Within the category of theft crimes, burglary is prosecuted as a serious criminal offense. Burglary is the unlawful entering or remaining unlawfully in a dwelling or building for the purpose of committing a felony or theft. If you have been accused of this crime, you face harsh penalties under the law.
Do not delay in seeking legal counsel to mitigate penalties or avoid or minimize the effects of a conviction. At Grand Canyon Law Group, a Mesa burglary lawyer can use all available legal strategies to vigorously defend you and protect your way of life. Our skilled defense attorneys are former prosecutors with decades of experience, and regularly handle these types of cases and are prepared to fight on your behalf.
In Arizona, there are three categories for the criminal offense of burglary. The severity of sentencing will vary depending on which degree the alleged act of burglary falls under. Burglary in the third degree is the least severe, with penalties increasing up to the first degree. But it is still a felony offense with possible exposure to significant prison time.
Under § 13-1506(A) of the Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.), a person commits burglary in the third degree if they unlawfully enter or remain in a place to commit a theft or felony crime. This location could be a nonresidential structure or a fenced commercial or residential yard.
A person could also be charged with third-degree burglary for unlawfully entering a vehicle using manipulation or a master key to commit a felony, as provided under A.R.S. § 13-506(A)(2).
If a person enters or remains on or in a residential structure with the intent to commit any theft or felony, they are committing burglary in the second degree under A.R.S. § 13-507.
As provided under A.R.S. § 13-1508(A), first degree burglary is when a person commits a third or second-degree burglary with aggravating factors. These include knowingly possessing any of the following during the course of the act:
Under the law, a person may be guilty of first-degree burglary or any other crime even if they are only an accomplice.
In Mesa and throughout Arizona, any degree of burglary is considered a felony offense. However, the severity of the criminal penalties assessed will vary depending on the degree of the crime.
It is a class 4 felony to commit burglary in the third degree under A.R.S. § 13-1506(B), which is punishable by imprisonment for up to 3.75 years if the accused has no prior felony convictions, much higher if they do. As provided under A.R.S. § 13-1507(B), burglary in the second degree is a class 3 felony, which can be penalized with up to 8.75 years in prison if they have no prior felonies, but much higher if they have a prior felony record.
Under A.R.S § 13-1508(B), first-degree burglary committed in a nonresidential structure or fenced commercial or residential yard is punishable as a class 3 felony. However, this charge rises to a class 2 felony if it is committed in a residential structure. The penalty for committing a class 2 felony is a prison sentence ranging from 3 to 12.5 years with no felony history. When one’s freedom is at stake, it is crucial to proactively defend against these harsh consequences by working with a skilled burglary attorney in the area.
Regardless of the degree, burglary is considered a severe criminal offense punishable by years of incarceration. In addition to facing severe prison sentences, having a burglary charge or conviction on your criminal record can negatively affect your future prospects and reputation.
If you were recently accused of this crime, reach out to a Mesa burglary lawyer at our firm immediately. The attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group are former prosecutors who understand how to effectively combat these charges. Call us today to learn how we can protect your freedom, future, and way of life.