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San Diego Burglary & Robbery 
Defense Attorney

San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer | Zentz &  Zentz

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Formulate a San Diego Burglary Defense

Burglary and robbery are serious charges to face in California. You will need to have a clear idea of what could happen to you if the court convicts you of these crimes. You also need to understand what each crime is and how to defend against them.

A San Diego burglary and robbery defense attorney is your best choice in putting forth a solid case in court. Your lawyer can assist you with understanding the charges and figuring out the best way to defend against them. You may also need your defense attorney to assist you with possible issues that could result from the three strikes law.

Burglary vs. Robbery

Burglary and robbery are two separate crimes under California law. They are both theft crimes, and they often occur together. However, it is possible to face only one of these charges.

Robbery is taking someone else's property by force or fear. It is a violent crime and can be a felony of the first or second degree. The prosecutor must show that you took someone else's property from his or her immediate possession without his or her permission while using force or fear to prevent the person from stopping you. The elements here include:
• Taking someone else's property
• Must be in the person's immediate possession
• Must take against the person's wishes
• Must use force or fear

Note that in this situation, fear means that the person is afraid you will harm him or her or someone else if he or she does not give you the property. Also, immediate possession means that the person is present and you take the property from him or her.

Robbery can become the more severe crime of armed robbery if you use a weapon or threaten to use a weapon during the course of the crime.

Burglary is entering a property with the intent to commit a crime. It does not have to be entering without permission, as shoplifting is a type of burglary and you have permission to enter the store. The main element here is that you are entering a structure with the sole intent of doing something illegal. Structures can include locked vehicles.

Burglary is usually a first- or second-degree felony. The exception is shoplifting, which is a misdemeanor as long as the value of the property is under $950.

Burglary can become a violent felony if the structure is an occupied home where an occupant is present at the time you entered.

Potential Penalties

Your San Diego robbery and burglary defense attorney will advise you of the potential penalties if the court finds you guilty and explain any exceptions or enhancements. There are basic penalties under the law, but the court often has leeway to change sentencing as it sees fit.

The potential penalty for first-degree robbery is up to six years in prison. If the conviction is for burglary of a habitable dwelling, then the sentence could be for up to nine years in prison. A second-degree conviction comes with a potential for up to five years in prison. Potential fines up to $10,000 apply for any robbery conviction.

The court may enhance your sentence if great bodily injury occurs during the commission of the crime. This can add three to six years to your sentence. The court may also add 10 years if you use a gun. If you fire the gun, the court can add 20 years, and if you injure or kill someone with the gun, then you face a sentence of an additional 25 years. Also, all robbery charges result in a strike.

For burglary of the first degree, you face a potential of six years in prison and you will get a strike. A second-degree charge carries up to one year in jail. For a misdemeanor charge, the sentence can be up to six months in jail. The court can also give you probation for any conviction unless you enter a habitable dwelling.

The court can also enhance burglary charges if you have a previous felony conviction. It can add one year for every felony conviction you have on your record.

Defending Against a Charge

The stakes are very high with any robbery charge and a first-degree burglary charge because they cause strikes on your record. The California three strikes law says that if you have three convictions for a serious or violent felony, the court must automatically sentence you to at least 25 years in prison. It can assess up to a lifetime prison sentence under this law.

Even if you do not have to worry about your strikes at this time, you could get a strike that puts you at risk in the future. It is imperative that you discuss this with your lawyer so he or she is aware of your situation.

Your San Diego robbery lawyer can mount certain defenses for you that could help you win your case or face a reduced sentence. Common defenses include believing that the property was yours or that you had the right to take it. Another defense is that you did not use fear or force or that you accidentally took the property.

Your burglary defense attorney may use the defense that you had no intent to commit a crime when entering a structure or that you entered the structure to take items belonging to you.

For either charge, common defenses that your lawyer may use include mistaken identity or insufficient evidence. In both cases, your lawyer is showing that the prosecution has failed to put together an effective case and lacks the ability to show that you committed the crime or left the door open for doubt that it was you.

Secure an Attorney Today

If you are facing burglary or robbery charges, then you need to secure a defense attorney right away. Having someone fight for you is the best way to ensure you have a fair trial and that the court hears your side. You can contact us today to speak with a San Diego burglary attorney or to a lawyer about your robbery case at 702-800-3190. You can also use our contact page to get in touch with a qualified legal representative today.

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