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Utah Residential Burglary - Salt Lake Criminal Attorney

A criminal charge of residential burglary in Utah begins as a second degree felony. With enhancements, residential burglary can become a first degree felony. Based in Salt Lake City, Stephen Howard is a Utah criminal defense lawyer with extensive experience defending serious felony charges, including burglary, robbery, theft, assault, and more. Mr. Howard works closely with clients to develop a defense strategy tailored to meet their needs and circumstances. Contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation.

Utah Residential Burglary - Elements

The stereotypical burglary charge involves a person breaking into a home in order to commit a theft. But under Utah law, a charge of residential burglary can be involve not just theft, but also assaults or other felony charges.

Utah Code 76-6-202 establishes the elements of burglary under Utah law, and requires proof that a person entered or remained unlawfully in any building with the intent to commit a theft, assault on any person, any felony charge, or various misdemeanor sex offenses. Burglary of a "dwelling" is a second degree felony. Burglary of any other building is a third degree felony. (Certain enhancements can increase the offense level of either type of burglary charge.)

The question of whether the building involved qualifies as a "dwelling" is not always as straight forward as it might seem. For example, a garage that is attached to a house is considered to be a part of the "dwelling" whereas a detached garage is only considered to be a "building." An unoccupied home is generally considered to be a "dwelling." But a home under construction may not be considered to be either a "building" or a "dwelling," depending on the state of the structure.

The concept of entering or remaining "unlawfully" can also become complicated. What about a situation where the person is initially invited in, but is then asked to leave? What about a person who is in their own home, but there is currently under a no contact or protective order that prohibits him/her from being in the home? The analysis of these situations can be very fact-specific. If you are facing burglary charges in Utah, it is vital to have the advice of an experienced attorney.

Contact us today for a confidential initial consultation.

Utah Burglary Enchancements

A charge of residential burglary in Utah begins as a second degree felony. But enhancements can increase the level of the offense

Possible burglary enhancements for a Utah burlgary charge include an "aggravated: burglary and what is sometimes referred to as a "gang" enhancement or "group criminal activity" enhancement. Either of these enhancements can increase the level of the offnese to a first degree felony, punishable by up to life in prison.

An aggravated burglary is committed if, during the course of attempting, committing, or fleeing from a burglary, a person possesses, uses, or threatens the use of a dangerous weapon. Burglary can also be enhanced to an aggravated burglary charge if a person causes any bodily injury to any person who is not a participant in the crime.

A "gang" enhancement or "group criminal activity" enhancement can apply to any of the various charges specified under Utah Code 73-3-203.1, including burglary. This enhancent can apply if a person commits one of these crimes either "in concert with" two or more persons, or in connection with a "criminal street gang" (as defined under Utah Code 76-9-802).

Finding a Utah Criminal Lawyer in Salt Lake City

If you are facing criminal charges for residential burglary, you need an attorney on your side who has experience dealing with what can be complicated issues.

Don't settle for a sales pitch.  You deserve an attorney with a record of achieving real results for his clients. Based in Salt Lake City, Utah criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard offers legal services to clients in all of Utah. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.


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  • Utah Burglary Defense Attorney Not Guilty - Client was charged with second-degree felony residential burglary and facing potential prison time. Investigation by the defense revealed multiple witnesses, missed by police and prosecutors, who supported client's claim of innocence. At trial, the jury returned a "not guilty" verdict on all charges.
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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
340 East 400 South, Suite 25, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

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