At the Law Firm of Sean F. Leslie our criminal defense attorneys handle both first and second degree burglary cases. Burglary is the entering of a building to commit a theft or felony inside. Usually, a "burglar" enters a home or business to commit a theft but a burglary does occur if he enters the building to commit an assault, rape or sale drugs. For example, the difference between shoplifting [theft] and burglary is simply when the intent to steal was formulated. If a person entered into Macy's with the intent of stealing a shirt he saw the day before then it's a burglary. If the person were already inside Macy's shopping and he decided to steal the shirt, then it's shoplifting.
Burglary is categorized into either first or second degree. First degree is considered a strike offense and occurs when the suspect enters a home or dwelling area of a boat or other building. As a strike offense, first degree burglary has a much harsher penalty and can be used against the defendant in the future if he commits another felony. The prior strike conviction will double the sentence and the defendant will have to serve eighty percent of his sentence, i.e., he won't get half time credits! Burglary in the second degree is all other burglaries and most occur at department stores and or other retail businesses.
An experienced criminal defense attorney understands that the "intent" issue is difficult for the prosecution to prove so it is important that you hire an competent criminal lawyer who understands the law. If you or a family member is someone who has been arrested and charged for a burglary, my firm can help you so please feel free to contact us.
I take personal responsibility in my firm's "commitment to excellence" in obtaining a favorable result on your case whether it's in San Diego or Riverside Counties. I look forward to hearing from and meeting you soon.
Once again, thank you for consulting with a criminal defense attorney in my law firm for your legal representation.