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I’m Accused of Burglary in California. What are My Defenses?

Car Jacking 1While burglary’s penalties can be quite severe, there are numerous defenses that a skilled California burglary defense lawyer can present on your behalf. The following are some of the most common.

Intent
Intent is critical to a burglary prosecution. If you don’t intend to commit a theft or other felony upon your entry, you can’t be convicted of burglary – period. Your intent becomes increasingly difficult to prove if the alleged intended crime didn’t actually take place.

Mistake of fact
Mistake of fact ties directly into intent. If, for example, you reasonably believed that you were entering another’s home, to take back something that you thought belonged to you or because you believed you had permission to take the item, you would not be guilty of a California burglary (or, for that matter, a trespass).

Consent
Consent may or may not serve as a viable defense, depending on the situation. Examples of when consent may act as a defense include (but are not limited to):

  • a situation where you own the property, or
  • a situation where you are invited in and the owner knows of your criminal intent (such as an undercover officer inviting you into receiving stolen property). The rationale here is that the danger that burglary law seeks to protect against is absent in such a situation.

Consent will not serve as a defense if the property owner invited you in, unaware of your criminal intent. This would be the case if:

  • you enter a store, intending to shoplift,
  • you are invited into a home, and the owner doesn’t know that you intend to steal once inside, or
  • you fraudulently obtain consent to enter.

You are innocent of the charges
hands-and-breaking-handcuffs_shutterstock_58240561This is obviously the best and most effective defense to a burglary (or any other) charge. You can be falsely arrested or falsely accused of California burglary under Penal Code 459 PC for any number of reasons.
Perhaps yours is a case of mistaken identity. You happened to look like (or have the same name as) someone who was reported to the police.

Perhaps yours is a case of misleading evidence. Let’s assume, for example, that someone’s home or business was burgled and that you had previously been there for innocent and legitimate reasons. Those prior occasions would explain why your fingerprints were found at the crime location.

Even when the evidence appears damaging, an experienced California burglary attorney knows how to present the most effective arguments and legal defenses to convince the prosecutor to reduce or possibly even dismiss your charges.

Call the Burglary Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today

If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime, you will need an experienced Southern California defense attorney who will aggressively defend you to obtain the best possible result. At Wallin & Klarich, we have helped people accused of robbery allegations for over 30 years.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney near you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

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About Wallin & Klarich

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Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.