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Burglary and robbery are used interchangeably; however, the charges are different.
What Is Burglary?
Under PC 459, burglary is defined as entering a residential or commercial property, with the intent to commit a California penalty, grand theft, or petty theft. Under California law, you do not have to commit a “breaking an entering.” You can be charged with burglary for even entering premises, which are left wide open.
The penalties for burglary depend on whether you’re being charged with residential burglary (first-degree burglary) or commercial burglary (second-degree burglary). First-degree burglary is typically considered a felony and can come with a penalty of up to six years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, a first-degree burglary is considered a “strike” under California’s Three Strikes law.
Second-degree burglary can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending upon the facts of the case. A second-degree burglary that is charged with a felony can result in up to three years in county jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. A second-degree burglary charged as a misdemeanor on the other hand can carry a sentence of up to one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
What Is Robbery?
Under PC 211, robbery is defined as taking property from another person through the use of force or fear. Unlike burglaries, robberies require a direct confrontation with another person and the use of threat to coerce any sort of property away from that person. Like burglary, robbery is divided into crimes of the first degree and second degree. Robbery of an inhabited dwelling, a person at the ATM, or the drivers of a bus, car, or taxicab are all considered first-degree robbery. The penalty for first-degree robbery can lead to a prison sentence of three to nine years. Robbery of any other kind is considered second-degree robbery and is punishable in prison for two to five years.
There are a variety of ways we can build up your defense case in response to burglary charges. At our defense firm, we will zealously fight for you whether you are being charged with a burglary or a robbery.
Free Consultation In Burglary And Robbery Cases
If you have been charged with burglary/robbery or are under investigation for burglary/robbery, contact the The Law Offices of John M. Runfola to get the defense you deserve. We offer a free consultation and are available to our clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week for your convenience. Call us at 866-392-4918 or 415-391-4243, or send us an email.