Long Beach Burglary Defense Attorneys

Typically referred to as residential burglary, first-degree burglary involves entering into a building intentionally for the purpose of either stealing property, or committing another felony. The theft does not have to be committed in order for an individual to be found guilty of burglary. Whether you are arrested for burglary of a home, trailer, boat, warehouse, aircraft, railroad car, attached garage, or the portion of a building that is inhabited, the penalties for a conviction are severe and even life-changing. At The Justice Firm, our Long Beach burglary lawyers have the skill, experience, and dedicated approach necessary to reach good results. We highly advise you obtain legal guidance and support immediately, even if you are only under investigation.

Shoplifting is a common type of theft referred to as commercial burglary, or second-degree burglary. While first-degree burglary is almost always charged as a felony, second-degree burglary involving businesses or vehicles may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. When charged with burglary in California, prosecutors do not have the burden of proving the defendant committed theft, only that he/she entered a structure or vehicle in an unlawful manner with the intention of committing theft.

Burglary Charge Defenses

Those facing burglary charges are often not aware there are several defenses that may prove effective in successfully fighting the charge; prosecutors must also prove specific elements of the crime in order for you to be convicted. A few of the defenses our lawyers may raise depending on the circumstances of your case include:

  1. Mistaken identity. You may have been falsely identified as the offender, and therefore wrongly arrested.
  2. You had no intention of committing a crime. Perhaps you entered a home to retrieve your own property or do something that was in no way unlawful.
  3. Lack of intent when you entered the dwelling to commit a crime. At the time you entered a commercial or residential structure, you may have had no intent whatsoever to commit a crime.
Penalties for Burglary in Long Beach

As mentioned earlier, the penalties for a conviction for burglary can be extremely harsh. Not only may the offender face jail or prison time, a permanent criminal record will impact employment opportunities and more. The penalties an individual may expect if found guilty include:

First-degree or residential burglary. In most cases, the defendant is sentenced to 2, 4, or 6 years in state prison. Also a "strike" under the state's Three Strikes Law, a conviction for a felony offense at a future date could result in penalties that are doubled.

Second-degree or commercial burglary. Because it is a "wobbler" offense, which means it can be charged either as a misdemeanor or felony, the penalties for a second-degree burglary vary and may include a maximum of one year in county jail if a misdemeanor, or up to 3 years if a felony. It is important to note that second-degree burglary is not a strike offense.

Contact The Justice Firm Today

If you have been arrested or charged with burglary in Long Beach, it is important that you consult with a qualified defense attorney immediately. There are several effective defense strategies which may be used to fight the charges, including that of mistaken identity or that the accused had a legitimate reason for being on the property. Prosecutors must prove intent, which is not always easy. As with any alleged crime, the defendant is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Do not put your freedom and future at risk by failing to obtain capable legal representation.

At The Justice Firm, we will thoroughly review your case to determine all of the legal options, answer your questions, and develop a strategy that will result in the best possible outcome for your situation. Contact us now for a free consultation at (310)914-2444.