Theft, robbery, and burglary are often used interchangeably. However, by law, the terms are not one in the same. For instance, in most states, to be charged with a robbery, there must be a victim present at the scene and intimidation or force must be used to steal something. However, for any burglary charge, regardless of the degree, the criminal must have unlawfully entered a property. The important thing to remember is burglary laws will always vary from state to state.
Third Degree Burglary Basics
Burglary in the third degree is a less severe offense than second degree and first degree burglary charges. In many cases, a first-time offender may be subject to a third degree burglary charge if he or she knowingly entered a building with the intent to commit the crime. Whether or not another crime occurred during the break-in does not matter. For instance, if a person crawled through a basement window but fled after hearing a family dog, he or she can still be charged with a burglary offense.
Sentences for third degree burglary convictions carry reduced maximum sentences. For instance, in New York, a first degree burglary conviction has a maximum prison sentence of 25 years while a third degree burglary sentence will be a maximum of seven years. Under New York law, first degree burglaries will reflect a more serious crime. In this case, prosecutors must not only prove unlawful entry, but also that a weapon was used or the victim was injured during the burglary.
State Laws to Consider
Not all states have a penal code that includes a third degree burglary. For instance, California only has first degree and second degree burglary charges. Second degree burglaries in California is simply defined as a burglary that does not meet the criteria for first degree burglary.
In Arizona, most third degree burglary offenses are reserved for those who break-in and steal commercial property or those who commit auto theft. The following is the state’s official classification, A.R.S. 13-1506:
“A person may be charged with Burglary in the Third degree burglary if they enter or remain in a structure unlawfully in or on a nonresidential structure or yard, and commit burglary or with the intent to commit burglary or theft.”
Protection Against Burglaries
Any type of burglary feels like a violation. There’s something disturbing about the thought of someone entering your home and invading your space. Unfortunately many burglars are never caught and the idea that they could strike again can make you feel unsafe. However, there’s no reason you should abandon the home you love. Instead, the best protection for your home is a reliable security system with 24/7 monitoring. Benefits of a monitored system will include:
- Property Protection
- Deter Burglars
- Lower Home Insurance Rates
- Fire and Carbon Monoxide Monitoring
- Monitoring Children and the Elderly
- Checking on Pets
- Remote Home Access
- Home Automation
- Peace of Mind
For those interested in home security system, contact the team at Protect America. We have affordable packages with round the clock monitoring for your home or business. With DIY installation, you can have your system up and ready to go in no time. Contact us today at 1-800-951-5190 for more information.