Will I get a felony charge for getting caught for being in an abandoned house? 11 Answers as of February 11, 2011

I got caught for being in an abandoned house, do you think that i will get the felony charge? I have no priors and no warrants. I also go to college and have pretty good grades. this is my first time having a police record of any sort. thank you for your honest answer.

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Law Office of Marc K. Herbert
Law Office of Marc K. Herbert | Marc K. Herbert
Trespassing (going onto someone else's property) is a misdemeanor in California.

Going into an abandoned house might be considered second degree burglary, which can be a felony or a misdemeanor.

If there was any damage to the house that was not reported before your arrest, the owner could try to file a vandalism charge against you. If the amount of damage exceeds $400.00, vandalism could be a felony and a conviction will result in a one-year suspension of your driver's license.

As an adult,each felony could result in a maximum of 3 years in state prison, and the misdemeanors could involve a sentence of one year in county jail. Based on your lack of record and your performance at college, however, you should be able to negotiate a better result.

If you would like to talk about this case in more detail, please call my office.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/11/2011
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
If that is the only thing you were doing (just in the house) and not committing any other crime; you could be charged with misdemeanor trespassing.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/8/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
No. You should hire an attorney. You might get a "descent" offer from the DA and Judge in court, but , for this type of case, the better deals are made with lawyers in chambers where things are off the record.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/8/2011
The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann
The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann | Christopher J. McCann
Probably not. The only possible felony (absent other facts you haven't mentioned) is for 1st degree residential burglary. This doesn't sound like that, though it depends on whether it was truly abandoned and what you are doing in there. If you were in there to steal something or commit a felony, and people still live there, then it is possible.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/8/2011
Tomas M. Flores, Esq.
Tomas M. Flores, Esq. | Tomas M. Flores
Felony trespassing? I haven't seen anyone convicted of that. Is that the whole story? Who was the arresting agency?
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/7/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    If there is no more to the story then you should be charged with a misdemeanor trespass PC 602 and your lawyer should be able to negotiate it down to an infraction so it will not be on your permanent record. But if there is more to the story, then I can't answer your question without knowing those facts. You can email me if you want more info.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/7/2011
    Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy
    Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy | Ryan P. Murphy
    Unless vandalism occurred, this should only be a Misdemeanor. Per your record, a misdemeanor will hurt your chances of getting a job. You might want to consider the collateral consequences of a criminal record. Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact my office at your earliest convenience.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/7/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    I would need more specifics about your case, but based on your basic description below, I feel it is more likely that they would charge a misdemeanor as opposed to a felony. I would need to know more details to better answer that question though. Call me if you would like to discuss in further detail.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/7/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Youll know the actual charges filed when you appear for arraignment at your first court hearing. Burglary can be charged as a felony. If you are convicted of that, youll face potential prison time.

    The ONLY specific advice you should expect to get from here or elsewhere is to exercise your 5th Amendment rights to SHUT UP, and hire an attorney to speak for you. Most police and prosecutors will happily tell you that 95% of people convict themselves by trying to be 'helpful and cooperative'.

    When arrested and charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can you be convicted, and what can you do? Defend the charges. Go to court, enter a not guilty plea, set up and attend the court hearing[s] and trial date[s]. File evidence suppression or other motions as applicable. Raise all the available defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence and facts are available for legal arguments for motions, plea-bargaining, or at trial. Go to trial if it can't be resolved with motions or a plea bargain. There is no magic wand to wave and make it all disappear. If you don't know how to do these things, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain for you, or take it to trial. If serious about doing so, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help you use whatever defenses you may have. If you can't afford private counsel, you can apply for the Public Defender.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/7/2011
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