How Are First-Degree Burglary Charges Dealt With?

I've handled hundreds of burglary cases in the Van Nuys court system over the last twenty-five years. I've had a lot of successful results. Whether it be getting the case dismissed because all the prosecutors had was DNA and nothing related to my client or getting the case reduced with a situation where a fake gun was used in the San Fernando Valley.

I was able to get rid of the burglary charge and get the client an order that they could later get dismissed off their record versus that burglary which you can never get off your criminal record. Burglary is covered under California Penal Code 459 PC. A first-degree burglary charge involves somebody breaking into another person's house. These charges are handled very harshly in the Van Nuys court system.

It takes if you're breaking into somebody's house in the Van Nuys court jurisdiction. These burglary charges come when it's clear that the person had the intent to commit a felony inside the house – steal the person's property or do something else wrong inside the house – then the prosecutors can charge burglary in the Van Nuys court system.

What makes it a first-degree burglary is when you're talking about a house. What makes it even more severe is if there's a person present. So, if you have a first-degree burglary charge with a person present in the home in the Van Nuys court system, then you're looking at prison time. You're looking at a strike for the rest of your life. The three-strike law now considers burglaries with people present violent felonies, so you'll serve 85% of the prison time that you get.

So, these are the most severe charges, the most severe cases in the Van Nuys court system. It would help if you had a criminal defense lawyer who has experience and knowledge in the Van Nuys court system and has dealt with burglary cases – knows what it takes to get them reduced and what it takes to get them dismissed. 

Often, people are just trying to break into the house, and they realize somebody is home, so they run away, so they say there's no way they can be charged with a burglary case, but the reality is, yes, you can. All you have to do is break into the house slightly. You could use a tool to break in. You could break a window. That's enough. If they can show the intent that you intended to commit a burglary, they're going to charge you, and you're going to be looking at prison time and a profound conviction on your criminal record.

Second-Degree Burglary Cases 

Second-degree burglary doesn't have to do with a residence. It has to do more with a commercial property or a car. People are trying to break in and steal essential items either in a retail location like a store or breaking into a vehicle to commit a burglary inside the car.

These offenses are serious, but obviously, they're not as severe as residential burglary because a person's home is their castle, and we hold a high value on not breaking into people's homes. Still, the prosecutor and judges are citizens, just like all of us.

If they see you're breaking into businesses, you're breaking into people's cars; they're going to try to punish you. They're going to try to put a mark on your record, a burglary conviction. They're going to try to get a felony on your paper if they can, and they're going to put strict conditions on you so you stop committing these burglaries in the San Fernando Valley area.

This location within LA County is a lovely area, and a lot of the prosecutors, the police, and the judges live in the San Fernando Valley. They don't want to see people committing burglaries, so they're going to try to do everything they can to stop you. One of the key things they're looking at is protecting the public from people who continue to commit burglaries over and over again.

Our Strategy With Your Burglary In The Van Nuys Court

What I have you do is to come in, sit down, and get together your version of events because a lot of times, a one-sided investigation was done in the burglary case. The Van Nuys prosecutors don't have the whole story, so they must get that across. We also get some mitigation stuff for you – letters, your job, your history, your family – all the things that are important to you and all the things that the prosecutors and judge can relate to that make you a good person and a good citizen.

They have to know about that, because if they don't know about that, then we're going to be in the position where they're only looking at you in a bad light, instead of looking at you as the person that you indeed are. So, what we do is we have you come in. You're honest about the burglary case. You're honest about what you did, and the first thing we're going to do is assess whether Van Nuys should have charged you with the burglary in the first place.

Maybe it should be a different charge. Perhaps it should be a grand theft person. Maybe it should just be a theft-related offense and not a burglary charge. Once we have that, we're going to figure out what we need punishment-wise. Do we need the case ultimately dismissed? Is it a case they're not going to ignore, but we need to keep you out of jail? These are the types of things we're going to talk about.

Once we have our plan together, then it's going to be up to me, with my twenty-five years of experience, to execute the plan and get you the result you must have. So, we're going to talk about that. We're going to talk about what's realistic. We're going to talk about what you can do to help me and what I'm going to do to help you in your Van Nuys burglary case.