Are you concerned about being accused of burglary or have you already been formally charged with burglary and are determining your next steps to protect yourself? Recognizing the differences in the various types of burglary charges in California can have a significant impact on the steps that you take to protect your freedom and your reputation.
Being accused of burglary is a serious situation because if it appears on your criminal record that someone identifies during an employment check, that employer may be more likely to assume that you are likely to steal and would be concerned about hiring you. Since this can have far reaching implications for your career and life, it is strongly recommended that you consult with an experienced burglary lawyer immediately.
California’s laws on burglary are divided in two different categories as first and second degree burglary. First degree burglary has to do with burglary of a residence whereas second degree burglary refers to burglary of any other kind of structure like a business or a store. Furthermore it’s important to realize that burglary is different from shoplifting. Shoplifting happens when an individual goes into an open business with the intent to take merchandize that is valued at $950 or less.
First-degree burglary in California is a felony and this can carry up to six years in prison as the potential consequences. Second-degree burglary, however, can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. If charged as a misdemeanor you could be facing a county jail sentence of up to one year and if you are charged as a felony, you could be looking at up to three years in prison.
There are several different ways that you can respond to an allegation of burglary, including a case of mistaken identity that the items claim to have been stolen actually belong to you or you thought you had a reasonable claim to them or that you did not intend to commit a crime at the time that you entered the building.
All of this information can be important for your criminal defense and should be raised with your criminal defense attorney immediately.