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In California, the law breaks down the crime of burglary into two distinct categories. First is residential, second is commercial. As a Manhattan Beach Criminal Defense and DUI Attorney I am often asked what the difference is between the two. The most significant difference is that residential, as opposed to commercial burglary, is a strike felony which means that a conviction will stay with you forever and a second conviction for any felony will result in the doubling of any sentence. A third conviction will carry a life sentence. Commercial burglary or 2nd degree burglary is not a strike and will not result in the harsh penalties dicussed above.
The elements of a commercial burglary are the entry into a non-residential structure to commit either a theft or any felony. It is the entry that is key, if there is no intent to commit a felony or theft at the time of entry than there can be no burglary. For further information about defending this type of offense contact me for a free consultation.