Law Office of David P. Shapiro - San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney




2550 Fifth Ave Suite 1050, San Diego, CA 92103

San Diego Burglary Defense Lawyer

Burglary, defined in Penal Code section 459 (459 P.C.) is a serious offense that can result in lengthy prison sentences and significant fines, especially if the alleged crime involved a deadly weapon or other aggravating circumstances. Do not take these charges lightly – you need an experienced San Diego burglary defense lawyer in your corner.

Our burglary defense attorneys have successfully defended many clients facing first-degree, second-degree, and related charges. We know how to scrutinize the prosecution’s evidence, assert your legal rights, and develop a strong defense strategy aimed at getting the most favorable outcome. Assert your right to a competent defense—contact the Law Office of David P. Shapiro today.

California Burglary Charges

Our state divides burglary into two categories: first-degree burglary (residential burglary) and second-degree burglary (commercial burglary). 

Here’s what you need to know about each.

First-degree burglary (Residential Burglary)

First-degree or residential burglary involves entering an inhabited dwelling, such as a house or apartment, intending to commit theft or a felony. 

The state always charges this type of burglary as a felony and carries a potential sentence of up to six years in state prison.

First-degree burglary is a “strike” felony under California’s Three-Strikes Law. 

Second-degree burglary (Commercial Burglary)

Second-degree or commercial burglary involves entering a commercial property, like a store or office building, or a locked vehicle intending to commit theft of a felony. 

Prosecutors charge second-degree burglary as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the case’s specific circumstances. 

Under California Penal Code § 461, a misdemeanor conviction can result in up to one year in county jail, while a felony charge can lead to a sentence of up to three years in prison.

It’s important to note that the state can charge second-degree burglary charges as a felony when aggravating factors exist, such as using a weapon or violence during a burglary or when a victim was hurt during the alleged offense, in addition to those additional charges.


Possible Defenses to Burglary Charges in California

We carefully analyze all the evidence in your case and develop a sound defense strategy when you work with our San Diego criminal defense law firm. 

This due diligence may involve:

  • Challenging the facts and probable cause for your arrest. 
  • Examining the alleged intent and other elements of the crime. 
  • Exploring potential defenses, such as lack of intent, mistaken identity, or consent to enter the property. 
  • Negotiating plea bargains and alternative sentencing options to minimize the consequences of a conviction. 

The Law Office of David P. Shapiro will work tirelessly to identify testimony, documents, video footage, and other physical evidence that can weaken the state’s case against you.

We also build compelling defense arguments on your behalf and leverage our understanding of prosecutors, judges, and “courthouse culture” to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed entirely.

Why Work with a Skilled Burglary Defense Lawyer

Burglary charges can be tough to beat without the right strategy. A conviction can result in significant fines, lengthy prison sentences, and a permanent criminal record that impacts your future employment, housing, and educational opportunities.

Having a knowledgeable and experienced burglary defense lawyer in your corner:

  • Protects your constitutional rights and ensures you receive due process throughout your case.
  • Ensures thorough investigations and evidence gathering happens to support your defense.
  • Guarantees you’ll receive personalized attention and guidance at every stage of the legal process.

Don’t face burglary charges alone. Let our San Diego criminal defense attorneys put their experience to work for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I am arrested for burglary in San Diego?

You should first exercise your right to remain silent and request an attorney after the San Diego Police, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department or other law enforcement agency arrest you for first or second-degree burglary. 

How can a criminal defense lawyer help me fight burglary charges?

A skilled criminal defense law firm challenges the evidence against you, explores affirmative defenses, and prepares the best case for trial. A defense lawyer will also negotiate with prosecutors to reduce or dismiss the charges, short of trial. Your defense counsel also protects your constitutional rights while your case moves through the criminal justice process.

What are the potential long-term consequences of a burglary conviction?

A burglary conviction usually triggers significant fines, lengthy prison sentences, and a potentially permanent criminal record. These consequences can impact your ability to find employment, secure housing, and pursue future government entitlements.

Don’t Wait – Contact a Burglary Defense Attorney Today

The sooner you talk to the Law Office of David P. Shapiro, the faster we can help protect your future

We offer comprehensive case evaluations to help you understand your legal options and better decide your burglary defense options. Our criminal defense team is available daily, ready to protect your rights when accused of burglary or soon after your arrest.

Don’t let burglary charges derail your life. Schedule your consultation today.


If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges in California, swift action is imperative. The penalties can be life-altering and long-lasting. Give us a call today to set up a case evaluation with one of our attorneys and learn how to best protect your freedom and future. Too often, we see clients who “wait and see,” unsure of the legal landscape ahead, only for charges to escalate. They then find themselves backpedaling into a bad defense and an even worse lawyer. Don’t let that happen to you. Protect your freedom. Protect your future. Know your rights.

The contents of this article are meant for informational and marketing purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Viewing and/or use of the blog does not form an attorney-client relationship. No statements in this post are a guarantee, warranty, or prediction of a particular result in your case.


Client Reviews

Real Clients Share Their Experience

“We found ourselves in a tough situation with our child facing a strike felony with a sentence of up to 7 years. I made several calls to find an attorney we were comfortable with but had not made a decision due to not really knowing what was to come and how fast the initial court date was scheduled from the time of arrest. We went to the first court date with a public defender and later received a call from Mr. Shapiro’s office to ask how things had gone (I had mentioned our court date the first time I called their office). When I received that call, I had plenty of questions that were answered without rush. We ended up scheduling a time to meet to discuss the case. We found out that Juvenile cases highly differ from adult cases when it comes to how they are handled, decision making, trial etc. We always felt comfortable, he worked with us on legal fees and was always very responsive whether it be emails or phone calls. We never felt brushed off. Our child was released, placed on probation and given the opportunity to have the record sealed after successful completion. We really feel that Mr. Shapiro truly cares about his clients and I would highly recommend him to anyone facing legal issues.”
— Avvo Review