Los Angeles Burglary Attorneys


As you might guess, the prosecutors typically have a policy of dealing with burglary cases in Los Angeles in a very harsh manner. In fact, the policy in most LA courthouses is that if a defendant committed a burglary, then they must go to prison and take a strike on their criminal record. Of course with any policy there are exceptions. This is where having a seasoned criminal defense attorney familiar with the courts and the higher up prosecutors is essential. I speak with supervisor prosecutors on a daily basis about burglary cases and try and convince them that my client’s case and situation is not the average and therefore does not deserve the average punishment.

Of course just saying a person does not deserve to go to prison and have a strike on their record for the rest of their life is not enough. You have to put your money where your mouth is, through character letters, career information, religious organizations, charity or community work and I always attack the facts of the case to show them that this is not your average dangerous burglary. Each case spins on it own facts and circumstances, and to really get a game plan together to win, I have to know the facts that surround the arrest and have the full story about my client, his record, his background, any drug use…basically his life story. Then we need a game plan to really sell the prosecutor on giving this particular defendant a break.

I have made a life’s work out of helping good people out of bad situations. I welcome a call and we can discuss and move your case on a track to success!


It is important to know from the beginning in a Burglary case that you are facing a minimum of two years in custody and a charge that can not be taken off of your record in California. Unfortunately when it comes to going into another person’s home to commit a crime, the prosecutors and judges in LA have a policy that the perpetrator in these cases goes to prison and has a mark on their record that they can not get off.

The way to get around this harsh treatment is to show that your case presents “unusual circumstances” and it is not like the typical burglary. Examples of unusual circumstances are when the perpetrator does not do one of the main things that makes the Burglary dangerous. For example, they do not actually go into the house. Maybe a window is broken or a tool is used to try and get in. Though this is technically a Burglary because there was a “breaking”, it can be argued that the danger was not as great as when someone actually goes into the home. Other examples involve going into a vacant home when no one is present and there is not the risk of a dangerous confrontation.

If the subject defendant is involved with a Burglary that presents the typical facts that make the situation one that is appropriate for the usual punishment, then the other way to avoid prison and a strike is to show who that this particular defendant is not the typical burglar who deserves such harsh treatment. Maybe the person is young, a first time offender, has a job and was just trying to make extra money, has a family they are trying to provide for or was intoxicated at the time they acted. Whatever the situation, the criminal defense attorneys who handle Burglary cases all the time know what it takes to achieve the best result for their clients.


In the typically burglary situation, the person involved breaks into the home of another and steals something while the person is gone from the home. Robbery, on the other hand, typically involves the taking of property for the person’s presence with the use of force. Again, as with anything, there are nuances and twists that can occur. If a person is present in the home, when the burglary occurs, there is an extra enhancement for that situation. And, as long as the person does not wake up or confront the person in the home, the case will not rise to the level of a robbery.

The key difference between the crimes usually involves whether a person is present when the crime occurs. Hence it is a more serious crime if a person is present because of the risk of a deadly confrontation taking place. Additionally, robberies are usually viewed more harshly by judges and prosecutors because a weapon is usually used to effectuate the robbery. When it comes to a burglary or robbery case, only the best crime defense attorneys will usually be able to do anything of significance to sway the prosecutors and judge. Those savvy attorneys know what will mean anything to the prosecutors in their decision making and what won’t.

Penal Code 459 Burglary

A person can be found guilty for Burglary if the government can prove that:

  1. The person entered a building/room within a room/locked vehicle etc… ;
  2. When the person entered, they intended to commit theft or one or more felonies.

“Entering” the building is found when any part of the person’s body crosses the threshold of the outer boundary of the building.

Attorney note: There have been all kinds of arguments related to whether it is good enough to convict someone of burglary if they do not actually physically enter into another person’s home. This usually comes up when someone either breaks a window or inserts some sort of a tool inside the home of another in order to gain access. The bottom line is that if anything is used to break the plane of the home then it will be good enough for purposes of the “breaking” and “entering” of the residence of another for a burglary case.

The key thing that the law is trying to punish and deter is people trying to go into other people’s home and take their property. As you might guess, a person’s home is their castle and the powers that be do not want other people violating the sanctity of another person’s home. Therefore they will stretch the law to convict someone who they can prove had the intent to commit a burglary but was just thwarted for one reason or another.