Will I get a felony charge from going into an abandoned house? 6 Answers as of February 27, 2011

I have been charged with burglary by going into an abandoned house that is commercially owned by the bank. I went in there with a friend. Inside the house everything was vandalized more than I could explain. I had nothing on me when I got caught, no drugs, no alcohol, nothing except my phone, ipod and keys. I told the cops I was not doing anything in the house and I told them we were just checking it out because we heard from students that there was an abandoned house. I am 19 years old. The only thing that I have on my side is that I got caught outside the house by running from the cops. On my papers it says that there is only a burglary charge and the bail was $75,000! Too much money for a bail like this. I have no other warrants or any priors at all. I also go to college and I have a clean record. Nothing is putting me into jeopardy besides this. Do you think I will get charged with state or prison time? Please give me an honest answer, since I have a bright future ahead of me. My court date is on April 5th and I would appreciate any advice. I do not have any money for a lawyer so a public defender is all I have. Please help.

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Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
Contact the public defender. The public defender will be able to look at your case and see what's going on. Follow the public defenders advice for your best results.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/27/2011
Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
If the cops want to be pricks they can charge it as a felony burglary is that is what it is. Entering the dwelling place of another. . . However, hopefully your Public Defender can negotiate it down to a misdemeanor trespass. There is even a trespass that is an infraction (like a traffic ticket it does not go on your record) but the chances of getting that result are slim to none. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/24/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
Assuming that you are out of custody, make the court appearance. That will go along way toward keeping you out. Call the court and see if a complaint has been filed. If so, see if you can advance the court date. There are two reasons for this. 1) until you appear in court, the warrant remains effective and you can be arrested anytiime. 2) related to the 1)st, if you are appearing out of custody and have taken the steps to advance the case it is easier to convince a judge that you would return to court as required. Based on only your representation of events, I think a burglary charge would be very difficult to prove. In fact, I think it difficult to prove even trespassing.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/24/2011
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
Without looking at the police report it will be impossible to say. What worries me is that you were running away from the police. Even if you were not up to anything the fact that you ran from the police will not look good.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/24/2011
LynchLaw
LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
It sounds like, from your question and the amount of bail, you have already been charged with a felony. I have to assume your question is will I have a felony conviction. Based on what you have shared it seems you would only be guilty of trespassing, and therefore face no prison and have no felony record.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/24/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Will you? You already have been. Felony Burglary is a possible charge for such entry. It carries prison time if convicted. If you can't afford private counsel, you can apply for the Public Defender.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/24/2011
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