Legal Dictionary

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First Degree Burglary

The most common First Degree Burglary is Residential Burglary and is a violation of California Penal Code Section 459. Residential Burglary is the entry of an inhabited dwelling house with the specific intent to commit any theft or some other felony.

“Inhabited dwelling” means being currently used for dwelling purposes, whether occupied or not. Some of the structures that have been held to be a dwelling house or part of a dwelling house for purposes of First Degree Burglary are:

  • A house
  • An occupied hotel room
  • A tent
  • A common-area laundry room located under the same roof as and contiguous to occupied apartments
  • An attached garage
  • A home office sharing a common wall and roof with the living quarters
  • A storeroom connected to a house by a breezeway
  • An unoccupied but occasionally used guest house.

First Degree Burglary is a felony and a “Strike” (serious felony) in California and is punishable in the state prison by two to six years.