The Truth About Burglary Cases In Los Angeles
The truth is when it comes to burglary cases in Los Angeles, the prosecutors and judges hate them. I really feel sometimes — and I’ve been doing this for twenty-five years — like they put themselves in the shoes of the victim and they think, this could have been me. These people are breaking into people’s houses where there could be a violent confrontation and they really take it personally when someone commits a burglary – especially if it’s a residential burglary.
If it’s a commercial burglary — someone’s car or store — they are a lot more reasonable and easier to deal with in Los Angeles as far as burglary crimes go. But if it’s a burglary of a home — in other words a residential burglary — especially if there’s a person present during the burglary, the person who gets convicted at that crime will be looking at a strike and mandatory prison. The only way to get out of the mandatory prison is if your defense attorney can show the judge and the prosecutor that there is unusual circumstances surrounding your burglary. In other words, it’s a burglary out of the norm. It’s not the usual home invasion burglary where people are going into somebody else’s home with the intent to steal a bunch of property.
I’ve seen people get drunk, go into someone’s home not even intending to take anything. Maybe they got the wrong home, maybe they were so drunk and were just looking for someplace to stay. There are all sorts of different scenarios out there going on with this burglary cases in Los Angeles. But the truth is, know that the prosecutors and judge start from a very jaded position and they’re going to try to put anybody charged with sort of a residential burglary in prison for as long as they possibly can.
So, it’s up to your criminal defense attorney to get your version of events – your story – and get all the mitigating information about you so they can try to avoid that prison sentence, and also try to avoid the burglary conviction. Because if you get convicted of a residential burglary, it stays on your record for life. The three-strikes law in California makes a residential burglary a strike. There’s no such thing as a misdemeanor residential burglary, so you’ll have a felony on your record for the rest of your life. That’s the truth about burglary cases. You’ll never be able to own, use or possess a weapon or ammunition. You won’t be able to vote. So, you lose a lot of rights when you get this felony, and like is said, it never comes off your record. So, if you were to pick up another felony in the future, you’d be a second striker. You’d be looking at double the sentence you normally would if you didn’t have the strike on your record.
So, there are all sorts of different burglary cases. I’ve seen burglary cases that are charged with residential burglary cases that they shouldn’t have been charged as residential cases. I’ve seen burglary cases charged where the person shouldn’t even have been charged with anything because they’re not the burglar. So, you have a defense in the case.
So, that’s when you have to sit down with your attorney right from the gate, and this is the truth about these burglary cases. You have to decide from the beginning, once you’ve looked at all the evidence and you have a discussion with your attorney about what we’re going to do with this case? Are we going to fight it? Are we going to try to negotiate it with a plea bargain? Once you have that decision, then we can start to put the pieces into place — getting character letters, doing an investigation on the case if that makes sense, talking to witnesses, setting up a mitigation package to give to the prosecutors, or setting up our defense to fight the case in a jury trial.
So, until you have your road map of where you’re going in this burglary cases in Los Angeles, you don’t want to set down your path. You don’t want to start talking crazy to the prosecutor as a criminal defense attorney in a burglary case where you alienate everybody and make them emotional in the case where you have no defense in the case. Why would you do something like that? Because then you’re not going to get a good resolution for your client.
If on the other hand, me as a defense attorney, if I know in a burglary case — and here’s the real truth about these things — if I know that we’re going to fight it all the way, I’m not going to waste my time talking to the prosecutor about it. I may give them some information that I don’t want to give them. I may give them some defense strategy. I’m never going to do that. I’m not even going to get into trying to resolve it with them. I’m going to set up a game plan to defend the case.
But, if on the other hand, I know I’m going to resolve the case, then I’m going to take a completely different approach when it comes to these burglary cases because we don’t want to get the prosecutors and the judge angry with us. We want to point out the mitigating circumstances. We want to get our client’s version of events across because a lot of times what happens in these LA burglary cases is the police do a one-sided investigation. They don’t talk to any witnesses that might help the defendant. Maybe they talk to the defendant; maybe they don’t. A lot of times when they do talk to the defendant they put a spin on what the defendant tells them.
So, it’s my job as your attorney to get your version of events out there — your side of the story, the good things about you so that you’re going to be treated fairly in this burglary case and there’s not going to be a rush to judgment and we show that this is an aberration and this is never going to happen again and we can get you the result you must have. Make the call today.
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