“Burglary charges are taken very seriously by prosecutors in Arizona. Burglary is a felony, and the penalties will depend on the facts surrounding the crime. Burglary can be charged in the third, second, or first degree.”
The type of criminal charge may depend on whether the burglary involved a residential structure, such as a home or apartment building, or a non-residential building, like an office or store. Breaking into a motor vehicle can also be charged as burglary. The seriousness of the crime is also increased if the defendant was armed at the time of the burglary.
Any felony may have long-term consequences for a convicted individual, and can affect their job prospects and legal rights. However, there are many defenses available to a defendant charged with burglary in Arizona.
Third Degree Burglary
Under Arizona Revised Statute 13-1506, a person commits burglary in the third degree by entering a structure, commercial yard, or residential yard with the intent to commit any theft or other felony. Remaining unlawfully in such an area also constitutes burglary. It is also considered burglary to break into a vehicle with a master key to commit theft or a felony. Third degree burglary is a class 4 felony. A conviction could result in up to three years in prison.
Second Degree Burglary
Under Arizona Revised Statute 13-1507, a person commits burglary in the second degree by entering or remaining unlawfully in a residential structure with the intent to commit theft or any felony. This is a class 3 felony, with penalties up to 7 years in prison.
First Degree Burglary
First degree burglary is the most serious burglary charge. Under Arizona Revised Statute 13-1508, a person commits burglary in the first degree by entering or remaining in a structure with the intent to commit theft or another felony, and possessing a dangerous instrument, explosive or deadly weapon in the commission of the felony. If it involves a nonresidential structure, it is a class 3 felony.
If the armed burglary involves a residential structure, it is a class 2 felony. A class 2 felony carries up to 10 years in prison. An individual who acts as an accomplice can also be charged with first degree burglary, and faces the same criminal sentencing.
Possession of Burglary Tools
The simple possession of burglary tools could lead to criminal charges. Common burglary tools could include a master key, crowbar, screwdriver, glass-breaking tools, lock pick, slim jim, bolt cutters, and gloves. Possessing a tool commonly used for committing burglary is a class 6 felony.
Tucson Criminal Defense Attorneys
At West, Longenbaugh and Zickerman, our criminal defense attorneys are here to help individuals and families throughout Tucson, Arizona. If you or a loved one has been charged with burglary, we will fight for you, to keep you out of jail and keep your record clean. Our team of lawyers are committed to addressing the individual needs of each of our clients and can assist you with all aspects of your criminal defense with big firm representation, small firm caring.