In Los Angeles, California burglary cases are based on Penal Code Section 459. This law states that burglary cases can be tried either as a felony or a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor carry a lesser punishment compared to a felony charge. Having a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer can be very advantageous for anyone who is charged with burglary. Michael Kraut is one of the most knowledgeable and experienced Los Angeles burglary attorney.
Aggravating factors are the circumstances of the case that can escalate your burglary case from a misdemeanor to a felony case. Aggravating factors in California includes:
- Multiple instances – In California, they have a law called “California three strikes law.” This basically means that if you have been charged with burglary or any crime for a third time already, in the third instance you will be faced with an enhanced sentence. This law is supposed to deter criminals from repeating doing crimes.
- Value – Second degree burglary charge can either be a felony or a misdemeanor. One of the factors that will decide this is the value of the property that has been stolen. In California, if the value of the stolen property from a burglary of a commercial building or establishment is below $400, then it is considered a misdemeanor. If the value of the property or properties is more than $400, then it is considered a felony.
- Intention – Burglary is considered an “inchoate” crime and to prove burglary, it must be proven that the defendant has an intention to do another crime upon illegally entering a building or property. To prove this, the prosecution may present some circumstantial evidence. Having a good Los Angeles burglary attorney that can provide a solid defense and be able to rebuff the circumstantial evidences that may be provided in your specific case will allow you to have a lesser charge and possibly a lesser sentence.
Any possible form of consent expressed in any way is a great defense to a burglary case. Being intoxicated at the time of the crime may also be a good defense but it has some limitations. Intoxication can interfere with a person’s way of reasoning and thinking, thus an intoxicated person cannot make a logical reason for intent. However, deliberate intoxication of one’s self cannot be used as a defense. You have to be unwillingly or unknowingly drugged to be able to use intoxication as a defense.
A burglary charge can present different circumstances and these different circumstances may also be used to make a strong defense. So if faced with a burglary charge, the best way is to hire an experienced and expert Los Angeles burglary attorney in Attorney Michael Kraut. Feel free to contact his office and schedule a meeting for consultation to discuss the circumstances of your case.