In California, the crime of burglary occurs when you enter a structure — defined as a building or home under the law — with the intent to commit a felony or a theft once you are inside. Depending on what kind of structure you enter, you may face one of two different degrees of burglary charges: first degree burglary or second degree burglary. Being charged with first degree burglary in Riverside under PC 459 is the more serious of the two.
What is the Difference between First and Second Degree Burglary?
You could be charged with second degree burglary if you entered a commercial building like a store or other public building. This charge is a wobbler offense, meaning that it can be prosecuted either as felony or a misdemeanor depending on the circumstances of the case.
First degree burglary is the more serious of the two potential burglary charges. It is charged if you entered a residential building or dwelling that is inhabited with the intent to commit a felony or theft. The fact that you are invading a person’s most personal space in which they are most vulnerable renders this charge a felony. First degree burglary is always charged as a felony.
Punishment For Burglary (Penal Code Section 459)
First degree burglary is a serious felony. If you are charged with first degree burglary in Riverside, you face a sentence in state prison for two, four or six years. Since burglary is also regarding as a serious felony, you will incur a “strike” on your criminal record for the purposes of California’s Three Strikes Law. That means any future felony charges you face will expose you to more severe punishment. You will also likely incur a fine of up to $10,000.
Your punishment becomes more severe if it is found that you either used an explosive device to gain entry into the structure or if you caused a person great bodily injury while committing the burglary. If proven, theses enhancements can potentially add another seven years to your sentence.
The consequences of first degree burglary in Riverside under Penal Code Section 459 are very serious. You will need the help and representation of a skilled criminal defense attorney.
Call a Burglary Attorney at Wallin & Klarich
If you are facing burglary charges, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. These serious charges will have devastating effects on your life if you are convicted. That is why you need a skilled burglary attorney fighting for you. At Wallin & Klarich, our knowledgeable attorneys have been successfully defending our clients accused of burglary in Riverside and California for over 30 years. We have successfully helped thousands of clients facing burglary charges, and we can help you today.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, our experienced burglary attorneys are available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.