I didn’t steal anything, why am I charged with burglary?
A person can be charged and convicted of burglary PC 459 even if he didn’t steal anything. Here in California, burglary occurs when a person enters a house, room, apartment, building, vehicle, vessel, or aircraft with the intent to steal OR if the person intends to commit any felony once inside. Felonies can include assault, murder, rape, and arson.
Additionally, a person doesn’t have to “break” into the house or structure to be charged with burglary PC459but merely has to “enter.” This can mean walking through an unlocked door rather than shattering a window. If the structure that is burglarized is a place where someone lives, regardless of whether that person is home at the time of the burglary, then the crime is first-degree burglary, which is a felony punishable by up to 6 years in prison. A burglary PC459 that occurs where no one lives is considered second-degree burglary and is punishable by up to one year in the county jail.