ROBBERY, BURGLARY, AND CALIFORNIA LAW

Posted on: April 27, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Codes 211 and 459

Orange County criminal defense lawyerAlthough people typically use the terms “burglary” and “robbery” interchangeably, in California law, these are two different and distinct terms and crimes. If you are charged with either in southern California, contact an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible. Jail is a potential penalty for either crime.

In California, what is the difference between burglary and robbery? Under California Penal Code 459, burglary is “entering a structure with the intent to commit a theft once inside.” Actually committing a robbery or a theft isn’t required for a burglary prosecution, and neither is a forced entry. If the prosecution can demonstrate that a defendant “entered” a “structure” with the “intent” to commit a theft or a robbery, that defendant can be convicted of burglary.

When you take something from someone else through the use of violence, force, threats, and/or fear, that’s the definition of robbery in California. In this state, first and second-degree robbery are considered felonies under California Penal Code 211. A conviction for first-degree robbery can land you in a California prison for up to nine years, and a second-degree robbery conviction can put you there for up to five years. A conviction for first-degree residential burglary can put you in a state prison for up to six years, and you may also face a fine of up to $10,000.

Of course, to convict you of either robbery or burglary, a prosecutor must prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s not always easy. People are sometimes accused of these crimes because of mix-ups, misinterpretations, and misidentifications. Sometimes someone with a grudge will completely fabricate a robbery or burglary story. Still, if you’re accused, you’ll require the help of an attorney who regularly defends burglary and robbery suspects – someone who can fight tenaciously for justice. If you are arrested and accused of burglary or robbery in southern California, arrange to speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer immediately.

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