Although the terms "
burglary" and "
robbery" are used interchangeably the two offenses are entirely different
under Arizona criminal law.
Burglary is generally defined as the unlawful entry onto someone else's
property with the intent to commit a theft or felony therein, whereas
robbery is generally defined as using force or intimidation to facilitate
the taking of property from another person. In most cases when someone
is accused of breaking into a house that does not belong to them and committing
a theft inside, charges of burglary in the second degree are usually filed.
If the person is armed during the commission of a burglary, the offense
could be charged as burglary in the first degree, which is a very serious
offense under Arizona law.
The severity of robbery charges can likewise be affected by the facts surrounding
the case including whether the alleged robber possessed a weapon (either
real or simulated) or whether the individual was in the company of one
or more accomplices when the robbery was committed. Whether the underlying
offense is a burglary or a robbery, the use of a gun or other weapon during
the commission of the offense may permit the prosecutor to charge the
crime as a dangerous offense.
are very serious under Arizona law and require mandatory prison time upon
a conviction even for a first offense.
If you have been accused of burglary, theft, robbery or any dangerous offense,
contact an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Phoenix today.