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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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  • Selected Victories
  • Criminal Defense AttorneyDismissed - Charges of insurance fraud were brought when investigators found reason to believe that client's claim of injury was fraudulent. Client was seen kicking a soccer ball, and investigators concluded that the injury claim was false. By obtaining medical records and other administrative records, and by pointing out to the prosecutor that the alleged injury interferred with the client's ability to lift - not his ability to kick a ball - the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case.
  • Criminal Appeals Defense AttorneyDismissed on Appeal - DUI case was dismissed after a successful appeal where the Utah Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's denial of the defense motion to suppress. Without the suppressed evidence, the prosecutor acknowledged that they did not have sufficient evidence to proceed to trial and the case was dismissed.
  • Utah 402 Reduction Attorney Felony Reduced - Client with prior felony conviction was granted a 402 reduction to the misdemeanor level over the objection of the prosecutor. Based on information provided to the court in support of the defense motion, the judge ruled in favor of the defense.
  • Utah Burglary Attorney Not Guilty - Client was charged with residential felony burglary and theft charges. Effective cross-examination of alleged victim at preliminary hearing resulted in an admission by the alleged victim that the charges were based on a false report to police, made for the purpose of getting revenge against the defendant. Case was dismissed outright.
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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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