Law enforcement authorities in New River and throughout Arizona take all theft offenses seriously. However, they often investigate and prosecute allegations of burglary with even greater dedication. These criminal charges can be challenging to fight against, particularly if you have a history of convictions for other offenses.
Fortunately, help is available from a seasoned New River burglary lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group. Our dedicated attorneys have years of experience defending the interests of people in your situation. From initial investigations through the court proceedings, our legal team can be your tireless advocates working to protect your way of life.
Theft can occur in various ways in Arizona, some of which are classified as misdemeanor offenses under state law. Burglary, however, is always considered a felony offense. By definition, it involves someone committing an act of theft after entering a private structure without the permission or knowledge of that property’s owner, manager, or primary occupant. Even having something that could be used to facilitate burglary can have felony-level repercussions, as a New River attorney can further explain.
Under Arizona Revised Statutes §13-1505, anyone found in possession of any instrument or explosive commonly used for burglary who intends to use that item to commit a burglary may be prosecuted for a class 6 felony offense. Upon a first-time conviction, this charge could lead to anywhere from four months to two years of imprisonment depending on specific mitigating or aggravating factors. This statute also applies to buying, selling, transferring, or otherwise improperly using a building’s master key or a motor vehicle manipulation key.
There are three degrees of burglary offenses under state law, each differentiated by the type of structure involved in the alleged offense. Notably, the sentencing ranges mentioned below only apply to first-time offenders. As our local burglary lawyers can explain, harsher ranges apply to repeat offenders.
If the structure was a nonresidential structure, a fenced residential or commercial yard, or a motor vehicle entered using a master or manipulation key, the defendant could face charges of third-degree burglary under A.R.S. §13-1506. This is a class 4 felony with a sentencing range of one to 3.75 years.
According to A.R.S. §13-1507, entering or remaining within a residential structure intending to commit theft or another felony constitutes second-degree burglary. This is a class 3 felony that could result in two to seven years of imprisonment upon conviction.
Finally, first-degree burglary, as defined by A.R.S. §13-1508, involves committing a lower degree of burglary while possessing—or having an accomplice possess—any deadly weapon, explosive, or dangerous instrument. This is a class 2 felony punishable by between three and 12.5 years in prison if it involves a residential structure and is otherwise a class 3 felony.
Burglary offenses are punished severely compared to most other theft charges defined under Arizona state law. On top of that, anyone with a prior conviction for any felony may face much higher penalties for an alleged act of burglary, even if they have no prior record of other theft offenses.
Having support from a New River burglary lawyer can make a big difference in the outcome of your case. Do not hesitate to take the necessary steps to protect your future and freedom. Call Grand Canyon Law Group today to schedule a meeting.