Burglary is a crime that is always coupled with another crime. Burglary occurs when a person enters any house, room, apartment, shop, warehouse, store, tent, or floating home among other dwellings and storage facilities with the intent to commit petty theft or grand theft or to commit another felony. Therefore, one who enters a house without the intent to steal or commit a felony is not guilty of burglary. The issue of intent requires the technical knowledge of an expert criminal defense attorney.

There are two forms of burglary, first degree burglary and second degree burglary. Any burglary of an inhabited dwelling is considered burglary in the first degree, while any other burglary is of the second degree. This means that robbing a person’s home (breaking and entering with intent to steal) is first degree but robbing a cargo container (unless someone lives in it) is burglary of the second degree.

The punishment and possibility of a strike on your record for a burglar charge will depend upon several factors. Burglaries are typically classified by degree: a first degree burglary is the most common and is often referred to as “residential burglary” or "home burglary." If convicted, you may face 2, 4, or 6 years in state prison and will get a strike on your criminal record. A second degree burglary, usually for a lesser burglary charge such as shoplifting, has a lesser sentence and does not count as a strike on your record.