When it comes to matters of the penal code, it’s pretty easy to get wrapped up in the fairly complicated legalese of the letter of the law and miss the entire point of what the law is actually trying to get across. This isn’t an accident–the law wasn’t really written for the average reader, but rather for experienced lawyers who’ve got years of reading and interpreting the law under their belts. With that said, we’re going to use this post to explore the crime of auto burglary, the definitions of it, punishments, as well as some defenses that you can use as well.
When it comes to auto burglary, this is committed when you either enter a locked vehicle, or else the trunk of a locked vehicle, with the actual intent to steal the car, steal any property that’s inside the car, or commit some other kind of felony once you’re in the vehicle. This charge is actually blanketed under the standard crime of burglary, and includes breaking into a car or some other kind of vehicle and committing a felony other than some sort of theft crime. It’s important to note that simply breaking into the car doesn’t apply to this crime. You have to break in with the intent to actually steal something for this particular charge to apply. So this can include smashing a window to get something inside, using a screwdriver to break into and then steal a car, and a variety of other examples that you can think of. This type of burglary is considered to be a second-degree burglary, which basically means that it’s a wobbler. In essence, a wobbler is a crime that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The final distinction is going to be determined by whatever the prosecutor chooses, depending of course on the severity of the crime. If you end up getting charged with the misdemeanor version of this crime, you’ll be looking at a sentence in county jail of up to a year, and then the felony version will give you a sentence of sixteen months, two years, or else three years. Seeing as how these punishments can definitely be on the more severe side, it’s definitely important that you look into the possible defenses at your disposal so you can get help.
There are a few legal defenses that you can use to get your charges dropped, or at the very least reduced. Among these, you can claim that the car wasn’t actually locked, or else that you didn’t intend to commit a felony while you were in the car, or that the evidence presented against you isn’t sufficient to hold the charges that were filed against you. And again, since you can be looking at some fairly substantial consequences should you be tried and successfully convicted of this crime, it’s best that you take these defenses into account before getting in touch with counsel.
As you can see, it’s not that difficult to piece together the different aspects of the law once you take apart the complicated language and get to the overall meaning underneath it all. Because at base, the law should be easy to understand so that people who are dealing with it won’t need to sift through complicated jargon while getting to the point. So if you’re facing some kind of legal trouble and can claim one of the defenses we’ve pointed out in this post, it’s definitely best that you reach out to counsel right away in order to get yourself some help.