(951) 667-5293

Orange County:

(714) 758-5293

who you hire can make all the difference

Mr. Donath has spent his entire career defending people and standing up for the rights of the accused.

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  • former deputy public defender

    As a former Deputy Public Defender in Riverside County, Mr. Donath has always been on the defense side of the law. 

  • award winning certified criminal law specialist

    Top 100 Trial Attorneys in California 2012-2014, 2008 Trial Attorney of the Year by the Riverside County Public Defender's Office, and dozens of other awards and accolades.

  • a true passion for defending the accused

    Your lawyer should have a passion for defense, not just a passion for money. Reputation, vigor, and determination go a long way in this business.

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Riverside Burglary Lawyer

California burglary charges may carry serious consequences for those found guilty; however, our award-winning Riverside burglary attorney will pour over your case specifics and engineer a strong case in your defense.

What is a Burglary Charge in California?

Burglary, robbery, and theft are confusing crimes- but ones your Riverside defense lawyer should have a clear understanding of. They seem very similar, but under California law, they are discrete and complex incidents. In California, burglary is akin to the term “breaking and entering.” You may be charged with burglary if the prosecution deems you were entering a structure or automobile with the intent of committing a felony once inside. Here are some examples of how you may commit burglary:

  • You break into a house to steal electronics or jewelry.
  • You enter someone’s open garage to steal equipment.
  • You go into a bank to fraudulently cash a check.
  • You break a car window to steal electronics or other items.

It is important to note that in the state of California, you do not have to forcibly gain entry to commit burglary. Walking into an unlocked house to take items that are not yours is still considered burglary.

These incidents may be charged as felonies or misdemeanors. Depending on the extent and location of the burglary, it may be charged as a first degree or second degree crime. Here are the general guidelines:

  • First degree felonies are also known as residential burglaries. When you enter any dwelling where people live (such as a house, hotel room, or apartment) with the intent of committing a felony, you will be subject to this charge. Residential burglaries carry a maximum sentence of up to six years in prison.
  • Second degree burglaries are also known as commercial burglaries. This refers to any instance where you gain entry to a place where people do not live, like a business or store. A commercial burglary is known as a “wobbler,” which means it may be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. It is up to the discretion of the prosecution’s office, who will consider your criminal history or other circumstances. You may be sentenced to 1-3 years in jail. 

I Have Been Arrested for Burglary. Now What?

Being arrested can bring forth a flurry of emotions. However, if you are arrested, it is important to keep a level head. First, you should never answer any questions about the incident without legal representation present. Police officers and prosecuting attorneys are trained to coax information out of you in tricky ways. You may offer information that incriminates you without even realizing it. For that reason, you should remain silent until your lawyer arrives.

At the Law Offices of Graham D. Donath, APC, we believe it is important to keep our clients informed every step of the process. That being said, every single case is unique, and it is impossible to make an exhaustive list of defense tactics our Riverside burglary  use to defend our clients. However, there are a few common approaches we can use to get your charges reduced or dismissed:

  • Association. You may have been present when the burglary occurred, but you did not enter or have the intent to commit the felony. In other words, you were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • Intent. To make a burglary conviction stick, the prosecution must prove that you entered a structure with the intent to commit a felony. If you believe you did not intend to commit a felony until after you entered the structure, the burglary did not occur.
  • Belief. You entered a structure because you believed you had permission to, and you took items that you either believed were yours or had permission to take.

Hire an Unmatched Criminal Defense Attorney

The key to securing the best outcome possible is to obtain the services of a criminal defense lawyer who will defend you tirelessly. If you are ready for an initial consultation, do not hesitate to contact our office.