What Are the Punishments for Burglary in Arizona?

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What Are the Punishments for Burglary in Arizona?

Whether you stole something of value or were caught with suspicious tools in your possession, in Arizona, any type of burglary is a felony. A guilty verdict could land you up to 35 years in prison, so if you’ve been charged with burglary, you’ll need a good lawyer on your side. Here’s how Arizona classifies different types of burglary.

Burglary, Trespassing, Theft, and Robbery—What’s the Difference? 

Arizona law defines burglary as entering a structure or dwelling with the intention to commit a crime. For burglary to be charged, there only needs to be evidence of intent—it does not matter whether a crime was committed. But even if there was no intention to commit a crime, if you get caught “breaking and entering” you can still be charged with trespassing.

The most common types of crimes associated with burglary are theft and robbery. Arizona defines theft as taking another person’s property with the intention of keeping it. Robbery, on the other hand, is taking another person’s property by force. While this may seem like a small difference, it changes the intention behind the crime. Therefore, robbery comes with harsher sentences than theft. If a theft or robbery was committed, these charges can be added on top of burglary charges.

What Are the Punishments for Burglary?

Arizona considers any type of burglary a felony. Sentences for a conviction can include prison time and restitution, as well as fines and court fees. The amount of prison time and the possibility of parole depend greatly on the type of burglary committed.

Possession of Burglary Tools

Burglary tools are any items that can be used to commit a burglary. They can be explosives, tools like drills or screwdrivers, master keys, lock picks, or anything else that has been adapted to help someone break into a building. This charge also covers buying, selling, or transferring these types of tools to someone who is intending to commit a crime. 

Possession of burglary tools is class 6 felony, with a possible prison sentence of 4 months to 5 years or more. 

Burglary in the Third Degree

To be charged with burglary in the third degree, the defendant must have unlawfully entered a non-residential structure, a fenced commercial or residential area, or a motor vehicle with the intent to commit a crime.

Burglary in the third degree is a class 4 felony, with a possible sentence of one to three years in prison. 

Burglary in the Second Degree 

If a person unlawfully enters a residential structure with the intent to commit a crime, they can be charged with burglary in the second degree. 

This crime is a class 3 felony, punishable by two years to 25 years in prison. 

Burglary in the First Degree

Burglary in the first degree is charged when a person unlawfully enters a residential or commercial property with the intention of committing a crime while knowingly in possession of explosives, a deadly weapon, or a dangerous instrument. 

If the structure is non-residential, or the perpetrator is inside of the fence but not the structure, then this charge is a class 3 felony, with a possible two to 25 year prison sentence. 

If the structure is residential, then the charge is a class 2 felony with a possible sentence of three to 35 years in prison. 

If You Have Been Accused of Burglary, You Need a Strong Attorney

Being accused of burglary in Arizona is a situation that must be taken seriously. If convicted, you could wind up facing exorbitant fines and fees, and be held responsible for paying restitution to the victims. You’ll also be spending time in prison and you’ll have a felony conviction following you around for the rest of your life. 

Having an experienced certified criminal defense attorney like Todd Coolidge on your side means you stand a chance at winning your case. With over 25 years of experience in the Arizona justice system and exceptional testimonials, you’re in good hands with the Coolidge law team. If you have been charged with burglary, we can help—contact us today for a consultation. 




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