Burglary Defense Attorney

Burglary is defined as unlawful entry into a home, business, vehicle or other structure with the intent to commit a crime. Burglary is prosecuted under California Penal Code Section 459 and it can be considered either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the specifics of the incident. It is a serious charge and can carry significant consequences like probation, fines and jail time.

A charge of burglary does not require forcible entry, just the intent to commit a crime once inside a home, business, vehicle or other structure. If you have been charged with burglary, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Contact Amicus Legal Group for a free consultation regarding your situation.

Residential and Commercial Burglary

Residential Burglary

First-degree residential burglary occurs when a person enters an occupied dwelling in order to commit a crime. It is always charged as a felony in California and carries a two, four or six-year sentence in state prison. Residential burglary is one strike under California’s Three Strikes law, which would result in doubled sentencing in any future felony offenses.

Commercial Burglary

Commercial burglary occurs when a person enters a business to commit a crime. It is a second-degree offense and can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If charged as a misdemeanor it could result in one year in county jail and probation. If charged as a felony it could result in from sixteen months to three years.

Someone caught shoplifting can be charged with felony burglary only when the value of the stolen goods is more than $950, since the passage of California’s Prop 47.

Proving a Burglary Charge

After charging a defendant with burglary, the prosecution will build a case against the accused. The prosecution will need to prove two things. That the defendant entered a building, residence, business, vehicle or other structure and that once inside, the defendant intended to commit a crime.

Some examples of how this could have occurred include:

  • Pushing open a door that was left ajar
  • Reaching into the window of a vehicle to unlock the door
  • Reaching into a vehicle to take items inside
  • Breaking a window to gain access to a structure
  • Picking a lock

Again, a charge of burglary is not contingent on a forceful entry. Burglary is considered a crime of specific intent, which means that in addition to proving that the defendant entered the building or vehicle, it must be proven that they meant to commit a crime once inside. Even when the crime is not actually committed, if there is intent upon entering, it can be charged as burglary.

Contact Amicus Legal Group as Soon as Possible

If you have been charged, or think you might soon be charged with burglary, contact Amicus Legal Group as soon as possible. Your initial consultation is free.

Our team will investigate your case, hire the necessary experts and interview all key witnesses. As an experienced criminal defense firm, we can analyze your situation and obtain the best possible result. Amicus Legal Group is committed to providing each client with the personal attention they deserve. Contact us today for more information by calling (888) 588-1777.

A burglary defense attorney can help

A burglary charge is a very serious criminal matter. If you have been accused of or charged with burglary, you should not attempt to handle on your own. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer will be your best chance for beating the charges against you or lessening the potential consequences.

In a criminal case it can feel as though there is no one on your side. Hiring a criminal defense attorney puts someone with experience in the complicated world of criminal law on your team. Your attorney will ensure that your rights are protected and that you are treated with respect.

Potential defenses against a burglary charge

There are ways to defend against a burglary charge. A defense attorney can dispute the prosecution’s case and shed reasonable doubt on your guilt. For example, potential defenses against burglary include mistaken identity, false accusations and lack of intent to commit a crime.

The evidence that supports the charges against you might not be solid. For example, when there is security camera footage of the incident it might be too unclear to definitively identify the defendant as the actual perpetrator. You might have believed that you could enter the property and act as you did.

Uncovering the best course of action

A defense attorney will also ensure that all law enforcement agencies followed procedure throughout their handling of your case. If your rights were violated during the investigation process or at your arrest, the case against you might rightfully be dismissed.

There are times when a plea bargain is the most reasonable option in a case. A defense attorney will be able to examine the details of your case and the evidence against you and advise on what is the best possible course of action.

Client testimonials quote

Client Testimonials

Occasionally you meet another attorney who is so impressive both personally and professionally that you want to be affiliated with them in any way you can both personally and professionally. That is how I feel about John-Paul. I not only consider him one of the finest attorneys I know, but I now proudly call him my friend. He is among the very best.

David Booth

I had the pleasure of working a very large scale drug case with Mr. Serrao, representing co-defendants. Mr. Serrao was a pleasure to work with. Highly skilled and very aggressive in his advocacy on his client’s behalf. I highly recommend Mr. Serrao for anyone looking for a criminal defense attorney.

Babak Farahan

John-Paul is an extremely effective criminal defense attorney. The one thing that makes him stand out from other defense attorneys is that he talks to his clients to learn the circumstances surrounding their incident and then he makes a forceful and articulate argument in defense of his clients. I recommend my clients to John-Paul when they are in need of a criminal defense attorney because I know he will stand up for them.

Stephen Rinka

John-Paul is well known in our community as a smart and effective criminal defense lawyer who is sensitive to his clients’ situations and responsive to their needs. I refer my clients to him with confidence when they need help with the criminal justice system.

Lawrence Brock

Mr. Serrao worked on my DUI charge earlier this year and all I can say is WOW! Not only did he keep me updated with the case but his knowledge of the process helped calm my nerves, which was very important to me. He showed care for me as a client and I can’t thank him enough. I would recommend him to anyone in need of a quality criminal defense attorney.

Derrick J.

John-Paul is a superb attorney. He was my mentor when I was in law school, and now as an attorney I still go to him for advice on complex cases. When my brother required representation I referred him to John-Paul. That is how highly I think of JP as an attorney. I would highly recommend him to anyone who needs representation.

Kit Westbrook

John-Paul took my civil case when no one else would because other lawyers didn’t have confidence in my daughter who has special needs to testify, if needed. John-Paul won her case against the school district without a jury because he cared about my child, believed she was honest and deserved justice. He still doesn’t mind taking my calls whenever I have a question regarding her case.

Dionne L.

Attorney John Paul-Serrao helped us to win our case against the insurance company after we were involved in a traffic accident where our car was rear ended, we tried to handle it ourselves with the insurance company and they did not want to cooperate with us, so we hired Mr. Serrao and he was able to get us a settlement above with the insurance company was willing to pay. I would highly recommend him.

Lupe G.

Our legal team will collaborate and make sure attention is paid to every detail to ensure the best possible result for each client. We offer services in the following criminal defense areas:

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