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Name: Magness v. Superior Court
Case #: S194928
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 06/07/2012

Using a remote control to open a garage door does not constitute an entry into the residence within the meaning of the burglary statute. The defendant was held to answer for first degree burglary based on evidence that he opened a garage door with a remote control but did not enter the garage. The Court of Appeal granted the defendant’s petition for writ of prohibition, ruling the evidence presented at the preliminary hearing established only an attempted residential burglary because the defendant did not enter the garage. The California Supreme Court affirmed. The slightest entry by a person’s body or an instrument penetrating the outer boundary of the building is necessary to complete a burglary. Here, the defendant allegedly used a remote control simply to open the garage door and no part of him or a tool entered or crossed the threshold of the garage. A defendant who opens a door but does not enter the structure may be charged with attempted burglary but not with a completed burglary.