No criminal charge is a good criminal charge. If you can avoid ever being arrested and charged with a crime, it’s highly recommended. But, there are some criminal offenses that carry far more severe repercussions than others. In Arizona, burglary is one of those offenses.
It doesn’t matter what classification of burglary you commit or the circumstances of your offense, if the prosecution believes you committed burglary, you will face felony charges.
Fortunately, we may be able to help.
A burglary charge is not as dire as a conviction—you still have time to minimize the effects of these charges on your life. With the assistance of a local criminal defense attorney, you can fight these allegations and work towards a positive resolution of your case.
Arizona Burglary Laws & Penalties
Under Arizona Revised Statutes Title 13, burglary is classified into three different categories. The specific facts of your case and the evidence of the prosecution determines what specific classification you will be charged with, and your subsequent sentence.
Burglary in the 3rd Degree
Third degree burglary is defined as:
- Entering or remaining unlawfully in a nonresidential structure or fenced yard with the intent to commit any theft or felony, or
- Gaining entry into any part of a vehicle with a master key or “manipulation key” with the intent of committing any theft or felony.
This means you can be charged with burglary in the 3rd degree without taking anything. Merely the intent to steal or even the intent to commit a felony is enough to warrant this charge.
Third degree burglary is classified as a Class 4 Felony. Class 4 felonies carry a potential 18 months to 3 years in prison.
Burglary in the 2nd Degree
You could be facing charges of second degree burglary if you are suspected of:
- Entering or remaining unlawfully in or on a residential structure (home, apt. building, etc.) with the intent of committing any theft or felony.
This offense is classified as a Class 3 Felony and carries up to 2 ½ to 7 years in prison.
Burglary in the 1st Degree
First degree burglary is the most serious burglary charge. If you face this charge, it’s because the prosecution has evidence that you:
- Committed either 2nd or 3rd degree burglary while you or an accomplice possessed any explosives, deadly weapons, or dangerous instruments.
If the alleged criminal act was committed on a nonresidential structure or fenced area, you will face charges of a Class 3 felony carrying 2 ½ to 7 years in prison. If, however, the act was committed on a residential structure like a home or apartment, you face Class 2 felony charges, which carry 4 to 10 years in prison.
The stakes are high when up against penalties like these. A local defense lawyer can help. All cases are different and you deserve to work with someone who will give your case individualized attention.
Contact my offices today to discuss the details of your case.