Burglary Defense Lawyers in Bay Area

Are you facing Burglary charges in the San Francisco Bay Area? Burglary can be a “strike offense” on your record and could mean jail time. Get a strong criminal defense lawyer to defend your rights. Your freedom depends on it. Call the Ginny Walia Law Offices now for a Free Consultation of your Burglary charges: (800) 379-9330.

The criminal attorneys at Ginny Walia Law Offices defend burglary charges in San Jose, Hayward, San Francisco and  all surrounding areas.

Understanding California Burglary Laws

Under California Penal Code 459 defines burglary as illegally entering a building, vehicle, vessel, or cargo container with the intention to commit petty theft, grand theft or committing a felony. Unlawful Entry does not require physical breaking and entering; the offender may simply trespass through an open door.

Penalties for Burglary

First degree burglary is a “strike offense” and can lead to 6 years in prison. That means you must serve at least 85% of your prison or jail sentence, regardless of good behavior or other circumstances. It also has serious consequences if you’re convicted of another felony later; your prison sentence automatically doubles on the second “strike,” and you must serve at least 80% of that sentence. On the third “strike,” you may be in prison for life.

Second-Degree Burglaries are commonly known as commercial burglaries and may be charged as misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanor burglary charges carry up to one year in county jail and second-degree burglary as a felony can lead to 3 years in state prison.

Defenses to California Burglary Charges

Common defense to burglary charges include having a legitimate reason to be at the location or having no intentions of committing a crime.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does there have to be a victim present at the scene of a burglary?

Unlike robbery, which involves use of force or fear to obtain another person’s property, there is no requirement for the victim to be present at the scene during a burglary.

How long does the prosecution have to file charges?

Prosecution has up to a year to file misdemeanor burglary charges and a longer period of time to file felony charges.

What if I did not have any intention to committing a crime?

The lack of intent to commit a crime can serve as a defense to the charge of burglary but you may not be liable under a different theory such as trespass.