The first question that you have to figure out if you have a burglary case in the Van Nuys courthouse is, is it a first-degree or second-degree burglary, meaning is it a residential burglary which is a strike or is it a commercial burglary like at a store or of a car. Burglary is defined under California Penal Code 459.
There’s a huge difference between the two (CALCRIM 1701 – burglary degrees). One’s a strike; one’s not. One is typically going to subject you to prison time, and that would of course be the residential burglary.
Then there’s an extra add-on bonus in residential burglaries if there’s a person present. In other words, if someone goes into someone’s home and there’s actually a homeowner there, that turns into a violent felony. The person will serve 85% of whatever time they get. It’s a real bad scenario.
PC 459 Second-Degree or First-Degree Burglary
So, once you determine if it’s a second-degree or a first-degree, the next thing the prosecutor and judge will look out is, what does the person’s criminal record look like? Do they have any other theft crimes? God forbid, do they have any other burglaries on their record?
Do they have any strikes on their record? If you end up pleading to a residential burglary then you’re going to get a strike on your record and most of the time — unless there’s unusual circumstances — the prosecutors are going to be looking for prison time.
In order to establish that unusual circumstance scenario, your defense attorney has to take that burglar outside the normal dangerous burglary where someone’s going into somebody’s house. They could get shot. The homeowner could get shot.
They’re basically invading somebody’s life. You’ve heard a home is a castle to some people. Well, the prosecutors and judges really do look at it that way, so they take these burglary cases (CALCRIM 1700), especially in Van Nuys, very serious.
Van Nuys Court is very conservative and made up of conservative jurors and a conservative bench. Meaning the judges are conservative and they’re looking to punish people very severely if they’re going to break into somebody’s house.
Misdemeanor or Felony Burglary Charges
You have a much better chance if you just have a commercial burglary or second-degree burglary. A lot of times I’m able to get misdemeanors in those cases because they’re wobblers, unlike a residential burglary which is not a wobbler. It’s a straight felony.
So, if you can get a misdemeanor in a case, you keep out of prison. A lot of times we can even keep you out of jail and one of the main things they’re looking at in these second-degree burglaries is making the victim full.
In other words, whoever you victimized, whether it’s from taking property from their car or a store or whatever the case may be in a second-degree burglary case in Van Nuys, they’re going to be looking at you paying the person back.
If you can compensate, get them their money back, then you’re in a strong position to be able to work out a fair resolution. If you can’t pay the money back, you’ll still be able to work out a resolution. You’re going to still be ordered to pay the money. They’re just going to take it out of your hide. Meaning, they’re going to punish you for not getting the money back to the victim in a timely fashion.
Burglary Defense Lawyer in Van Nuys Court
So, whether you have a first or second-degree burglary in the Van Nuys courthouse, you’re going to want to have an attorney who knows the courthouse, the prosecutors, the judges and the way of the land there. I’ve been doing cases theft crime cases there — specifically burglary cases, both first and second-degree — hundreds of them for the last 26 years of practicing criminal defense.
If you need help, pick up the phone, make the call. We’ll sit down. We’ll lay everything out and we’ll get a game plan together to be successful in your case.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0940.