Posted on October 7, 2018

What is the Punishment for Burglary? California PC 459

In California, there are three types of burglary – residential, commercial, and auto. Codified under penal code 459 pc, burglary is committed when a person enters a structure harboring the intent to commit a felony or theft crime. Some examples include entering a person garage to steal a bicycle; going into a bank with the intent to commit check fraud or identify theft; or breaking into another person’s car to steal money or property.

Consequences for Residential Burglary – PC 459

Residential burglary occurs when someone enters a habitable structure. The law makes it more punishable for someone to commit residential burglary since it’s an invasion into a person’s sanctity quarters. Residential burglary is a straight felony that cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor. Entering into another person’s home is ordinarily charged as a serious felony making it applicable to California’s Three Strike laws. A person convicted of burglary as a serious felony will serve 50% of their prison sentence. However, if a person was home at the time of the offense, the burglary becomes a “hot prowl” elevating the offense to a violent felony. Consequently, a violent felony conviction requires a person to serve 85% of their prison sentence. A conviction for residential burglary carries a state prison sentence of 2, 4, or 6 years.

Consequences for Commercial Burglary

Commercial burglary is a wobbler if the intended or actual theft exceeds $950, allowing the prosecutor to charge you with either a felony or misdemeanor. A felony conviction carries 16 months, 2, or 3 years in the county jail whereas a misdemeanor carries up to 1 year in the county jail. Commercial differs from residential since the structure is not a place of habitation, but rather commercial – e.g., store or warehouse. Commercial burglary may be charged if the property value is below $950 if the defendant suffers from any one of the following:

  • Defendant is a Registered Sex Offender
  • Burglary was not committed during normal business hours
  • Defendant suffers from a “super strike” offense

Consequences for Auto Burglary

Auto burglary is a wobbler where you can be charged with a felony or misdemeanor. The consequences for auto burglary are less severe since you are not invading in a privacy of someone’s home. A felony conviction carries 16 months, 2, or 3 years in the county jail. A misdemeanor carries up to 1 year in the county jail.

Contact Us to Schedule a Free Consultation

Because of the serious nature and consequences for burglary under penal code 459 pc, contact the Law Offices of John D. Rogers today to speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney. Call us today to schedule a free confidential consultation about your rights, defenses, and punishment.

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