PC 459 Second-Degree or First-Degree Burglary

The first question you have to figure out if you have a California burglary case is whether it's a first-degree or second-degree burglary, meaning is it a residential burglary that is a strike or a commercial burglary like at a store or a store? Of a car. Burglary is defined under Penal Code 459 PC. There's a vast difference between the two (CALCRIM 1701 – burglary degrees).  One's a strike; one's not.  One will subject you to prison time, which would be 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 a homeowner there, that turns into a violent felony.  The person will serve 85% of whatever time they get.  It's a terrible scenario.

So, once you determine if it's second-degree or first-degree, the next thing the prosecutor and judge will look at 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?

Burglary - California Penal Code 459

Do they have any strikes on their record?  If you end up pleading to a residential burglary, you're going to get a strike on your record. Most of the time — unless there are unusual circumstances — the prosecutors will be looking for prison time.

To establish that unusual scenario, your defense attorney has to take that burglar outside the average dangerous burglary where someone's going into somebody's house.  They could get shot.  The homeowner could get shot.

They're invading somebody's life.  You've heard a home is a castle to some people.  The prosecutors and judges do look at it that way, so they take these burglary cases (CALCRIM 1700), especially in LA, severe.

Many areas are very conservative and consist of conservative jurors and a traditional 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 have a commercial burglary or second-degree burglary.  Often, 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.  Often, we can even save you out of jail, and one of the main things they're looking at in these second-degree burglaries is making the victim whole. 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 and get their money back, you're in a solid position to work out a fair resolution.  If you can't pay the money back, you'll still be able to work out a solution.  You're still going to be ordered to spend 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 Los Angeles

So, whether you have a first or second-degree burglary in Los Angeles County, 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 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 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.

Related:
Defense of Burglary Cases in the San Fernando Valley
How Can You Get a Not Guilty Verdict in a Burglary Case?