails to prove one or more elements, you cannot be convicted. If you or a loved one is facing a burglary charge, you need an experienced defense attorney on your side. An experienced defense attorney will be able to poke holes in the prosecutor’s arguments and will be able to bring up the best defenses for your case. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over four decades of experience representing cases like yours. Call our office today for a free consultation!

Penalties for a Burglary Conviction

If convicted, you face the following penalties:

  • First degree burglary
    • 2-6 years in prison
    • The judge could also sentence you to probation, but you must serve at least 90 days in custody
  • Second degree felony burglary
    • 16 months to 3 years in prison
  • Second degree misdemeanor burglary
    • Up to 1 year in county jail

In addition to jail or prison sentences, a burglary conviction can have an impact on your personal and professional life as well. After a conviction, relationships with loved ones could suffer. Additionally, you may find it hard to find a job, resulting in difficulty to find steady income. It is important to hire an experienced defense attorney early in your case. Your attorney will be able to look at your case and find the best strategy moving forward. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have the experience you need for your case. Plus, we offer exceptional service, experience, and affordable payment options to help you manage the cost of hiring a defense attorney.

Possible Defenses 

When facing a burglary charge, it is essential to seek the assistance of a skilled and experienced team of burglary defense attorneys. These attorneys will develop a strategic plan and employ the best defenses based on the facts of your case. Here are some successful defenses that we have used in representing clients facing burglary charges:

Mistaken Identity: If the description of the alleged perpetrator can apply to multiple individuals, a defense attorney may argue that it is a case of mistaken identity. This defense can be strengthened with witnesses who can verify your whereabouts during the alleged crime.

Improper Questioning: If the arresting officer failed to read you your Miranda rights at the time of arrest, any statements made by you afterwards may be deemed inadmissible in court. Additionally, any evidence obtained as a result of improper questioning may be excluded as well.

Permission Granted: If there is evidence that you believed you had permission to enter the area in question or remove items from it, this defense can be utilized. Permission can be established through verbal or written consent from the owner of the property.

Alibi: An alibi is a strong defense when the defendant was not arrested at the scene of the crime. Presenting witnesses or other evidence that proves you were elsewhere during the time the crime was committed can help in avoiding a conviction.

Illegal Search and Seizure: Under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, individuals are protected from illegal searches and seizures. If the police conducted a search without probable cause or a warrant, any evidence obtained may be deemed inadmissible in court.

Lack of Intent: The prosecution must prove that you had the intent to commit theft or another felony when entering a location. If it can be shown that you did not have such intent at the time of entry, you may be found not guilty of the offense.

Statute of Limitations: The statute of limitations sets a time limit within which charges must be filed. If charges are not filed within this period, your defense attorney can file a motion to have the charges dismissed. The statute of limitations for felony burglary is generally three years, while for misdemeanor burglary it is one year, but exceptions and factors may apply.

Consulting with a knowledgeable burglary defense attorney is crucial in understanding the available defenses specific to your situation. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich know the best defenses to use in your case to get the best possible outcome. Call our office today!

Contact Wallin & Klarich Today 

If you have been accused of burglary, you need an aggressive defense attorney to fight for your freedom. With 40+ years of experience, our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have helped thousands of clients win their cases or get their charges reduced to a lesser degree. We know the most effective defenses to argue on your behalf, and we will do everything in our power to help you achieve the best possible result in your case. 

You may not be aware of all your options. Calling our office costs you nothing, but picking up the phone could be the difference between years in prison and years of freedom. Let our skilled attorneys examine your case to find the best way to avoid prison.Discover how our team can assist you. Contact us today, toll-free at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free consultation with a skilled defense attorney.

AUTHOR: Paul Wallin

Paul Wallin is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Wallin a premiere Southern California attorney. Mr. Wallin founded Wallin & Klarich in 1981. As the senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, Mr. Wallin has been successfully representing clients for more than 30 years. Clients come to him for help in matters involving assault and battery, drug crimes, juvenile crimes, theft, manslaughter, sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. Mr. Wallin also helps clients with family law matters such as divorce and child custody.

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