We're not trying to scare you into picking up the phone and calling us. If you were arrested and charged with burglary, you already know what you're facing - a stretch in prison. You may or may not be afraid of that. But you won't call us for something you already know. You might call us, though, because it's our job as criminal defense lawyers to erase or minimize this stretch in prison. And it's hard to put a price on that.
A conviction for burglary can result in the following:
- Permanent criminal record
- Heavy fines
- Prison sentence
- Forfeiture of the stolen property back to the victim
What you might not know is if there have been other burglaries in the area, prosecutors and cops could try to connect you to those as well. That could mean multiple burglary charges and a longer sentence in prison than you thought. And if you had a gun or other weapon on you, the prison sentence gets worse - around 20 years or so worse, depending on the situation.
At Suzuki Law Offices, our Phoenix criminal lawyers defend people against burglary charges and all other types of theft crimes. Eyewitness testimony and security cameras can be unreliable, so we work with private investigators and forensic experts to challenge the evidence. Our goal is to do our best to get the charges dismissed, get you an acquittal, or arrange a favorable plea bargain.
Types of Burglaries and Their Penalties
In Arizona, there are three different degrees of burglary carrying different kinds of penalties.
In general, burglary falls under one of the following categories:
- First degree burglary A.R.S. 13-1508: Unlawfully entering a home, business, or property while in possession of a weapon or explosive device with the intent to steal. For non-residential property, this is a class 3 with a mandatory term of 5 to 15 years in prison. For residential property, this is a class 2 felony with a mandatory term of 7 to 21 years in prison.
- Second degree burglary A.R.S. 13-1507: Illegally entering or remaining in a residential building in order to commit a theft or felony. This is a class 3 felony and may receive a term of 2.5 to 7 years in prison.
- Third degree burglary A.R.S. 13-1506: Entering a non-residential building, fenced property, or automobile in order to steal or commit a felony. This is a class 4 felony and may receive a term of 1.5 to 3 years in prison.
Distinguishing Between Burglary & Robbery
To put it simply, the key difference between burglary and robbery is robbery involves the use of force or threat of force while committing theft, while burglary involves entering property to commit theft. Both involve varying penalties depending on the circumstances.
- Burglary involves unlawful entry into a home, business, or other property with the intention to commit a theft when the owner is not present. An example of burglary would be entering a person’s house and taking items while the owner is away at work. Burglary can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the severity of the crime.
- Robbery, on the other hand, is always a felony crime, as it involves trying to take something (or someone) using force or threat of force. Where burglary does not involve the presence of a victim, robbery does. An example of a robbery would be entering a business and demanding money from a safe while threatening employees with a weapon.
Burglary is a serious charge. If you've been arrested for burglary, contact our firm today.
Even if you did not commit the actual crime of burglary, you can still be charged with possession of burglary tools if you have in your possession instruments that show you had intent to commit burglary.
Regardless of what type of burglary charges you are facing, have an experienced burglary defense attorney evaluate your case.
Our team at Suzuki Law Offices understands what it takes to fight these charges and aim for a reduced sentence or a complete dismissal of these charges.
Some examples of burglary tools can include:
- Lock picks
- Heavy duty tools that can burn through steel or concrete
- Masks and gloves to conceal identity
- Master keys that can gain entry into a vehicle or property to steal
- Ropes to climb over walls
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