There are essentially two types of burglaries, first degree and 2nd degree. First degree burglary is the unlawful breaking into an inhabited dwelling with the intent to commit larceny or any other felony. Second degree burglary is entering into a building with the intent to commit theft therein. Of the two, first degree is much more serious, not only is the maximum term of commitment up 6 years but it is considered a strike offense under California's three strikes law. Second degree burglary carries up to three years of custody and it may also be charged as a misdemeanor. What most individuals are not aware of is that a person can be convicted of second degree burglary without there being an actual breaking in. What this means is that if an individual enters a store during regular business hours with the intent to commit theft then that person can be charged with second degree burglary.
Both of these offenses are serious and if you are charged with any of these crimes you should immediately contact an attorney. Call today for a free consultation.
Penal Code Section 459: Acts Constituting Burglary; "Inhabited" Defined.
Every person who enters any house, room, apartment, tenement, shop, warehouse, store, mill, barn, stable, outhouse or other building, tent, vessel, as defined in Section 21 of the Harbors and Navigation Code, floating home. as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 18075.55 of the Health and Safety Code, railroad car, locked or sealed cargo container, whether or not mounted on a vehicle, trailer coach, as defined in Section 635 of the Vehicle Code, any house car, as defined in Section 362 of the Vehicle Code, inhabited camper, as defined by the Vehicle Code, when the doors are locked, aircraft as defined by Section 21012 of the Public Utilities Code, or mine or any underground portion thereof, with intent to commit grand or petit larceny or any felony is guilty of burglary. As used in this chapter, "inhabited" means currently being used for dwelling purposes, whether occupied or not. A house, trailer, vessel designed for habitation, or portion of a building is currently being used for dwelling purposes if, at the time of the burglary, it was not occupied solely because a natural or other disaster caused the occupants to leave the premises.
Penal Code Section 460. Degrees.
(a) Every burglary of an inhabited dwelling house, vessel, as defined in the Harbors and Navigation Code, which is inhabited and designed of habitation, floating home, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 18075.55 of the Health and Safety Code, or trailer coach as defined by the Vehicle Code, or the inhabited portion of any other building, is burglary of the first degree.
(b) All other kinds of burglary are the second degree
Penal Code 461. Punishment
Burglary is punishable as follows:
(a) Burglary in the first degree: by imprisonment in the state prison for two, four, or six years.(b) Burglary in the second degree: by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of section 1170.