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Los Angeles Breaking And Entering lawyers

March 25, 2018 Uncategorized

California Penal Code 459 covers the crime of breaking and entering, otherwise known as burglary. This is a serious offense and is a felony charge. That means you’re facing more than a year in prison and excessively high fines if you’re convicted. Understanding the crime is a good beginning in preparing to defend yourself against the charges. And while you will play a big part in your defense and need to be present and active in your defense, it’s your lawyer who will be able to best explain the charges to you.

First things first: Breaking and Entering is not the official name of the crime you’ve committed. There is no such thing as a “breaking and entering” charge. What people are commonly referring to is the action typically taken by someone in the commission of a burglary. In this type of crime, they forcefully enter into a structure, home, or building. These days, burglary doesn’t even require a “forced entry.” Simply walking into someone’s home while they’re gone and taking something of theirs will be enough to get you charged with burglary.

So let’s get to the second topic: What kinds of crimes might someone be talking about if they’re talking about breaking and entering? Burglary is definitely one example of something a person might call breaking and entering, but there are a host of other crimes people are familiar with that might include breaking into a structure, building, or home and then causing some type of damage to that property. Another crime someone might think of is vandalism. This would also fall under the category of something someone might casually call breaking and entering, except when they break into the structure, they don’t steal something. They just destroy property.

Breaking and Entering Components

If you break something in this instance, you are gaining entry to a building, structure, or home by force or fraud. This is the breaking component. Entry would include anything that puts you through the door or entrance of that structure to do harm.

The most obvious example here would be something covered in Penal Code 459: Burglary. In the old days, you couldn’t be convicted of burglary unless you broke, or forced, your way into a property. Nowadays, that component doesn’t have to exist before burglary applies. That has long since changed, though, and breaking hasn’t been necessary for a burglary conviction since the 1800’s. That’s a long time ago.

Nowadays, it’s enough to simply enter a structure to do some kind of harm on the property or to the people on the property. When someone is injured during the commission of a burglary or other breaking and entry type offense, the stakes are much higher and you could be looking at a serious felony charge with years and years in prison, something anyone should strive to avoid.


In the case of burglary, there is 1st and 2nd degree, and your penalties will depend on the degree of the charge. If someone was living in the structure you burglarized, it’s 1st degree, and that’s more serious than entering an empty structure and burglarizing it (2nd degree). With 2nd degree burglary, you will face either a misdemeanor or felony (it’s up to the prosecution). This means you face up to 364 days in jail and a fine of $1,000, or both. 1st degree burglary is much more serious and could result in a fine of up to $10,000 and a jail term of 2-6 years in state prison, or both.


A lawyer will step in on your behalf and begin to analyze the facts of your case. They will come up with a defense that they believe might benefit you. In some cases, the incident was a mistake and a good lawyer will be able to have the charges thrown out or reduced to a lesser offense (always a pleasant thing). If you do have to go to trial or take a plea, your lawyer will advise you and make sure that you do what is in your best interest. Without a lawyer, you can face stiff consequences. Always contact a lawyer if you’re accused of a breaking and entering type crime.

Los Angeles Breaking and Entering Lawyers

Many years ago, the act of burglary involved an individual breaking into a residence at night with the attempt to commit a felony therein. While this definition is still mostly true, the concept of burglary has evolved a great deal in recent years given that there have been many modern situations that have forced the statute and definition itself to adapt. For example, today, a burglar can commit a crime without it being night and without breaking and entering. The state of California is a divine example of a state that modified their statute in order to contain a provision that breaking and entering is not required to be convicted of burglary.

If you are in a situation where you have been accused of burglary, it is highly recommended that you retain counsel. The reason for this is that you will learn a great deal about the current definition of burglary that you would not know otherwise. In fact, what you do not know about burglary could be a small detail that would greatly assist you with your upcoming case. One example, is that in the state of California, there are no breaking and entering parts to the definition of burglary. Meaning, if you walked into a home with the front door wide open and stole the toaster, you would still be liable for burglary even if you did not physically break in to the home as the historic definition of burglary required.

What is important to understand about the lack of presence of a separate breaking and entering charge within the state of California is that there is absolutely the possibility of being charged with other potential crimes such as trespass, burglary, and vandalism. The reason that retaining counsel to assist your case is so critical in these instances is that perhaps your specific case does not meet the exact other criteria required for burglary, trespass, and vandalism. If this is so, you will want an attorney examining your case in order to ensure that there are no possible loop holes to get your charges substantially reduced or even dropped.

Our law firm is highly experienced with the nuance relating to the lack of a breaking and entering charge within the State of California. Thus, if you do decide to retain our services, we would be elated to lend a helping hand. Additionally, we can assist you in getting the best possible result for your case that will have the least impact on your permanent record. As we have done with so many other clients in the past, we would be able to provide you competent and effective representation to resolve your legal matter in the most timely, professional, and intelligent manner possible. Thus, if you have been charged with an offense such as: burglary, vandalism or trespassing, do not hesitate to reach out to us today for a consultation. Once we hear more, we can assess whether we are the proper fit to assist you with your upcoming legal matter.



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