Burglary Attorney in Ventura
Santa Barbara Theft Crime Lawyer
At the Law Office of Christopher P. Welch, we have helped past clients defeat burglary charges. Backed by over 10 years of experience, our Ventura burglary lawyer is skilled at finding flaws in the prosecution’s case and helping defendants tell their side of the story.
Burglary Charges & Their Penalties
According to California law, a burglary occurs when an individual enters any structure or locked vehicle with the intent to steal another’s property or commit a felony. The person can be charged with burglary even if the intended crime is never carried out.
Burglary charges are divided into two main categories: first-degree and second-degree. First-degree burglary involves someone else’s residence and is always charged as a felony. Second-degree is burglary committed in any other type of structure, like stores or businesses, and is a wobbler offense. That means it can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor.
The potential penalties for burglary include:
- Felony first-degree: 2, 4, or 6 years in state prison, a maximum fine of $10,000, and felony probation
- Felony second-degree: 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in county jail, a maximum fine of $10,000, and felony probation
- Misdemeanor second-degree: up to 1 year in county jail, a maximum fine of $1,000, and summary probation
What It Means to “Enter” a Structure
Because burglary involves “entering” a building or structure, it is important to understand what such conduct means. In the eyes of the law, all buildings have outer boundaries, including doors, walls, windows, balconies, etc. If any part of your body or an object that is in your control penetrates that outer boundary, you have entered the building.
Consider the following examples:
- An individual reaches through an open window of a house and steals a wallet that the owner left on the windowsill
- A person uses a ladder to get to the second story of a house and climbs over the railing to access the balcony
- Someone removes a window screen to attempt to open a window but is caught before opening it
In all these examples, the individuals have entered the structures. If they had an intent to commit theft or a felony (like sexual assault) upon entering the building, they could be charged with burglary.
How To Beat A Burglary Charge?
The legal team at the Law Office of Christopher P. Welch has won over one hundred case dismissals. We have experience crafting strategic cases based on a range of legal defenses.
Common legal defenses to burglary we employ include:
- Lack of intent
- Mistake of fact
- False accusation
- Misleading evidence
- Mistaken identity
- Police misconduct
To find out which defense tactic may be effective for your case, get in touch with our Ventura burglary attorney for a free consultation. During this meeting, we can evaluate your situation and help you determine a path forward.
“Mr. Welch took care of all my worries and concerns, while clearing my name.”- James D.
“He made us feel comfortable in his capable hands going through the worst situations our family has faced.”- Lynette D.
“Chris Welch is the best choice and Attorney ever!”- Janet O.