If you are charged with burglary in the state of Arizona, you are facing felony charges. Though this state has three different classifications for burglary, varying in seriousness, each classification is a felony.
What this means for you is that you could be labeled a convicted felon for the rest of your life if convicted. Fortunately, not every charge ends in a conviction and you may be able to avoid the worst of these penalties depending on the facts of your case and your attorney’s assistance.
Arizona Burglary Laws
Under Arizona law, burglary is separated into three distinct classifications. Burglary in the first degree is the most serious and therefore carries the more severe penalties. But, each one has the potential to land you in prison.
Third Degree Burglary is described as doing one of the two following things:
- Unlawfully entering or remaining in a nonresidential structure or fenced in area with the intent of committing any theft or felony, or
- Unlawfully gaining entry into any part of a vehicle with burglar’s tools with the intent of committing any theft or felony.
This charge is considered a Class 4 felony and carries 18 months to 3 years in prison.
Second Degree Burglary is defined as: unlawfully entering or remaining in or on a residential structure with the intent of committing any theft or felony. This could apply to a home, apartment building, or any place where people reside. It is a Class 3 felony and carries 2 ½ to 7 years in prison.
First Degree Burglary, the most serious of burglary offenses, is defined as committing either 2nd or 3rd degree burglary with the use of a firearm, explosive, or other deadly weapon. If the offense is committed on a residential structure, it is a Class 2 felony, carrying 4 to 10 years in prison. If it is committed against another structure or fenced in area, it is a Class 3 felony carrying 2 ½ to 7 years.
As you can see, no burglary charge in Arizona is a minor charge. On the contrary, you are facing more than a year in prison even for the least serious of the three classifications. If you notice, the law doesn’t even require that you actually take anything. Merely having the intent to take something or commit a felony is enough to gain a conviction.
If you are charged with burglary in the state of Arizona, we may be able to put you in contact with a local attorney. Contact us today.