Burglary is a theft crime involving the removal of property without permission. These felony charges carry varying degrees of severity and could lead to fines and long sentences in jail or prison upon conviction. Convicted felons also lose their rights to vote, own firearms, and obtain certain business and professional licenses.
Do not try to contest a burglary charge without the help of a seasoned attorney. A Citrus Park burglary lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group could ensure your rights are protected and work toward a favorable resolution to your case. We believe you have a way of life worth saving.
Burglary involves entering a residence, business, or vehicle without permission to take something or commit a felony. It is also illegal to remain somewhere without permission intending to commit theft or another felony. For example, entering a store while it is open but staying after it closes to commit a crime is burglary. A knowledgeable Citrus Park attorney can further explain the definitions of the following burglary offenses.
Possession of burglary tools is a Class 6 felony. The definition of burglary tools includes a master key that opens a group of locks or a manipulation key that opens various vehicles.
Third-degree burglary means entering or remaining in a non-residential structure or any fenced yard intending to commit a theft or another felony. Entering a vehicle with a master or manipulation key is also third-degree burglary. This offense is a Class 4 felony.
Second-degree burglary involves entering or remaining in a residential structure intending to commit theft or another felony. This charge is a Class 3 felony.
Arizona Statutes §13-1508 defines first-degree burglary as a person or accomplice entering a residential or commercial structure intending to commit theft or another felony while knowingly possessing a dangerous instrument, weapon, or explosives. If the structure was a business, the crime is a Class 3 felony. If it is a residence, the offense is a Class 2 felony. These severe charges require a strong defense from a skilled Citrus Park burglary lawyer.
When a person is convicted on felony charges, the judge has little discretion in sentencing. The range of sentences determined by law depends on the nature of the offense, any mitigating or aggravating factors, and the defendant’s criminal history.
A critical factor in sentencing is whether the crime is a “dangerous” offense.
First-degree burglary involves a weapon and is considered a dangerous offense. Second-degree burglary does not involve a weapon but does involve entering a home without permission. Depending on the circumstances, a court might construe an intrusion into a home as a dangerous offense.
The law determines the presumptive sentence for a crime, and the judge may then consider a sentence within a range depending on mitigating and aggravating factors. A seasoned burglary attorney at our firm can present evidence that could mitigate a sentence or disprove aggravating factors.
Mitigating factors could include a defendant’s:
If a judge finds mitigating factors, they could impose a sentence in the low end of the range.
Aggravating factors include using a weapon, any cruel or depraved acts committed during the crime, or using an accomplice. If a judge finds aggravating factors, they could impose a sentence in the high end of the range.
The defendant’s criminal history strongly impacts the sentence they might receive. For example, a person convicted of first-degree burglary would receive a presumptive sentence of 10.5 years in prison for a first felony conviction. Suppose the defendant has one prior felony conviction for a non-dangerous offense. In that case, the presumptive sentence becomes 15.75 years, which increases to 28 years if the offender has two prior non-dangerous felony convictions.
If already convicted of one dangerous felony, the prison sentence could range from 10.5 to 26.25 years. The range for a third dangerous felony conviction is 15.75 to 35 years in prison. When the stakes are this high, those accused of burglary need representation from a relentless attorney in Citrus Park.
In many cases, a conviction on a burglary charge could lead to a significant prison term. When facing harsh consequences, you need a seasoned advocate with experience in the local criminal courts.
At Grand Canyon Law Group, a Citrus Park burglary lawyer could find and present all relevant evidence to get the charges dismissed or reduced. When dismissal is not possible, we will work diligently to get the most favorable sentence in your situation. Call as soon as possible to begin building your defense.