Burglary (Penal Code Section 459-460(a)/(b))

Burglary is a common crime for Minors.  There are two types of Burglary charges. 459-460(a) Residential Burglary, is typically a felony charge. Any person who enters the home of another with the intent to steal or commit any felony, or misdemeanor petty theft is guilty of burglary in the first degree. This carries a punishment of up to 6 years in prison although first time offenders, if they plea guilty or are found guilty usually do less then 1 year in county jail.  Although residential burglary does not appear violent in nature it is considered a “strike” offense. It is very important to be represented by an attorney experienced in these matters.

459-460(b) is a theft of property, that requires the intent to steal before entering the store or premises. This charge can be a misdemeanor or a felony. In order to convict you of California burglary under Penal Code 459 PC, the prosecutor must prove the following two facts (otherwise known as "elements of the crime"):

  1. that you entered a building or other specified enclosure, and
  2. that, at the time you entered, you had the intent to steal or commit another felony.

An example of First Degree Burglary is 1) Your child goes into the garage of your neighbor and steals a bike.  The garage is considered part of the structure/house.  An example of Second degree Burglary is 2) your child enters Nordstrom with a shopping bag and steals clothing and she tells the security guard that she planned to steal the clothes before she entered the store.


Contact Orange County criminal defense attorney Katie Walsh at (714) 619-9355 for help with burglary or any other criminal matter.