Auto Burglary Crime in California
Auto burglary is one of the most common crimes in the world. In a state like California, where roughly 15 million cars are registered, car robbery is a common occurrence. California has instituted car burglary as a crime under the Penal Code 459 PC. Under this Penal Code, those who violate this law will receive punishment.
In order for the defendant to be convicted of auto burglary the prosecution must be able to prove two key things:
- The defendant must have entered a vehicle that was locked (doors or trunk)
- When defendant entered the vehicle they had full intent to commit theft
Auto burglary is considered a “wobbler” offense. This means that a defendant can be convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony. This is usually based on past criminal history. In addition, the context of the bulgary plays a role in sentencing. The lowest misdemeanor conviction would be one year in jail. If one is convicted of a felony, a defendant could face up to three years in California jail. In addition, other punishments could apply if other felonies are committed such as kidnapping or endangerment.
When it comes to auto burglary it is important to note that in order for someone to be charged with theft there has to be evidence that the vehicle was broken into (gone out of their way to get into the car). Because the prosecution has to prove two elements, it is imperative to hire a lawyer that is able to prove that the auto burglary was purposely done.