Is Burglary a Felony or a Misdemeanor?

If you have been charged with burglary, you might be wondering whether burglary is a felony or a misdemeanor. The short answer is: Burglary is a wobbler, meaning that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of the case. Some cases may be charged by the prosecutor as misdemeanor burglary, whereas other cases may be charged as felony burglary. We will explain which cases will be charged as a misdemeanor and which ones will be charged as felonies in more detail below.

If you have been charged with either misdemeanor or felony burglary, you should contact an experienced burglary defense attorney at The H Law Group to defend you and keep you from going to jail or prison for a very long period of time. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.

What is Burglary?

Burglary is a crime that’s committed when a person enters another person’s home, a building, or structure with the intent to commit a felon within the structure. For example, if a person breaks into his neighbor’s home at night with the intent to rape her, the defendant can be charged with burglary.

This is so because he entered into another person’s home with the intent to rape his neighbor. The defendant can be convicted of burglary for merely entering his neighbor’s home. The defendant need not actually commit the crime within the home to be convicted of burglary.

If you have been charged with burglary, you should immediately contact an experienced Los Angeles Burglary Defense Attorney to represent you and defend you. Our burglary defense lawyers have defended thousands of clients, so they have the knowledge and experience necessary to best defend you and achieve the most favorable outcome for you.

Felony Burglary vs Misdemeanor Burglary

We will now discuss the difference between felony burglary and misdemeanor burglary. To do so, you should know the two types of burglary. Burglaries are classified as first-degree burglary and second-degree burglary.

First-degree burglary is the burglary of a residence. Anytime a person enters another person’s home with the intent to commit a felony therein, the person will be charged with first-degree burglary, which is always a felony offense.

Now, second-degree burglaries are all other burglaries, meaning the burglary of any structure or building that is not a home. Second-degree burglary can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. The prosecutor’s decision to charge burglary as either a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the seriousness of the underlying crime and the defendant’s criminal history.

Punishment (Misdemeanor burglary vs Felony Burglary)

Misdemeanor burglary is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for up to 12 months. Felony burglary, on the other hand, is punishable by sixteen months, two years, or three years in county jail.

Burglary Defenses

If you have been charged with burglary, here are some defenses that your attorney may be able to use to defend you:

  • The defendant did not have the intent to commit burglary within the structure
  • The defendant did was arrested in violation of his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
  • The defendant is being falsely accused of burglary
  • The defendant is a victim of mistaken identity

Felony Burglary and Misdemeanor Burglary

In the past, for the prosecution to convict a person of burglary, the prosecution had to prove that the defendant broke and entered into a building, however, most states, including California, have removed the breaking requirement and only require the defendant to enter a structure with the intent to commit burglary within the building. In California, for a person to commit burglary, he must have intended to commit a felony within the building or grand theft. Grand theft is theft involving more than $950 of money or property. Misdemeanor theft is not sufficient for the prosecution to convict the defendant of burglary.

Contact an Experienced Los Angeles Burglary Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with burglary, you should immediately contact a Los Angeles Burglary Defense Attorney at The H Law Group to represent you and fight for you. Our burglary attorneys have represented countless clients, so they have the knowledge and experience necessary to best defend you and mitigate the potential consequences that you face. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.

Charged with a Crime?


Act now to protect your legal rights.

Charged with a Crime?


Act now to protect your legal rights.