A Burglary occurs when someone enters a structure with the intention of committing a theft or a felony when they get inside. “Residential burglaries” refer to burglaries of homes, and “commercial burglaries” refer to burglaries of businesses.
Residential burglary is a more serious crime than commercial burglary. A commercial burglary can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of the case. However, a residential burglary is always a felony and is a “strike” under California’s Three Strikes Law. If someone is home when a residential burglary occurs, the charge is even more serious.
A first degree burglary carries a maximum prison sentence of 6 years. A second degree burglary, which includes commercial burglaries, carries a maximum punishment of 1 year in jail.
How do prosecutors prove burglary charges? Most commercial burglary cases involve shoplifting where the defendant is either caught on camera or observed by an undercover loss prevention officer. Residential burglaries can be harder to prove unless someone was home and saw the defendant at the residence. Prosecutors may rely on fingerprints, DNA evidence, cell phone records, social media and electronic communications to prove that a person was involved in a residential burglary. Some defendants are found in possession of property stolen during a burglary.
There may be strong defenses in burglary cases. For example, merely being present when a burglary occurs does not make someone guilty of burglary. The prosecutor must prove that a defendant was an active participant in criminal activity. In other cases, a strong defense may be that a defendant did not have the intention of committing a theft or felony when they entered the premises. Sometimes the prosecution’s evidence is simply too speculative to support a burglary charge.
At Schwartz & Weinrieb, we regularly defend individuals in all criminal courts charged with residential and commercial burglaries. We are experts at defending people charged with burglary and obtain results for our clients that other defense attorneys are unable to achieve.
Whether you are looking for a Burbank Criminal Lawyer, Glendale Criminal Attorney, San Fernando Criminal Lawyer, Van Nuys Criminal Attorney or an attorney in other parts of Los Angeles, Schwartz & Weinrieb is ready to aggressively defend against your criminal charges.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal offense, contact a criminal defense attorney from Schwartz & Weinrieb today at (818) 888-2711.