Robbery is often confused with burglary. Robbery is the taking of property from an individual with the intent to permanently deprive. It is larceny is done with force, threat of force, or intimidation. While burglary is defined as breaking and entering into a structure for the purpose of committing another crime. 

How Does California Define Burglary?

In California, burglary is defined as the physical entry done with intent to commit a felony or petty theft after entry. 

Does California Have Degrees of Burglary? 

Yes, the state has two categories of burglary: first and second degree. 

What is First Degree Burglary?

First degree burglary occurs when a person enters any structure that is inhabited. The structure could be anything from an apartment to a houseboat or tent. It also includes a separate room within the structure such as another person’s bedroom. The term “inhabited” refers to someone living in the structure at the time of the burglary. But the individual doesn’t have to be in structure at the time of the crime, just live there. 

What is Second Degree Burglary?

Second degree burglary occurs when someone enter a vacant structure to commit a felony or petty crime thereafter. The type of structure varies from a business, storage, or locked vehicle. For second degree burglary, no one needs to live in the structure or be in the structure at the time of the burglary. 

What is the Punishment for Both Categories of Burglary?

First degree burglary has the harsher sentence of two to six years in prison. If it is charged as a misdemeanor, second degree burglary carries a one-year jail sentence and/or probation or 16 months in county jail. If charged as a felony, second degree burglary can result in two to three years in prison. 

Can I Get More Time that The Prison and/ or Jail Time Listed Above?

Yes. Depending on the facts of the case, more prison time can be given when a victim incurs bodily harm. In California, burglary falls under the Three Strikes Law.

Should I Talk to a Lawyer? 

Yes, talk to a California criminal lawyer about the best way to handle your burglary charge.