A number of defenses may be available to people in California who are facing burglary charges. The burden on the prosecution is to prove all three elements that must be involved for a charge of burglary to stand. In other words, they must prove that the person intended to commit a crime when they broke into and entered a house or other structure that was occupied.
A defendant may want to plead innocence. This could be supported by questioning any forensic evidence or providing an alibi. The jury must be convinced by the prosecution’s case beyond a reasonable doubt, so introducing elements of uncertainty into the case could be sufficient.
Another approach to defense involves admitting to the action but denying that a crime took place. The case could hinge upon whether or not the property owner had previously given consent to enter the property and whether that consent was ever revoked. In some cases, if a defendant reasonably believed they had consent, this might be sufficient. A defendant who is voluntarily intoxicated at the time might be able to argue that intent did not exist. Entrapment is another possibility if the defendant was made by another person to commit the burglary when they would not have on their own.
A person who is facing charges for a property crime like burglary might also discuss the possibility of a plea bargain with their attorney and the prosecution if none of these defenses seem likely. In a plea bargain, the person pleads guilty, but it is often to lesser charges that carry less severe penalties. An attorney might also seek to get a case dismissed if the defendant’s civil rights have been violated. For example, the evidence might have been obtained illegally.