Did you know what burglaries are one of the most common crimes occurring in California? Every year, many people will be charged with this crime that could leave devastating effects on their record for the rest of their lives. Under California Penal Code 459, defendants can find out whether or not their crime fits into the realm of a first degree or second degree felony. Now you can find out the difference between the two and what defenses you can use in your case.
First Degree Burglary
When somebody enters a house, room, warehouse, or shop with the intent to steal from a residential property, they have committed first degree burglary. If a defendant is convicted of this crime, they will usually face a prison sentence of two, four, or six years. However, there are some defenses that can be used in the courtroom.
The prosecutor in a case must show that the defendant actually entered a dwelling that was being inhabited at the time, and had an intent to commit a felony. One of the major elements that comes into play during these cases is: Was the dwelling locked at the time, and the defendant broke in to commit the felony? In some cases, the defendant may be able to prove that they were trying to commit a lesser misdemeanor and their charges will be reduced.
Second Degree Burglary
In these cases, you will find every other type of burglary. Being convicted of this crime is less harsh and the defendant will find that they may only receive up to a year of imprisonment in the county jail.
If you have been charged with second degree burglary, all hope is not lost and you have a chance to use a defense as well. In some very rare cases, somebody was asked to retrieve an item from a person’s home only to later find out that the item did not actually belong to that individual. In these cases, you will not be found guilty of the crime.
If you have been charged with either first or second degree burglary, enlist in our help today. We will help you understand the crime that you are being charged with and help you through all the important details of your case. Call us now.