Arizona Burglary Laws


At Ashley D. Adams, PLC, we have a well-established track record of success that can make a difference, whether in defending charges of white collar crime, health care fraud, financial fraud, general fraud charges, other criminal or civil matters, or representing our clients during a government investigation.



All Phoenix burglary defense lawyers know that you should never speak to the police if you have been arrested for burglary. It is a felony crime in Arizona and conviction may result in severe punishment such as large fines, imprisonment, and other penalties. You may try to argue with the police and try to prove that you are innocent. This is a mistake. Police and prosecutors may use your words against you. No one suspected of a crime ever talks their way out of trouble. They typically make their situation worse. Before you speak with police, speak with a burglary defense lawyer. Call 480-219-1366 for immediate advice from skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer Ashley D. Adams. She will explain your legal options, outline the applicable Arizona burglary laws and, most importantly, begin devising a rigorous defense of your rights.

If you have been charged with burglary, or are currently under investigation for burglary in Phoenix, you need the help of an experienced Arizona criminal defense lawyer. At the Law Offices of Ashley D. Adams, our knowledgeable Arizona burglary defense attorneys will fight to protect your rights. As we have done for countless clients before, we may be able to work with prosecutors to attempt to have your charges reduced or dropped. 

What is a Burglary in Arizona and what are the Penalties?

In Arizona, burglary is defined as the act of entering a building or other property with the intent to steal something or commit another criminal offense. A person can be found guilty of burglary even if the doors are not locked, no one is at home, or nothing is taken from the premises. Merely entering the property with the intent to steal or commit some other crime is sufficient to be charged with burglary. Entering a residential structure is more serious than a commercial building. There are several categories of burglary in Arizona:

  • third degree burglary is committed when a person enters or remains unlawfully in or on a nonresidential structure or in a fenced commercial or residential yard with the intent to commit any theft or felony. It also includes making entry into any part of a motor vehicle with intent to commit a theft or other felony. third degree burglary is a class 4 felony.
  • second degree burglary is committed when a person enters or remains unlawfully in or on a residential structure with the intent to commit any theft or felony (the difference from third degree burglary is that second degree burglary is committed on a residence). second degree burglary is a class 3 felony.
  • first degree burglary is committed when a person (or an accomplice) commits either second or third degree burglary and knowingly possesses explosives, a deadly weapon, or a dangerous instrument in the course of committing any theft or certain other felonies. first degree burglary is a class 3 felony if committed against a nonresidential structure, or a class 2 felony if the crime is committed against a residence.
  • possession of burglary tools is committed when a person possesses any explosive, tool, instrument, or other article with the intent to use or permit the use of such an item for the commission of a burglary. It is also illegal to buy, sell, or transfer such a tool. Possession of burglary tools is a class 6 felony.

The consequences of a burglary conviction can result in any of the following:

  • jail or prison time
  • fines
  • forfeiture of property
  • restitution to the victim
  • a permanent criminal record

In most cases, the minimum sentencing begins with one year in state prison if convicted. The time of incarceration increases (up to 25 years or more), depending upon the circumstances surrounding the arrest. Penalties are based on many factors. When you speak with your defense lawyer, we can listen to the details of your case and explain the possible penalties and how best to avoid those penalties.