When facing legal issues related to burglary in Bentonville, Arkansas, it's crucial to have a competent and experienced legal team. At Nelson & Marks PLLC, we specialize in criminal defense, including burglary cases. Our team is here to protect your rights, providing you with a robust defense and guiding you through the complexities of the legal system. We understand the unique challenges of burglary charges and are here to help you navigate them confidently and professionally.
Call Nelson & Marks PLLC today at (479) 202-4541 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our burglary attorney in Bentonville!
What is Burglary?
Burglary is a serious criminal offense in Arkansas. It involves unlawfully entering a building, structure, or dwelling intending to commit a crime, typically theft or another felony, once inside. Burglary charges are not limited to theft; they can also extend to cases where an individual enters a property with malicious intent, such as to commit an assault or any other criminal act.
Two main elements must be proven for a burglary conviction:
- Unlawful Entry: The prosecution must establish that the defendant unlawfully entered the property. This can involve breaking or entering a premises without the owner's consent.
- Intent: The prosecution must prove that the defendant entered the property intending to commit a crime once inside.
What are the Penalties for Burglary in Arkansas?
The penalties for burglary in Arkansas can be severe and often depend on the degree of the offense. Understanding the distinctions between these degrees is vital in comprehending the potential consequences:
- Residential Burglary (Class B Felony): If a person unlawfully enters a residence intending to commit a crime, they may face a Class B felony, carrying a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
- Commercial Burglary (Class C Felony): When unlawful entry occurs in a commercial or non-residential building, it is considered a Class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Simple Burglary (Class D Felony): If the defendant unlawfully enters a structure or property without a residential or commercial designation with the intent to commit a crime, they may face a Class D felony, resulting in up to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Defendants convicted of burglary in Arkansas can also face consequences, such as a permanent criminal record, which can negatively impact their future employment opportunities, housing prospects, and personal relationships.
Defenses Against Burglary Charges
At Nelson & Marks PLLC, we understand the importance of building a solid defense against burglary charges. We work closely with our clients to explore defense strategies tailored to the unique circumstances of their cases. Some common defenses against burglary charges include:
- Lack of Intent: If the defendant did not intend to commit a crime upon entering the property, this could be a strong defense. For example, the charges may be challenged if they enter the property without any criminal motive.
- Consent: This can be a valid defense if the defendant had permission or consent to enter the property. This may apply to situations where the property owner allowed access, making the entry lawful.
- Mistaken Identity: In some cases, individuals may be wrongly accused of burglary. If we can establish that our client did not commit the crime, we can use mistaken identity as a defense.
- Duress or Necessity: In certain situations, individuals may be forced to enter a property under duress or out of necessity. These circumstances can be a valid defense if appropriately documented and presented in court.
Burglary charges in Arkansas can seriously impact your freedom, financial security, and prospects. If you or a loved one is facing burglary charges, having a dedicated and experienced legal team like Nelson & Marks PLLC is crucial.
Our commitment to providing a robust defense, an in-depth understanding of Arkansas burglary laws, and a personalized approach to each case set us apart. We will work diligently to explore all available defenses and strive for the most favorable outcome for your situation.
Contact Nelson & Marks PLLC today to schedule a consultation with our burglary lawyer in Bentonville!
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