Burglary crimes break down into two categories: Second degree commercial burglary (commonly known as shoplifting); and First degree residential burglary, which is a very serious crime. More information about shoplifting can be found here.

First degree burglary is defined as

“Entering any house, room, apartment, tenement, shop, warehouse, store, mill, barn, stable, outhouse or other building, tent, vessel, floating home, railroad car, locked or sealed cargo container, trailer coach, any house car, inhabited camper, vehicle as defined by the Vehicle Code, aircraft, or mine or any
underground portion thereof, with intent to commit grand or petit larceny or any felony.

In other words, if you enter any house or other enclosed structure or vehicle for the purpose of stealing something or committing a felony, you can be found guilty of a burglary.

First Degree Burglary is a strike offense. You can find more information about strike offenses here. First Degree Burglary is a serious offense under California Penal Code Section 1192.7. First Degree Burglary where there is a person inside the house or structure at the time of the burglary is a violent felony under California Penal Code Section 667.5(c).

Defenses to an accusation of burglary depend on the evidence in each individual case, but may involve an alibi if the exact time of the burglary can be established, or may involve proving that the defendant had permission to be in the property, or that the defendant did not have the requisite intent to steal property or to commit a felony.

You need an experienced attorney to determine the appropriate defense in your case.