If you or a loved one have been accused of burglary, what you do next can be critical. Being charged with burglary as a misdemeanor can be downright frightening. If the burglary is charged as a felony it can be even worse. You should be armed with all the information to understand the charges against you and what you must do to protect your rights in the criminal justice system.
It is important to understand what burglary is. The simple definition is “entering of a structure with the intent to commit larceny or any a felony.” The State of California defines burglary in Penal Code § 459-460 which therein lists the various types of burglaries those being either 1st or 2nd degree. Depending on the type of building you entered will determine the degree of burglary as to either 1st or 2nd degree. The crime of 1st degree burglary is always charged as a felony whereas 2nd degree burglary can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the prosecutor’s discretion. Often referred to as “breaking and entering,” you can be charged with burglary even though there is no forced entry.
The penalty or punishment for burglary will vary depending how the crime is charged. The crime of 1st degree burglary carries a punishment range of 2, 4 or 6 years in the State Prison, whereas 2nd degree burglary carries a punishment or 1 year in the county jail or 16 months, 2 or 3 years in the State Prison which will be served in the county jail pursuant to Penal Code § 1170(h).
Due to the various legal technicalities and difficulties of proof, prosecutors often settle cases for lesser charges or than burglary. As with any crime, if you are charged with burglary, it is important that you do not make any statements or answer any questions before you speak with a criminal defense attorney. Any statements you make can be used against you when the case goes to court. It is imperative that you are calm, cool and collected, as well as polite to the police. Oftentimes, your interview will be taped, so it is important that you speak clearly and with confidence in your voice.
You need an attorney who is familiar with California Statutes and laws regarding burglary. In addition, you want an attorney who is experienced within the courtroom. Your attorney should conduct an investigation and request all records and any evidence from the prosecutor. Evidence in the case must be collected in accordance with strict legal rulings and laws. If this did not happen in your case, your attorney may request the evidence to be excluded from being used against you at trial. Make sure that you follow all of the advice and guidance that your burglary attorney gives you. With careful planning, you may be able to avoid a prison sentence and have a new life ahead of you without the fear of having a felony hanging over your head.
If you or a loved one have been arrested or charged with the crime of burglary, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney. Call The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian at (855) 918-4253 today to set up a free consultation with an attorney who can give you clear and concise information about your rights.