When police investigate a suspected burglary, they carefully comb the scene for evidence that a suspect might have left behind.
In extreme cases, suspects might leave themselves behind (as with this recent alleged break-in involving a suspect who fell asleep on the victim's couch). But more often, the evidence is subtle. It can also remain open to multiple interpretations.
Interpreting evidence from a burglary
According to California Penal Code 459, burglary involves entering a house or breaking into a car, with the intent to perpetrate theft or some kind of felony.
Fingerprints and DNA evidence (as from hair or blood) are two key types of evidence suspects might leave behind. But even though these pieces of evidence are considered powerful, they aren't always conclusive. They might prove that you were on the scene, but they don't necessarily show when or why. You might have been at the burglary location lawfully, in a way that's unconnected to the crime.
Burglary suspects sometimes get arrested after leaving certain possessions behind, ranging from cellphones to tools (such as rope). But even if the police find your possessions, what does this mean? Maybe a friend or acquaintance had borrowed them without your knowledge. Maybe you had left something behind on a previous occasion, again unconnected with the burglary.
Even video evidence is subject to multiple interpretations. Video might show you on the scene, but has it captured you perpetrating petty theft or a felony? Does the video clearly show your intentions when you entered a store or slipped into someone's house?
These are some of the critical issues to think about if you're charged with burglary. Be sure to contact us to discuss your case. We're located near the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, California and offer dedicated legal assistance to both adults and juveniles from the Temecula, Menifee, Wildomar, Perris, Lake Elsinore, Hemet, Banning, Corona and Riverside areas.