In California, burglary does not necessarily involve the theft of another person’s property, but instead entry into someone’s property with the intent commit either petty theft or a felony crime. If you enter a store intending to hurt someone you know works there, you can be still be charged with this offense. Anyone who is accused of this serious crime should immediately contact a top Vista burglary lawyer like Peter M. Liss.
It’s Not Always a Theft Crime
It is important to realize that burglary charges can still apply even if you never took anything from the property and even if you never actually committed another crime. You also do not need to enter a property illegally. If the prosecution can show that you entered a property with the intent to commit any felony or to commit petty theft, they can charge you with burglary. If, during the act, you are pursued and use some type of force to help you escape, you can also be charged with robbery.
Penalties for Burglary in San Diego
Burglaries in San Diego can be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you can face up to one year in jail. For felonies, the potential sentence increases to up to three years in prison, but if the crime took place in a residential property, you can instead face up to six years in prison. If the crime was in a residential property and someone was in the home, you can even be charged with a violent felony, even if you never assaulted or harmed that person. Residential burglary is also a strike and punishable with a presumptive state prison sentence. A lawyer can be critical to not only fighting the charges, but helping you minimize the charges you are accused of in the first place.
Defenses Against Burglary Charges
There are many defenses against these accusations. In many cases, if you were arrested for trespassing, but the prosecution cannot prove you intended to commit any other crimes, your burglary defense attorney can ensure you are not charged with this offense. This is also why you need to speak with a lawyer before you say anything to the police. It is all too easy to accidentally say something to the police that may result in you facing much more serious charges than you would otherwise.
Sometimes small details can mean all the difference in a burglary case. For example, if you are accused of breaking into a car and the door was unlocked, the may instead be instead grand or petty theft -or if you didn’t take anything, it could simply be tampering with a vehicle, a misdemeanor offense punishable by no more than one year in jail.
Even if the prosecution has evidence tying you to the scene of a burglary, that is not enough to show you committed the crime. For example, if you have fingerprints, tire tracks or shoe prints at the scene of the crime, the prosecution can only show that you were at the scene –criminal lawyers know that information is not enough to show you actually committed a crime.
If you have been accused of this serious crime, please call San Diego burglary lawyer Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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