People v. Gauze

15 Cal. 3d 709, 125 Cal. Rptr. 773, 542 P.2d 1365 (1975)

 

RULE:

A burglary is an entry which invades a possessory right in a building, and it must be committed by a person who has no right to be in the building.

FACTS:

After defendant and his roommate had a violent quarrel, defendant returned to their apartment with a gun and shot him. The trial court convicted defendant of burglary and assault with a deadly weapon. He appealed, and the appellate court affirmed the assault conviction but reversed the burglary conviction.

ISSUE:

Could defendant be found guilty of burglary for entering his own home with the intent to harm his roommate?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

The codification of the common law crime of burglary retained the element that burglary could not be committed by someone who had a right to be in the structure or who was invited to enter. Defendant could not be guilty of burglarizing his own home. His entry into the apartment, even for a felonious purpose, invaded no possessory right of habitation. More importantly, defendant had an absolute right to enter the apartment. Accordingly, he could not commit a burglary in his own home.

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