Possession of Burglary Tools


There are a number of items that can be considered burglary tools. The most popular of the list includes a crowbar, screwdriver, picklock, or master key. To be charged with possession of burglary tools under the California Penal Code, there must be evidence, not only that you were in possession of them, but that you had a criminal intent to use them to carry out a burglary.

The purpose of laws prohibiting this type of activity is an attempt to prevent more serious offenses. However, laws like the one criminalizing possession of burglary tools make it easy to charge an innocent person. If you find yourself on the wrong side of the law and being accused of this crime, you should retain the services of a San Diego burglary and robbery lawyer immediately.

Penalties for a Possession of Burglary Tools Conviction

If charged with the crime of possession of burglary tools, the prosecution must first prove that you were in physical possession of the tools and, secondly, that you had a criminal intent to use them. The latter is often the tricky part of proving this offense. There is no real way to prove what is on the mind of an accused person at the time of arrest, and so these cases are won and lost on circumstantial evidence.

The penalties associated with a charge of possession of burglary tools are based on its classification as a misdemeanor. If found guilty, you could be facing probation, up to 6 months in jail time and a possible fine. While the offense is not a felony, the possibility of jail time and having a criminal record are two of the top reasons you should get a lawyer to provide criminal defense representation.

Defending Your California Possession of Burglary Tools Charge

In addition to the elements of the crime and its penalties, you will need to know the legal defenses you can use. Every criminal case will vary, but any one of the following defenses may be viable depending on the circumstances of your case:

  • The items found were not burglary tools – The law is very specific about the items that can be classified as burglary tools. Proving that the items were not in the specific classification is one of fact and can be easily dealt with even before trial.
  • There is no criminal intent – Since this is the hardest element of the crime to prove, any legal justification for having the items is solid evidence to dispel any criminal intent.
  • Illegal search and seizure – The police are required to carry out all search and seizure operations within the boundaries of the law. If the tools in your case were recovered during an illegal search, you may be able to have evidence obtained during the search kept out of court. That may lead to a dismissal or acquittal.

It is good to be informed of the crime with which you have been charged. However, it’s generally inadvisable to try to represent yourself in a criminal court. Get an experienced and qualified San Diego lawyer to lead your legal team.

How San Diego Burglary Attorney Jessica McElflesh Can Help

The California criminal judicial system can be intimidating. The rules are technical and can be confusing to the untrained person. Additionally, the high emotions associated with the possible outcome of your case is why you need a steady and experienced hand to handle your matter in court.

For years, McElfresh Law has been serving those charged with criminal offenses in San Diego, California. As a San Diego lawyer, Jessica McElfresh can provide exceptional legal advocacy. Her commitment is to provide the legal solution to your current situation.

We know that fighting your charge is important to you. At McElfresh Law, we are committed to journeying with you on the path to securing a not guilty verdict and restoring your freedom. Possession of burglary tools is a serious charge, and you should call McElfresh Law at (858) 756-7107 to be your San Diego burglary and robbery lawyer.