Commercial burglary, as defined by Greg Hill & Associates and California penal code 459, is the deliberate act of entering into a commercial building with the intent to steal something. A commercial building could be a retail store or an office.
According to Greg Hill & Associates, commercial burglary does not have to involve large monetary amounts. In some instances, a burglary charge may result from shoplifting items. This is because the law does not place a minimum monetary value on stolen items to meet the criteria for a felony. For instance, stealing a $50 item counts the same as stealing a $1,000 item. The penalty for commercial burglary depends on whether the prosecution chooses to file it as a misdemeanor or felony.
Intent is another legal factor that weighs heavily in commercial burglary cases. Greg Hill & Associates states that commercial burglary is committed when an offender enters a building fully prepared to steal. Offenders may carry tools that make stealing items easier. Offenders who enter any building without permission and commit other crimes also commit burglary, according to Nolo, a legal resource. Therefore, an offender who stealthily enters an office building with the intent to cause mischief could be charged with burglary as well.