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Los Angeles Burglary Defense Attorneys

Defending Clients Against Serious Burglary Charges in Los Angeles

The crime of burglary, also known as breaking and entering (“B&E”), can forever change your life. These charges come with long prison sentences, harsh fines, and other penalties that can follow you well after you get out of prison. Burglary charges are very specific in California and beating them requires the aid of a dedicated legal defense team.

If you have been charged with burglary in Los Angeles, do not hesitate to contact Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP. Our Los Angeles burglary defense lawyers have years of experience advocating for clients and can launch a strong defense on your behalf. We understand California’s theft laws inside and out and are well prepared to handle your case. Call us at (213) 688-0460 to schedule a free consultation.

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What Is Burglary?

Burglary is unlawful entry into a building with the intent to commit a crime. There does not need to be physical breaking and entering for burglary to occur. The offender could trespass on the property through an open door. Nor is it required that theft or another crime be committed on the property. If the structure is entered illegally by a person who intends to commit a criminal offense, the crime of burglary has occurred.

Theft crimes, such as burglary, robbery, and larceny, are often confused, but there are distinct differences in these offenses:

  • Theft is taking someone else’s property without that person’s consent, with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of possession.
  • Burglary is unlawfully entering a structure with intent to commit a crime (which may or may not involve theft). The crime is complete once the person enters the building with criminal intent, whether or not the intended crime is accomplished. If someone breaks into a residence with the intent to commit rape, but is scared away when he hears sirens, the crime of burglary has been committed.
  • Larceny is theft. It does not need to involve a structure.
  • Robbery is taking something from a person without the owner’s consent by using force or threat of force to do so.
  • Shoplifting in California occurs when a person enters an open business establishment with the intent to steal merchandise worth up to $950.

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Is Burglary a Felony or a Misdemeanor?

This depends. First-degree burglary (burglary of a residence) is always charged as a felony. Second-degree burglary (burglary of a commercial structure or any structure other than a residence) may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, at the discretion of the prosecutor. As it applies to the definitions of first- and second-degree burglary, a “residence” can mean a house, an apartment, an inhabited motel or hotel room, an inhabited trailer, or an inhabited boat.

The penalties for burglary in California depend on whether the crime involved a commercial or a residential structure. Burglary of a residence (first-degree burglary) carries penalties of up to six years in prison. Burglary of a commercial property (second-degree burglary) is punishable with up to three years in prison.

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What Are Some Common Defenses Against Burglary?

Common legal defenses against burglary may include assertions that:

  • It is a case of mistaken identity. The witness who identified you made an error.
  • You believed you had a legitimate claim to the items you were accused of stealing, or they actually belonged to you.
  • You entered the building with no intent to commit a crime.
  • You had the person’s consent to be on their property.

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Call Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP Today

Conviction for first-degree burglary carries penalties of up to six years in prison. You need an experienced criminal lawyer to handle your defense for your best chance of obtaining a positive outcome in your case. At Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP, our attorneys include former prosecutors who are well-known for their criminal defense work. We have in-depth knowledge of Los Angeles’s district courts, making us your best option after an arrest. Contact us at (213) 688-0460 to schedule a free consultation so we can discuss a defense strategy in your case.

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Contact Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP Today
Phone: (213) 688-0460
Fax: (213) 624-1942

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    Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
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    Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
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