Crimes vary in their degree of seriousness, and someone charged with petty shoplifting won’t face the same potential consequences as someone committing grand larceny. In Arkansas, the state looks at the specifics of residential burglary cases. While all burglary incidents are serious ones under the law, aggravated burglary could leave a defendant looking at significant prison time.
Burglary and aggravated burglary
Residential burglary refers to someone unlawfully entering or remaining in a residential and occupiable structure intending to commit a crime. The crime does not need to be theft, and anyone charged with residential burglary faces a Class B felony penalty if convicted.
Aggravated residential burglary reflects a more serious crime and one that rises to a Class Y felony. This statute centers on residential burglary committed with a deadly weapon or the use of words or actions indicating the presence of a deadly weapon. The statute also applies when someone causes or attempts serious bodily harm or death on another individual. So, using a weapon to injure someone during a burglary may lead to this charge.
Class Y felonies might lead to sentences with a minimum of 10 years behind bars. With class B felonies, the minimum sentence might leave a defendant looking at a minimum of five years of imprisonment.
Addressing burglary charges in Arkansas
A criminal defense strategy may aggressively seek to prove exculpatory facts, considering the seriousness of aggravated residential burglary charges. Charging someone with a Class Y felony over threats to use a weapon or claims the burglar threatened to kill someone could be dubious when lacking evidence.
Questions may focus on whether the defendant was unlawfully inside the residence. If so, the burglary charges might not apply. Weapons charges could remain, though.