Burglary Charges

Burglary is defined as entering a room or building with intent to steal or commit a felony. This also applies to locked vehicles.

A “room or building” can be defined as anything from a traditional house, room, apartment, commercial buildings, campers or trailers, vehicles, or animal enclosures. There are more than 20 different types of structures specified.

“Entry” can be defined broadly meaning breaking a window, prying open a door, or attempting to pick a lock.

First degree burglary is the most serious burglary charge and is always a felony. This results when you attempt to enter any type of inhabited dwelling (defined as someplace where people live or sleep). Types of structures that fall under this definition: hospital room, an attached garage, a bathroom or kitchen, or common area of an apartment building (i.e. lobby).

Second degree burglary involves every structure that isn’t an inhabited dwelling – usually a commercial space after business hours. It can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor.

Auto burglary involves breaking into a locked car to either steal the car, steal something from inside the car, or to commit any other felony. If you pry into a trunk, break a window, or reach through an open window, it is considered burglary of an automobile.

Penalties for Burglary

First degree burglary can be punished by one year in jail or 2-6 years in state prison. It may also include a fine of up to $10,000. Conviction of first degree burglary is also a strike.

Second degree burglary may be a misdemeanor or felony. For a misdemeanor, you could receive up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. For a felony you may receive up to 2-3 years in state prison and a possible $10,000 fine.


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