Serious Burglary Legal Penalties

Serious Burglary Legal Penalties

A Thief in the Night, or Morning…or Afternoon?

Many people have heard the phrase “like a thief in the night”. It likely triggers images of cat burglars in all black, creeping into unsuspecting homes and stealing jewelry and electronics while the world sleeps. However, you can be charged with burglary for far less devious acts than creeping into windows in the dead of night. It’s a common misconception that you have to actually take something, or break into something to be charged with burglary. In some jurisdictions, walking into a store with the intention to shoplift can be considered burglary. Actually, burglary occurs ANYTIME you enter a home, business or vehicle with unlawful intent.

Prosecutors take burglary very seriously.

Because of the tendency for burglaries to escalate into more serious offenses, like armed robbery, assault, or worse, prosecutors take a no nonsense, aggressive approach when prosecuting these crimes. Breaking into a home or business for property could easily lead to a violent confrontation with the owner, even if that wasn’t the initial intent. Because of how easily these situations can turn violent, prosecutors will charge you with burglary, often seeking extensive jail time, even if nothing is taken and no one is injured.

This is one of the few crimes where just your intentions can land you behind bars, and, in the state of California, it can also earn you a “strike” on your record.

California is one of many states in the US that enforce laws against habitual offenders. Since burglary is classified as a “strike” offense, just one immoral intention has the possibility to end your freedom for life.

But wait! There’s (usually) more.

Being charged with burglary or theft often comes with the added burden of a slew of related charges. If you used tools to break glass or jimmy a lock while committing the burglary you could also be charged with the possession of burglary tools and breaking and entering. If you carried a firearm or a knife on you during the break-in, you could be charged with aggravated burglary. Any of these often results in a separate charge with separate penalties for each. Even worse, if someone was in the home or business that you broke into while you were breaking into it, you could be looking at a “sentence enhancement” that could add years to your sentence. Breaking into a home with the residents in could be considered a home invasion, a violent crime under California law, and one that carries devastating penalties even without the presence of any aggravating factors or a previous criminal record.

To fight your Burglary or Burglary related charges: Call Shield Criminal Defense Law today

Prosecutors and law enforcement don’t have your best interest at heart. Their job is to collect evidence against you and use it during trial. If you’ve been arrested or charged with Burglary, it is your right to have an attorney experienced in handling criminal charges present during any questioning or interrogation by law enforcement. A lawyer’s job is to act in your best interest, to guide you through the legal process, speak on your behalf, and make the prosecution prove their case-beyond any and all reasonable doubt.

To discuss your burglary charges with an attorney that want to protect you, call Shield Criminal Defense Law today at (213) 514-8732.

Share this post