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What Is Burglary & What Are the Different Types?
Facing any legal charges is stressful, and burglary is no expectation, especially if it’s first-degree burglary you’re charged with. However, proving your innocence and taking advantage of extenuating circumstances can be really effective. This is especially true if you take the time to hire San Diego’s most reputable burglary attorneys. Ensuring professional legal representation is paramount in these cases, but so is learning more about the offense itself.
What is burglary?
First things first – you should start by acquiring more information about what constitutes burglary in California and the legal definition of burglary is. The basis is this – burglary refers to a person entering a building without any permission with a clear intent to commit criminal action.
The legal precedent is the following – an individual is guilty of burglary as soon as they enter a certain structure without permission. There is no need for the burglary to be successful for it to be treated as such.
However, you can only be found guilty if the prosecutor manages to establish you had a clear intent to commit a felony or theft upon entering the structure. You cannot be found guilty without proving such intent.
The three elements of burglary
In order for the prosecution to ascertain your guilt concerning burglary, they have to be able to provide ample evidence on all of the three following elements that constitute burglary:
The first element of burglary is illegally entering a structure without explicit permission. This entails that the building is either a public property that was not currently open, or a private property.
Illegal entry also involves entering a closed-off space within a public building, such as employee break rooms. Also, illegal entry does not require the entire body of the defendant to be inside the building – the crime can occur by reaching out as well.
Use of force
Sometimes, illegally entering a building involves use of force. However, although this term would imply forced entry, it can also involve any unlawful entry with minimal or no damage to the structure. For example, even opening an unlocked window classifies as a use of force.
Finally, the third element of a burglary is the intent to commit a crime upon illegally entering a structure. This usually involves stealing an item or items, but burglary can also involve committing felony offenses upon entering a structure.
What are the different types of burglary?
The Penal Code 459 PC defines burglary as illegal entry into a locked vehicle and residential or commercial property with a clear intent to commit a felony offense, petty theft, or grand theft. However, there are two different types of burglary as recognized by the California statute.
First-degree burglary vs second-degree burglary
First-degree burglary involves an individual entering a residence, or a residential structure, while a second-degree burglary involves an individual illegally entering a building that is not a residence.
The common terms for these two types of burglaries are residential burglary and commercial burglary. For easier distinction between a first and second-degree burglary, here are some examples of residences:
- Motel or a hotel room
- Trailer coach
- Floating home
Who is San Diego’s most experienced burglary attorney?
Learning what constitutes burglary and what the three essential elements are is vital for preparing for your case. However, there’s still more you should know. First, learn more about the potential penalties for burglary and find out the answers to the most common questions individuals have about burglary. Then, see what other burglary-connected offenses are to know whether you might have committed any. Finally – hire an experienced lawyer.
And there’s only one lawyer you should consider hiring in San Diego and the entire region – Vik Monder of Monder Criminal Lawyer Group. Vik is an expert burglary defense attorney with years of experience helping people prove their innocence. With Vik and his team at your side, it’s only a matter of time before you can take a walk through Balboa Park completely relaxed. We offer free consultations. Reach out to us today!