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Difference Between First Degree And Second Degree Burglary

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 1ST AND 2ND DEGREE BURGLARY?

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

Under California Penal Code 459, the law regarding burglary is divided into two categories: “first-degree burglary” and “second-degree burglary.” First-degree burglary pertains to the burglary of a residence, while second-degree burglary applies to the burglary of any other type of structure, including stores and businesses.

Burglary occurs when an individual enters into any residential or commercial building or room with the intention to commit a theft or felony once inside. It is important to note that individuals can raise legal defenses to challenge a burglary charge, such as demonstrating their lack of intent to commit a crime.

Burglary occurs when an individual enters into any residential or commercial building or room with the intention to commit a theft or felony once inside. It is important to note that individuals can raise legal defenses to challenge a burglary charge, such as demonstrating their lack of intent to commit a crime.

FIRST DEGREE BURGLARY VS SECOND DEGREE

Under California Penal Code 459 PC, first-degree burglary refers to the burglary of a residence, which may include a house, boat, floating home, trailer coach, portion of any other kind of building, or a hotel or motel room, single family home or apartments.

On the other hand, second-degree burglary involves the burglary of any building that is not a residence and is sometimes referred to as “commercial burglary.”

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On the other hand, second-degree burglary involves the burglary of any building that is not a residence and is sometimes referred to as “commercial burglary.”

Example of First-Degree Burglary:

Jim decided to steal his neighbor’s valuable jewelry while they were on vacation. He broke into their house using a crowbar but triggered the alarm system and fled before stealing anything. The police caught him nearby. Jim can be charged and convicted of first-degree burglary as he illegally entered someone else’s residence with the intention of committing a major theft.

Example of Second-Degree Burglary:

Tom was in urgent need of money, so he planned to steal an expensive bike from a local store. He broke into the store, successfully stole the bike, but was later caught. Tom can be charged and convicted of second-degree burglary because he unlawfully entered a commercial building with the intention of committing a major theft within.

FIRST-DEGREE BURGLARY IS MORE SERIOUS THAN SECOND-DEGREE BURGLARY

The penalties for first-degree and second-degree burglary differ significantly in the state of California. First-degree burglary is always considered a felony, resulting in more severe consequences compared to second-degree burglary. Convictions for first-degree burglary can lead to fines of up to $10,000 and prison sentences of up to six years.

On the other hand, second-degree burglary can be charged as either a felony crime or a misdemeanor crime. Felony second-degree burglary convictions may result in fines of up to $10,000 and jail sentences of up to three years. Misdemeanor second-degree burglary charges may carry a maximum jail sentence of one year and fines of up to $1,000. It is evident that there are substantial differences in the punishment handed down by the court system for the respective degrees of burglary.

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HOW THE “THREE-STRIKE SYSTEM” WORKS IN CALIFORNIA

In California, first-degree burglary is categorized as a “strike” offense under the California three-strike Law system for certain felony charges. This means that individuals who already have strikes on their record and face additional criminal charges will face enhanced penalties.

On the other hand, second-degree burglary convictions do not count as a strike. As a result, they are considered less severe in comparison to accusations of first-degree burglary.

DEFENSES AGAINST FIRST- AND SECOND-DEGREE BURGLARY CHARGES

If you are accused of either first-degree or second-degree burglary, seeking the help of a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles is crucial. In many instances, similar defenses may apply to both charges. For instance, a skilled lawyer can present evidence to demonstrate that:

  • You took items that rightfully belonged to you.
  • You were falsely accused of committing burglary.
  • You did not have any intention to commit theft or a felony.

However, certain cases may require different defense strategies. For instance, a lawyer may focus on proving that you entered an uninhabited residential structure, which would prevent a first-degree burglary conviction.

Furthermore, a lawyer may argue that you entered a business establishment during its regular operating hours. In such a case, burglary charges may not apply, but charges related to shoplifting could be pursued. To understand the unique aspects of your situation, it is advisable to consult with Tabibnia Law Firm for further guidance.

SPEAK WITH CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER FROM TABIBNIA LAW FIRM

If you or someone you care about is facing charges or under investigation for burglary, it is important to seek the assistance of a knowledgeable Los Angeles Burglary Defense Attorney as soon as possible. Their expertise can help minimize the potential consequences you may be facing. Whether you are charged with first-degree burglary or second-degree burglary, it is crucial to consult with an attorney. Both offenses carry severe penalties, including lengthy jail sentences. Don’t delay, schedule a consultation with one of our experienced burglary defense attorneys at Tabibnia Law Firm today.

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Our burglary lawyer in Los Angeles, Cyrus Tabibnia, can assist you in reviewing these differences thoroughly. Take advantage of our free consultation by contacting us at 866-713-2159 to receive the legal guidance you need promptly.

Cyrus Tabibnia

Cyrus Tabibnia

Cyrus Tabibnia, also known as Shahrooz Tabibnia, is a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles, California. With a law degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, he has been practicing law since 2005 and holds license #237348. With over 18 years of experience, Cyrus specializes in various misdemeanor and felony criminal Law including Domestic Violence, Theft Crime, Sex crime, DUI & DWI, Personal Injury, Employment Law, and Cannabis & Marijuana Drugs Law. Being bilingual in English, Persian, and Spanish enables him to effectively communicate with a diverse range of clients. From 2014 to 2018, he served as a board member of the Iranian American Bar Association. An expungement attorney in Los Angeles who can assist you in clearing your criminal record in the state of California.

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