Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

when is a home under construction considered a "house" as it is used in 459PC Burglary?

Asked on 5/08/12, 9:28 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Theresa Hofmeister Theresa Hofmeister, Attorney At Law

I would not think so, because the heightened protection for home/house, is for the people living there and promoting feeling safe in their sanctuary. If there's not only no one living there, but no one able to live there, it doesn't seem that would apply.

Residential burglary deals with an "inhabited dwelling" and for purposes of burglary, a "building" is defined as something like, 'a structure designed for and having the capacity to contain people or animals, or to shelter property.' If I'm wrong, someone else will chime in. Good luck!

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Answered on 5/08/12, 11:00 am
Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

It is going to depend on the status of construction at the time the crime occurs. Don't forget that even if a home is not constructed yet, the DA can bring other charges for trespass and stealing construction materials and tools.

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Answered on 6/07/12, 9:02 am

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