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It is illegal to enter the private land, building, or structure of another person or company without the owner’s permission. In many instances, these are mere trespasses that are lesser offenses under state law. However, entering property without the owner’s permission can bring felony-level charges if a prosecutor believes that you were there with the intent to commit another crime.
This concept under the law is called burglary. Burglary is always a felony that can result in a multiple-year prison sentence. As a knowledgeable attorney can explain, there are many versions of this offense, each with its own penalties and legal definitions. At Grand Canyon Law Group, a Tempe burglary lawyer is ready to fight for you no matter what specific charges you face.
There are three levels of burglary in the state’s criminal code. Each of these comes with its own elements that a prosecutor must prove and unique penalties upon conviction. However, the core concept behind these charges remains the same.
The central concept in any burglary case is that a person entered an area, home, building, or structure without the owner’s permission with the intent to commit a crime. The type of place in question and whether the defendant was carrying a weapon or other dangerous item determine the severity of the offense.
Arizona Revised Statute § 13-1506 describes burglary in the third degree. This involves entering a non-residential structure or a fenced commercial area with the intent to commit a crime. This is a class 4 felony.
AZ Rev. Stat. § 13-1507 defines burglary in the second degree. This is a class 3 felony that involves entering a residential structure.
AZ Rev. Stat. § 13-1508 describes a burglary in the first degree, a class 2 or 3 felony. Here, the defendant faces accusations of committing a burglary while having a deadly weapon or another dangerous item. The charge is a class 2 felony if the building is a residence and a class 3 felony in all other circumstances. A burglary attorney at our firm can help those accused of burglary better understand the nature of their charges.
Like all criminal charges, the prosecutor needs to prove each element of a burglary case beyond a reasonable doubt. As such, a successful defense can involve showing that any one element of a case does not meet this standard. For example, a Tempe burglary attorney could argue that a defendant had permission to be on the property in question. A lawyer could also ask a jury to consider whether a defendant had the intent to commit another crime while on the property.
Demonstrating reasonable doubt about any part of a case compels a jury to return a verdict of not guilty. Our relentless burglary attorneys could work toward this outcome by challenging the admissibility of evidence, cross-examining witnesses, or introducing information that places a defendant at a different location at the time of the event.
All allegations related to burglary require a robust legal defense. Accusations that you entered someone else’s property to commit a crime could lead to felony charges, even if you did not take any further action while inside. The severity of the allegation will depend on the nature of the property and whether you were allegedly in possession of a dangerous item.
At Grand Canyon Law Group, a Tempe burglary lawyer can provide crucial help no matter the circumstances of your arrest. Our former prosecutors work to evaluate the legality of police work involved in your case and build defenses to create reasonable doubt on your behalf. Reach out to us now to learn how we can fight for your way of life.