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Arizona law addressing property crime of burglary is strict

Hollywood films tend to glamorize burglary. The truth, though, is that sneaking into a high-profile building under the cover of night might seem exciting on the big screen, but comes with serious consequences in the real world. The state of Arizona is especially strict when it comes to this type of property crime.

The state's burglary law features three code sections: Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 burglary. The circumstances surrounding your burglary case will dictate the felony class you fall under if you end up facing charges. Here is a look at what to expect if you face a burglary conviction in this state.

First class of burglary

You fall under this class if authorities can prove beyond a reasonable doubt all of the following. First, you entered or stayed illegally on a residential yard, on a commercial property that was fenced or in a non-residential or residential structure. Second, your intent was to commit a felony or steal something while you were on the property. Third, you had a dangerous instrument, firearm, deadly weapon or explosives with you on the property.

Second and third classes of burglary

The second burglary class applies to you if you entered or stayed illegally on or in a residential structure with the goal of committing a felony or theft. Meanwhile, the third class applies to you if you entered a non-residential structure, a fenced yard or an automobile with the intent of committing a felony or theft.

Burglary tool possession

You do not even have to commit burglary to face a burglary-related charge. You may face a charge if you possess the types of pools often used in burglaries. These may include explosives and other instruments or tools adapted for committing this type of crime

Consequences for burglary

If you face a burglary conviction in Arizona, you can expect to spend anywhere from four months behind bars for burglary tool possession to 21 years in prison for a residential burglary, depending on the facts of your case.

However, you have the right to vigorously challenge this type of charge in court. An attorney will scrutinize and pinpoint any holes in the evidence that the government plans to use to support the allegations. The attorney's ultimate goal in such a situation is to attempt to preserve your freedom and your future no matter how serious your burglary charge may be.

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