Arizona’s burglary laws include several scenarios spanning three different burglary charges. Each of these crimes are felonies and that means prison if convicted.
Burglary is defined in Arizona law as entering and unlawfully remaining in a structure or on property intending to commit a theft or any other felony while inside. A conviction can result even if nothing was stolen during the break-in. All that is required is having the intent
are divided into three degrees.
is charged if the defendant knowingly had an explosive, a deadly weapon, or a dangerous instrument such as a hammer when entering a residence. This is a Class 2 felony. If the person so equipped enters a fenced commercial or residential yard, the action becomes a third degree offense.
burglary is entering or remaining in a residence intending to commit a theft or a felony. This degree is a Class 3 felony.
burglary is entering or remaining unlawfully with intent to steal or commit felony in a fenced residential or commercial yard. Unlawfully entering a motor vehicle to commit a theft or a felony is a Class 4 felony.
Simply possessing the common tools used for burglaries
, such as crowbars, slim jims, lock picks, master keys, torches or hammers, is a Class 6 felony.
Burglary conviction punishments
A first degree burglary charge, a Class 2 felony, is punished by a maximum sentence of up to 10 years. A Class 3 felony carries a maximum prison sentence of up to seven years. A Class 4 felony means a maximum of three years in prison. The maximum time in prison for a Class 6 felony is 1.5 years. In addition to prison the judge can levy fines of up to $150,000 for each felony.
Arizona’s sentencing structure
has five guidelines, mitigated, minimum, presumptive, maximum, and aggravated in non-dangerous offenses. A judge in sentencing has discretion in determining the length of a sentence and considers any previous criminal offenses and other factors.
Arizona burglary law explained
Under Arizona Revised Statute §13-1701
, a structure is broadly defined as any building, object, vehicle, watercraft, aircraft, or a place with sides and a floor intended for lodging, business, transportation, recreation, or storage. This includes a homeless person’s tent on a downtown sidewalk.
An occupied structure is defined as one or more people who are likely to be present inside or to be in danger should a nearby explosion or fire happen.
Property is defined as anything that has value and owned publicly or privately and includes government buildings, fenced commercial yards and private property.
Those who participate in the spike of grab-and-go commercial thefts do not meet the entering and remaining unlawfully element of burglary because commercial business doors are open to the public. But if the business is closed, unlawful entry and remaining does occur.
Law enforcement’s response
The greater Phoenix area is experiencing burglaries of homes and vehicles even in broad daylight. With crime increasing, Phoenix police are targeting the high crime corridor
west of I-17 including the 27th
Avenue, Indian School, Northern Avenue, Bell Road and the property of the defunct Metrocenter Mall property, which is being redeveloped into a residential and mixed use area.
reports that 7,406 burglaries have occurred in Phoenix but a time frame was not provided.
Life changing results of a felony conviction
A felony conviction is life changing and it will remain public record for 99 years for anyone to see, making it difficult to get a job and rent a place to live. Beyond serving time in prison and owing stiff fines, upon release you will not be allowed to own or possess a firearm, vote in any election, hold any public office, enlist in the military, go to college, or keep a professional license. And you will be placed on probation which comes with restrictions imposed by the court. If probation is violated, you will go back to prison.
Defenses for burglary charges
The prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, therefore the defense’s job is to present an argument or evidence to establish the doubt in the minds of jurors or a judge.
To prove a burglary charge, the state must prove each of the three elements that comprise the crime. These are (1) unauthorized breaking and entering (2) in an occupied structure or any building (3) with the intent to commit a crime once inside.
The common defenses are that the resident or owner of the home, business or vehicle gave you permission to enter and once inside you did not intend to commit a crime.
Arron M. Black Law for your burglary defense
I believe desperate times can induce good people to commit a burglary. This crime may also result from retrieving or attempting to get back personal property after a relationship ends badly. If you or a loved one is under an investigation for burglary or have been arrested, it is in your best interest to have a seasoned criminal defense attorney – such as Aaron M. Black – at your side as soon as possible to protect your legal rights. As we have seen, a burglary conviction has serious consequences for your freedom and future.
My goal is always to get the charges dismissed by conducting an independent investigation of the state’s evidence against you. Authorities are not interested in developing mitigating evidence or information that helps your case.
I will scrutinize the police report looking for inaccuracies, omissions, procedural errors, and the history of the officers involved in the case for any current or previous misconduct. I will interview any witnesses and develop information to help your defense by presenting mitigating evidence.
If a dismissal of the charge is not possible, I will work aggressively to have the charge reduced by negotiating a plea agreement with the prosecution, if you chose to enter a plea.
In using me for your defense, you will receive personalized service and will not be handed off to an assistant as some big law firms sometimes do. You will always be talking directly to me at every stage of the case.
Begin your defense by calling 480-729-1683 at any time day or night, weekends or holidays, and I will respond promptly unless I am in court or at trial. Or use my online contact form