Burglary is a serious offense in Phoenix. There are in any other area of Arizona, as per A.R.S. §13-1506, §13-1507 and §13-1508, it can occur when an individual intentionally enters a property in an unlawful manner with the intent of committing a theft or felony. First degree Burglary involves an individual entering a residential building without a weapon or dangerous instrument. Second degree Burglary happens when a person enters a residential structure without a weapon. However, third degree Burglary is when an individual enters a residential yard or commercial area that is fenced in or enters a motor vehicle without a key but by manipulating their way inside.
Punishments for a Burglary Conviction
There are various punishments for the crime of burglary. With first degree Burglary, if the offense was committed in a residential building, it is generally considered a class two felony. With that being said, the punishment may include probation, no jail time to one year of jail or a prison term ranging from three to 12 and a half years. With one prior conviction, prison only terms can last four and one half to 23 and one quarter years. If the individual has two previous convictions, the prison only term will last 10 and a half to 35 years. If the crime was committed in a structure that is not residential or in a fenced commercial or residential yard, it is charged as a class three felony. Punishment for a first offense includes probation, jail time ranging from zero days to a year or a prison sentence of two to eight and three quarter years. With a prior conviction, the person can find himself or herself with a prison sentence of three and one half to 16 and one quarter years. In the instance of two prior convictions, the prison term will last seven and a half to 25 years.
A second degree Burglary case can be charged as a class three felony. With a first offense, the punishment in this instance may be probation with no jail or as much as a year in jail or a prison stay that can range anywhere from two years to eight and three quarter years. With a prior conviction, the prison only term can be three and a half to 16 and one quarter years served. However, with two prior convictions, a person can face a prison only sentence lasting seven and a half to as much as 25 years of incarceration.
With a third degree Burglary, it is usually charged as a class four felony. With a first offense, the punishment can be probation with no jail time or up to one years of jail or a prison term ranging one to three and one quarter years. If the individual has one prior felony conviction, they will receive a prison only sentence that can range from two and one quarter years to seven and a half years. With two previous felony convictions, however, the person may spend anywhere from six to 15 years in prison.
Defenses for Burglary Charges in Arizona
There are several defenses for Burglary. One of the chief ones is ‘lack of intent’. An aggressive criminal lawyer will explain that while the defendant was in a place they did not have permission to be, they had absolutely no intention of committing a felony. This generally reduces the charge to “trespassing”. There is also the defense of “mistake of fact”, which is often used when the individual is drinking or unfamiliar with the area and they enter a resident by accident. Another possible defense is to prove that the individual entered the property solely to gain permission to use the phone or for another type of assistance but that the owner called the police before the defendant could explain.
Common defenses include violation of Miranda rights, denial of right to counsel and that the defendant was intimidated into confessing. Testing can also be done to prove forensic flaws (i.e. fingerprints DNA, etc.) in the case.
If you are in need of an attorney for a Burglary charge in Arizona, contact David Michael Cantor. David is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization and our firm is rated AV® by Martindale-Hubbell®. For a free case review, please call our offices 24 hours a day at (602) 737-2812, or send us an email through our secure email form.