What are Considered Burglary Tools?

Posted by Ronald D. HeddingOct 03, 2019

Believe it or not, there are a lot of different items that can be considered burglary tools, but of course, a built-in defense in possession of burglary tools is that the tools could also be used for innocent purposes. So, in addition to having the burglary tools, the police will need to show some suspicious circumstances surrounding the possession of burglary tools.

I've had police arrest people for drug-related offenses, then they find what they're characterizing as burglary tools in the car's trunk, for example.  That person is booked for possession of burglary tools under California Penal Code 466, some narcotics-related offenses, and a lot of times, the prosecutors get that case. They don't file the burglary tool possession charge because they realize sometimes that's very difficult to prove.

If, on the other hand, you're lurking outside a house and it looks like you may be interested in burglarizing the home, and you've got a crowbar, you've got a match, you've got a bag, you've got some gloves, now we're talking an argument for burglary tools.  So, it just depends on the circumstances of the case. Our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers will review it in more detail below.

Burglary Tools California Penal Code 466

Another area where a see possession of burglary tools has to do with burglaries of automobiles.  Some people will possess spark plugs, for example, and they just touch the window of a vehicle with the spark plug, it will shatter the window, and they can get in there and burglarize the car.

Other items can be possessed related to burglarizing vehicles.  So, that's another area where you'll see burglary tools. So again, when you're evaluating whether it's a good possession of burglary tools prosecution as a defense attorney and help your criminal defendant out, you want to make sure that there's no sort of a defense for it.

Because if there's a defense, you're going to use it obviously and explain to the prosecutors that these things are possessed innocently.  Here's why the person kept them.  Here's the reason for it.  You don't have any evidence, prosecutor, that the person would commit a burglary of a store or vehicle.

Circumstances of the Case Are Critical

So, these are the types of things you're looking at when talking about possession of burglary tools.  You're looking at what would the person potentially burglarize?  Once you assess that, you can determine whether it makes sense that the devices themselves are being possessed for some sort of burglary.

And also, you have to remember; the person might have an innocent reason for possessing the tools or whatever it is they're keeping.  If they can explain that reason and if the circumstances make sense, they would strongly argue that they do not possess burglary tools for doing anything.

Again, most of the stuff that's going to be possessed can have a clear purpose, but if it's owned in combination with other tools. It's included to attempt to do something where it's clear you're going to burglarize a house or a car or a store; then obviously, you're not going to be able to get away with that.

So, come and sit down with someone like me who's been doing it twenty-five years.  We can talk about whether it is a good possession of a burglary tool case or if, on the other hand, it's simple possession of innocent items.