What are the best practices for handling California Penal Code 459 PC residential burglary cases in the CCB court?
I've defended people charged with residential burglary cases at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles at 210 West Temple for the past 30 years.
These are severe crimes because prosecutors typically allege that the person or persons involved broke into somebody's home. Prosecutors, judges, and police all have homes.
They take it very personally when someone is going into another person's home, stealing their property, assaulting them, hurting them, and even killing them in some cases.
Right now, across LA county, the San Fernando Valley, downtown Los Angeles, and surrounding communities, burglaries are rising, and prosecutors and judges are taking these cases very seriously.
So, you have to have an attorney that's got experience. I've been doing this now for 30 years. I know how to handle cases at CCB.
I know the tendencies of the prosecutors and the judges. Our California criminal defense lawyers will review this topic in more detail below.
What is Penal Code 459 Burglary?
Under California Penal Code 459 PC, “burglary” is defined as entering a residential or commercial structure or locked vehicle with intent to commit grand theft, petty theft, or any felony. Of note is that you could be charged with burglary even if there is no forced entry.
Burglary of a commercial structure (business) and auto burglary carries up to three years in jail, but burglary of a residence carries up to six in prison.
The moment someone enters a structure with criminal intent, the crime of burglary has occurred, even if the intended crime is not accomplished. PC 459 says “Anyone who enters any house, room, apartment, shop, warehouse, store, mill, barn, stable, or other building, tent, vessel, with intent to commit grand or petit larceny or any felony is guilty of burglary.”
The burglary law is divided into first-degree and second-degree.” First-degree is the burglary of a residential structure. Second-degree is the burglary of other structures, such as a business or store.
The crime of burglary can be related to California Penal Code 459.5 PC shoplifting, established under Proposition 47. A shoplifting crime is committed when someone enters an open business with the intent to steal merchandise valued at $950 or less.
What is Penal Code 460 PC Residential Burglary?
California Penal Code 460 PC defines residential burglary as burglary of an inhabited dwelling house, vessel, floating home, or trailer home. This type of burglary is always first-degree and a felony, while other burglaries, such as a commercial structure, are second-degree.
PC 460 says, “(a) every burglary of an inhabited dwelling house, vessel, trailer coach, or the inhabited portion of any other building, is burglary of the first degree.”
The term “inhabited dwelling house” is broadly described under California law and includes any of the following places:
- Someone's home;
- Occupied room;
- Occupied guest house;
- Occupied apartment;
- Occupied motel room;
- Attached garage;
In this law, a dwelling is inhabited even if the person living in it is not there at the time of the alleged burglary.
Close Review of the Burglary Case Details
We've got to break down the case. That's step one. Some of the things that judges and prosecutors are looking for in deciding whether someone should go to prison, get a strike on their record, and a whole host of other bad things are:
- Does the person have a criminal record?
- Have they committed other theft-related offenses?
- Have they committed other burglaries?
- Do they have strikes on their records?
These are all essential things, and if you don't have those things, you're in a much better position than somebody who does.
Another thing they're going to look at is the crime itself. Was there a person present when the burglary occurred? If there was, that makes it a violent felony.
That makes it a strike, so you would serve 85% of any time you got, whether in county jail or prison.
You'd also have a strike on your record for purposes of the California three strikes law for the rest of your life and a whole host of other harmful consequences that can occur to you because this is such a severe crime as far as the prosecutors, judges, and police are concerned.
What Are the Best Burglary Defenses?
So, what we have to do if you have to take some resolution because there's evidence against you, whether it be ping evidence, fingerprints, eyewitnesses, you were caught at the scene – whatever the case may be – we've got to try to show that there are unusual circumstances related to this burglary. Examples of that would be:
- No property was taken,
- No property was lost,
- Nobody was hurt,
- No weapons were used,
- You don't have a criminal record.
These are all things that can help you defend and deal with a burglary case in the downtown Los Angeles CCB courthouse.
On the flip side, if you used a weapon, a lot of property of high value was taken, and other serious favors occurred, you would face a lengthy prison sentence. You'll want to get the best possible criminal defense attorney.
Put my experience to work for you. I've worked for the district attorney's office in east Los Angeles, so I know how they prosecute burglary cases. I also worked for a superior court judge early in my career. In 1994, I became a criminal defense attorney defending people like you in these burglary cases in downtown Los Angeles; I know what it takes to get the best results.
I know what it takes to get a not-guilty verdict if they've got problems of proof in your case, and, of course, I know what it takes to negotiate a case under the right circumstances to put together a mitigation package with character letters and other essential details that prosecutors and judges will take note of when deciding exactly how to handle a residential burglary case.
So, if you need the best, you've got a case in downtown Los Angeles, and your loved one is charged with a burglary case, pick up the phone now and ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. We offer a free case evaluation via phone or contact form.