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Understanding Burglary & Robbery Laws in California

Burglary is the crime of entering a property that you do not have permission to enter, with an intention of committing a theft or felony crime. If a person enters a home with an intent to commit theft or a felony, then that is considered a first-degree burglary. Entering another property that is not a home with an intent to commit theft or a felony is considered a second-degree burglary. Second-degree burglary is also known as “commercial burglary” because it typically occurs in businesses or private properties.

First-degree burglary and second-degree burglary are considered felonies, but a second-degree burglary can be filed or reduced to a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances. Any residential burglaries will result in a felony charge.

There are several factors that help determine a sentence for burglary conviction in California. Residential burglary is treated more severely than commercial burglary, but the charges will be based on the facts and issues of each case. Theft charges are typically latched onto burglary charges since the most common intent to commit a crime when entering a home or property unwarranted is theft. However, they are also often attached to other crimes including sex crimes, homicide, and assault. A person can face a higher sentence, depending on the “intent” of the burglary.

If you have been charged with a burglary and robbery crime, you should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Corrigan Welbourn Stokke, APLC have over 100 years of collective experience helping clients get the best possible results for their case. Our successful track record with defending clients charges with criminal activity demonstrates our dedication and our ability to obtain results.

Intent to Commit a Crime

The most crucial element in a burglary charge is to prove whether the accused person had the intent to commit a crime when the home or business was entered. Often, the prosecution must rely on circumstantial evidence or hearsay to prove the intent. The prosecution uses this evidence and presumes that a person had the intent to commit the crime by their actions. However, a person may have not had the intent to commit the crime, but the prosecution presumes it as a fact based on the actions committed.

Contact Our Burglary & Robbery Attorney in Newport Beach Today

If you have been accused and charged with burglary combined with any other crime, call Corrigan Welbourn Stokke as soon as possible. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys in Orange County have what it takes to make sure that your rights are protected and that your charges are dropped or reduced. We are ready and able to represent you in state or federal courts. Our firm is backed by over 100 years of legal experience, and each of our lawyers began with the focus it needs. We have handled high-profile cases involving doctors, lawyers, business executives, and celebrities. We have handled more than 200 jury trials, which proves we have a successful track record defending individuals charged with burglary and robbery.

Contact our Newport Beach burglary & robbery defense lawyers today for a free initial consultation at (949) 251-0330!


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  • Dismissed Hung Jury in Re-trial of Penalty Phase of Death Penalty Trial
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