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What is the Law on Burglary in Arkansas and What are the Punishments for It?


Burglary is the act of committing a theft. This is not just theft but can have a much more wide scope when it comes to its application. Burglary could be interpreted in different ways. The laws on burglary vary from state to state in terms of its applicability and punishment. The laws that are applicable to the state of Arkansas are explained in this article.

Burglary in Arkansas

In the state of Arkansas, the Arkansas Code 5-39-201 defines the law related to burglary. The law differentiates between residential burglary and commercial burglary. In most states, burglary to any property or occupied structure is treated in the same way. Arkansas though makes a distinction and clearly delineates burglary done in a home or residential property and burglary done in a commercial property

Arkansas Burglary Laws

Residential burglary in Arkansas

A person would be committing an act of residential burglary if he or she enters or remains unlawfully into a residential occupiable structure of another person to commit an offense.

As can be seen from this definition, burglary is not just theft, but any offense that is committed by entering illegally into a residence. Here, residential refers to any structure that can be occupied. It could be a house, tent, camp trailer, or houseboat. Since the word occupiable is used, it need not be occupied to be considered a burglary.

The entry must be made unlawfully, by breaking the law. This means that forcibly entering a home by breaking into it would be considered burglary. Another aspect here is that the law says that unlawfully remaining in a residence is burglary. So, if a person has entered legally, but if he remains in the premises illegally, it would be considered burglary.

The last part of the definition is where it says that the intention of committing an offense is sufficient for conviction, the offense need not be committed.

Burglary Laws Arkansas

Commercial burglary in Arkansas

The law related to commercial burglary is similar to that of residential burglary. Instead of the word residential, the word commercial is used. Here again, occupiable is the word used, meaning even if the property is not occupied, like a new shop, breaking into it is considered burglary. Any offense committed on entering illegally would be burglary. It need not be only theft that is the offense committed.

Aggravated burglary in Arkansas

If the burglary of a residential or commercial property is done by a person armed with a deadly weapon or inflicts injury or attempts to do so, then it would be considered aggravated burglary.

Breaking and entering in Arkansas

Breaking and entering is an offense under the Arkansas law. This offense refers to not just breaking and entering a house, but also includes a vehicle, safe, cash register, vending machine, etc.

Burglary Laws

Punishment under the law in Arkansas

In the state of Arkansas, the code prescribes the punishment for burglary. Residential burglary is a Class B felony that is punishable by five to twenty years imprisonment and/or fine of up to $15,000. Commercial burglary is a Class C burglary punishable by three to ten years imprisonment and/or fine of a maximum of $10,000.

Aggravated burglary is a Class Y felony that is more serious as it involves an attack with a deadly weapon or a threat to do so. It can lead to imprisonment in jail for a period of ten to forty years.

The act of breaking and entering is also considered a felony. It is a Class D felony. Conviction results in the imprisonment of up to six years in prison and fine up to $10,000.

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