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Name: People v. Villalobos
Case #: E038143
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 11/30/2006

Appellants appealed their convictions for first degree robbery and burglary, arguing that an occupied motel room is not an “inhabited dwelling house” within the meaning of the relevant statutes if the room is rented only for one night. The appellate court rejected the argument. Burglary is a crime against habitation. In most circumstances, a motel room is rented for habitation regardless of the length of time for which the room is rented. A motel room can be “occupied” for purposes other than use as a temporary dwelling. A room used for a meeting or to transact business is not “inhabited” for purposes of the statute. Here, however, it was undisputed that the victim intended to stay overnight in the room. Therefore properly instructed jurors could not have failed to conclude that the motel was being used for temporary habitation.