San Diego Burglary Cases Lawyer
Burglary is the entry into any building with the intent to commit a felony or theft inside. In California, there is no requirement of a "Breaking and Entering" all that is required is simply crossing the threshold of a door or window. These cases can vary in seriousness depending on whether the burglary occurred at a business or residence, and whether the residence was occupied at the time of the burglary.
Residential Burglaries are the most serious cases because of the sanctity of one's home and the potential for violence. As a result, these cases are Strike offenses under California's Three Strikes Law. However, the stakes can go up even further if the residents of the home were present during the burglary. Nevertheless, these cases are defensible because most victims of burglaries do not see the perpetrator. If the burglar is seen, it is usually late at night after being awakened, so identifications can be a big issue. The only other way a prosecutor can prove someone was the burglar is via forensic evidence such as, fingerprints, DNA, shoeprints, hair and fiber samples. As such, a Defense Attorney needs to be well versed in all of these sciences in order to best protect his client. If there is forensic evidence, then the Defense Attorney needs to enlist the help of his own experts to re-evaluate and / or retest evidence to make sure of its accuracy.
Commercial or 2 nd Degree Burglaries take two forms: breaking and/or entering a business after hours and stealing goods from inside; and entering a business while it is open and stealing. The commercial burglaries that occur after hours pose the same set of defense issues as the residential burglaries, in that forensic evidence is usually what leads to a prosecution. Occasionally, there are surveillance videos that Defense experts can enhance to prove the person in the video is not the Defense Attorney's client.
The commercial burglaries that occur while businesses are open may seem odd, but are actually very common. Essentially, it is a pre-planned shoplift. The typical shoplift scenario occurs when someone sees something they like, while shopping inside the store and decides to steal it. However, if the prosecutor can prove that person entered the store with the intent to steal that constitutes Burglary. In other words, if the person walked into the store knowing he was going to steal something, then a Burglary has been committed. The intent to steal is the most difficult issue for the prosecutor to prove in this scenario. Unless the shoplifter admits he entered the store to steal, the only other way to prove intent is circumstantially. However, if the prosecution can show the shoplifter entered the store with little or no money, no credit cards, used a false bottomed box or tools to cut away security tags, the requisite intent for burglary may be proven.
Therefore, it is imperative a person charged with burglary hire an attorney to investigate and evaluate the prosecution's case. If the police have arrested the wrong person, a good Defense investigation can point the prosecution in the right direction. At the very least, a good Defense Attorney can raise issues of Reasonable Doubt based on a re-test and evaluation of forensic evidence and shaky circumstantial evidence.