Ahwatukee Foothills

Ahwatukee Foothills is the southernmost urban village in the City of Phoenix, Arizona. With a population of approximately 77,000, the neighborhood is one of fifteen local urban villages, but it is somewhat isolated from the rest of Phoenix. Bordered by South Mountain Park, Interstate 10, and the cities of Chandler, Tempe, and Gila River Indian Community, Ahwatukee Foothills is estimated to be 71.4% safer than other Phoenix neighborhoods with only 221 violent crimes per year. However, it still sees around 1,759 property crimes annually. If you are accused of a crime, experienced Ahwatukee Foothills criminal defense attorney James Novak can develop a strong strategy to defend you.

It can be stressful and embarrassing to be accused of a crime. While it may be tempting to volunteer information to the police or take a quick plea deal in an effort to avoid going to court, a criminal record can haunt you for many years. A record can affect future criminal charges and potential sentences, as well as employment opportunities. At the Law Offices of James Novak, we can evaluate the charges against you, and help you determine the best way to protect your rights and your future.

Burglary in the Ahwatukee Foothills

Arizona courts take property crime allegations very seriously. Burglary is charged where a person has entered onto the property of another intending to commit a theft or felony there. A defendant arrested for burglary or another a criminal offense in Ahwatukee Foothills will generally be required to appear in a Phoenix court, as this area is part of the Phoenix jurisdiction. Arizona statutes punish three different degrees of burglary.

Third degree burglary, considered a class 4 felony, involves entering into a nonresidential structure or yard with the intent of stealing or committing a felony inside. For example, someone who breaks into a closed stationary store intending to steal money from the cashbox may be charged with third degree burglary.

Second degree burglary, a class 3 felony, is charged if a person is believed to have entered or remained in a residential structure intending to steal or commit a felony inside. For example, someone who breaks into a house planning to steal a flat-screen television without any weapons may be charged with second degree burglary.

First Degree Burglary

First degree burglary is the most serious kind of burglary. This type of burglary is charged if someone commits either second or third degree burglary while possessing a deadly weapon, explosives, or another dangerous instrument while stealing or committing another felony inside.

A class 2 first degree burglary is considered a dangerous offense. This means that even a first offender can be sentenced to imprisonment ranging from 7- 21 years. This sentence is even harsher with just one prior conviction; the range of imprisonment with a prior conviction is between 14-28 years. Two prior convictions may result in a prison term of up to 35 years.

If a first degree burglary occurs at nonresidential structure, it can be charged as a class 3 felony and punished with a prison range of 5-15 years in prison. This sentence is harsher if a defendant has one or more historical prior convictions. Someone who is charged with any kind of burglary may also be subject to other criminal charges like criminal trespass. A criminal trespass charge can be a misdemeanor or felony charge. A first degree misdemeanor criminal trespass charge, in sharp contrast to a first degree felony burglary charge, is punished with no more than 6 months in jail.

Criminal Defense Experience You Can Trust

There are numerous available defenses for property crime charges. A strategic attorney may be able to argue and show that a defendant lacked intent to commit a felony or was not actually carrying a weapon. A prosecutor may then be persuaded to bring a lesser charge of criminal trespass, which carries a small jail sentence, rather than a long prison term. Another possible defense is mistake of fact, where a person has accidentally walked into the wrong property. There may also be errors in police procedure or violations of constitutional rights that can serve as a strong defense. Contact experienced Ahwatukee Foothills criminal defense lawyer James Novak at (480) 413-1499 or via our online form.