Free Consultation

Complete Our Quick Form

Orange County Burglary Attorney


Most people imagine a burglary to be a jewelry store heist carried out in the dead of night. Those who committed the crime would clearly be the burglars and could thus be charged with burglary. However, a person can commit burglary without ever actually carrying out the crime.

Law of Burglary

As long as a person enters a locked building, room, or vehicle with the intent to commit theft or some other type of felony, the act is considered a burglary (Penal Code § 459).

A person "enters a building" by simply crossing the building boundaries with any part of his or her body. If the person uses an object of some sort to assist in the theft, it is also considered "entering the building" when the object the person is controlling crosses the building boundary.
The crime of burglary is further split into first and second degree burglary. First degree burglary usually involves a home and is also known as "residential burglary." Second degree burglary is more common and involves a store or any structure that is not a home. It is also called "commercial" burglary. Below is a summary of the two:

1. First Degree Burglary - First degree burglary most often involves a home (or "dwelling"). Therefore, first degree burglary is also called a "residential burglary." First degree is more serious than second degree because of the inherent dangerous nature of the offense. This is why first degree burglary is charged as a "strike" felony.

2. Second Degree Burglary - The more common burglary is second degree, or "commercial" burglary. This often involves a store or any structure that is not a home. In some cases, an experienced professional in criminal defense may obtain a "shoplifting" charge rather than a burglary conviction. This alternative will give the client a less-severe option under the right circumstances and will better equip the client in the future.