Burglary

What is Burglary?

Burglary is the entering of or remaining unlawfully in a structure with the intent to commit a theft or felony. No breaking or forced entry is required. Nor does the structure have to be inhabited. A person enters a structure when any part of their body or an instrument under their control crosses the outer boundary. The outer boundary includes the yard to a structure.

There are three kinds of burglary: First degree burglary is where the structure is either residential or commercial and the person has in their possession explosives, a deadly weapon, or a dangerous instrument. Second degree burglary, commonly known as residential burglary, is where the structure is a residence, whether occupied or not.[1] Third degree burglary takes place where the structure is a commercial building[2].

What are the Consequences?

First degree burglary of a residence is treated as the most serious of the three types of burglary offenses because the structure entered is a residence and the person has something dangerous in their possession. In fact, it is so serious that it is considered to be a class 2 felony. Therefore, if you are convicted of this offense, you will receive a felony and presumptively face 5 years in prison [3]. First degree burglary of a commercial structure is punishable as a class 3 felony with 3.5 years in prison.

Second degree burglary, although less serious, is also charged as a felony- class 3. You will face up to 3.5 years in prison. Third degree burglary is a class 4 felony punishable with 2.5 years in prison.

All burglary convictions include probation, a stay away order, and court fines and fees. In addition, it is important to know that your burglary conviction can be used by the D.A. as a prior to raise your sentence the next time you are accused of burglary or theft.

How We can Help You

If you are being accused of burglary, Lavy Law is the best firm to help you win. As a prior prosecutor who has handled countless burglary cases, we know how to get your charge dismissed or reduced. As a counselor at law, we know how to empower you during this intimidating process. As a trial attorney, we know how to argue and win your case before a judge or jury.

We suggest that you read our Recent Cases to see a case won just like your own.

If you are being accused of burglary, Contact Us for a free consultation.


[1] According to the definition of “residential structure” the residence can be temporary such as a trailer or RV as long as it is adapted for both human residence and lodging. See A.R.S. § 13-1501.

[2] Although less commonly charged, you can also be prosecuted for entering a fenced commercial or residential yard, as well as an almost completed home under third degree burglary. See A.R.S. § 13-1506; State v. Bass, 184 Ariz. 543, 544-46.

[3] The sentences enumerated are presumptive which means judges will generally assign them to a first-time offender. However, the judge can give a lesser or higher sentence based on a variety of mitigating and aggravating factors.