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Burglary is a commonly misunderstood charge that involves entering a building or structure with the intent to commit a crime. It is important to note that you could face these charges even if you did not actually do anything once you allegedly entered the building. Simply entering can be enough for the police to accuse you of a crime.
If you are accused of burglary, you might be scared, overwhelmed, or confused. At the Grand Canyon Law Group, our Scottsdale burglary lawyers are here to explain the laws in your case and fight tirelessly to protect your rights. Our relentless defense attorneys will represent your best interests and contest the case against you using every available strategy.
Essentially, burglary is when a person enters someone else’s property with the intent to commit a crime. Accordingly, a key concept in these cases is the idea of intent. In many cases, this involves inferences about a defendant’s state of mind. A Scottsdale attorney can fight allegations of intent to defeat burglary charges.
There are three distinct degrees of burglary under state law, each with its own requirements for conviction and associated penalties.
Under Arizona Revised Statute § 13-1506, this is the basic form of burglary. This charge requires the prosecutor to prove that the defendant knowingly entered a non-residential building or fenced commercial area with the intent to commit a crime. The defendant does not need to actually commit this crime. A conviction here is a Class 4 felony with a minimum jail sentence of one year and a maximum of 3.75 for a first offense.
Under AZ Rev. Stat. § 13-1507, this carries the same basic definition as burglary in the third degree but involves entering any residential structure with the intent to commit a crime. This is a Class 3 felony with a sentencing range of two to 8.74 years for a first offense.
Under AZ Rev. Stat. § 13-1508, the State attempts to prove that a defendant committed a burglary while possessing explosives, a deadly weapon, or any other dangerous item. Convictions here are Class 2 felonies in the case of residential structures or Class 3 felonies if the property is commercial. For a Class 2 felony, a first conviction can lead to a minimum of three and a maximum of 12.5 years imprisonment.
All burglary charges share a common core: a person unlawfully enters another’s building or fenced property to commit a crime. The severity of the case depends upon the type of building and any items that the defendant was carrying at the time of entry. The knowledgeable local attorneys at our firm can further explain the legal nuances and penalties for each burglary charge.
Any burglary charge is a felony with the potential to permanently change your life. A conviction will carry a mandatory jail sentence and create a permanent criminal record. Don’t take any unnecessary chances when it comes to your future and way of life.
A Scottsdale burglary lawyer will examine the facts behind your arrest and listen to your goals for the case. If you want to obtain a fair plea deal, the team at Grand Canyon Law Group can argue the strength of your case and work toward an offer from the State. If you wish to bring the case to trial, our former prosecutors know how to effectively cross-examine witnesses and challenge evidence to show that you cannot be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Call us today to discuss your case and learn how we can fight for you.