While burglary is considered a wobbler crime and can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, it is more often than not charged as a felony. This crime, if convicted, carries serious penalties and consequences that have the potential to change your life. Here’s what you should understand about the crime of burglary and how a seasoned California criminal defense attorney can assist you in defending yourself against these charges.
What Constitutes Burglary?
Many people imagine burglary as a person robbing a bank with a firearm. But this is not necessarily the complete picture of what burglary really is. In fact, the definition of burglary is quite simple. Burglary can be charged anytime someone enters a building without the owner’s permission with the intent to steal property or commit a felony crime. This means that even if a defendant is caught before committing any crimes, burglary can be charged if the intent was there.
Defenses Against Burglary
Some defenses against burglary are more common than others, especially arguing actual innocence. The defenses your attorney uses are generally based on the specific facts of your case. Potential defenses may include but are not limited to:
- Deconstructing the actual crime. For example, providing evidence that suggests one or more elements of the crime do not exist. Therefore, a crime was never committed
- Arguing on the basis of mistaken identity or false accusations
- Challenging the prosecution’s evidence and alleging that not enough evidence exists to convict beyond a shadow of a doubt
- Providing a solid alibi that puts the defendant in a different place when the burglary supposedly occurred
For example, if the defendant received permission from the owner of the building to enter, and that permission was never taken away, it may be argued that no burglary — as defined by law — took place. Or, the defendant may have a receipt that shows he or she was at a store or restaurant at the time of the crime.
Contact the Law Offices of Donald J. Matson Today
At the Law Offices of Donald J. Matson, we have the experience needed to provide you with a zealous defense against burglary. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation to discuss your case by calling (626) 792-1900.