First and Second Degree Burglary in Los Angeles: What is the Difference?

Posted By Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners ||

First Degree Burglary, also referred to as a res burg or residential burglary, is defined in California Penal Code section 459 as the breaking and entering of a residence with the intent to commit a theft or a felony. A residence by law is a structure that is liveable/inhabitable. In plain language it means the breaking into an occupied home with the intent to commit a crime. First Degree Burglary includes a home; floating home; trailer coach; mobile home; house car; camper; hotel or a motel room. Second Degree Burglary, also referred to as commercial burglary, is the breaking and entering of a non-residential or not inhabitable structure, such as a commercial business or warehouse, with the intent to steal or commit a felony.

Burglary Penalties

First Degree Burglary is always charged as a felony and is a “strike” under California Law. It is punishable by two to six years in a California state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Second Degree Burglary is less serious than First Degree Burglary and can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances. As a felony it is punishable by 16 months to three years in county jail and a fine of up to $10,000. As a misdemeanor the punishment includes up to one year in county jail. The decision to file Second Degree Burglary as a felony or a misdemeanor will depend on the defendant's prior criminal record and the value of the property stolen or intended to be stolen in the commercial structure.

Los Angeles Burglary Defense Attorneys

If you or someone you know is facing Burglary charges in Los Angeles, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can explain the the charges against you and assist you in preparing the strongest defense possible against a burglary charge. The attorneys at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners have decades of criminal law experience and can provide you with the best possible defense. Call and schedule a no-cost consultation and learn what legal options are available to you.

Categories: Criminal Defense, English
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