Burglary is a felony offense in Florida. Those convicted of burglary could face long prison sentences, steep fines, and other tough legal penalties. If you are facing a criminal charge, your best chance at avoiding conviction is to contact a criminal defense attorney.
Your Florida burglary lawyer can defend you against these charges while protecting your rights during the process.
Burglary Defined in Florida
According to Florida Statutes Section 810.02, burglary is defined as “entering a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein.” A conveyance is a motor vehicle, boat, ship, train, or another vessel.
Generally, a burglary occurs when someone does not have permission, either explicit or implicit, to enter or remain in the building, structure or residence.
Even if someone initially did have permission to enter, they could face a burglary charge if they remain inside after being asked to leave and intend to commit a crime. Burglary is a felony offense in Florida and should, therefore, be handled with an experienced Florida burglary lawyer.
Felony Burglary Charges
There are multiple levels of felonies in Florida, with a third-degree felony being the least serious and a first-degree felony the most serious.
The more serious the felony, the stiffer the legal penalties someone could face upon conviction. The level of felony someone could face depends on the unique circumstances involved.
- First-degree burglary occurs when someone commits assault or battery during the burglary, or is or becomes armed during the burglary. This crime also occurs when someone enters a dwelling or structure and uses a motor vehicle to commit the offense, and thereby damages the dwelling or structure, or causes property damage over $1,000. Penalties include a life sentence in state prison.
- Second-degree burglary occurs when someone does not commit assault, or uses or becomes armed during the burglary; and they enter and remain in an occupied or unoccupied dwelling, an occupied structure, or an occupied conveyance. Penalties include a prison sentence up to 15 years, and fines up to $15,000.
- Third-degree burglary occurs when someone enters and remains in an unoccupied structure, or an unoccupied conveyance. Penalties include a prison sentence up to 5 years, and fines up to $5,000.
Obviously, the specific circumstances of any case play a large role in how criminal charges are determined. It is important to contact a Florida burglary lawyer immediately after being accused, arrested or charged. A defense attorney will examine the facts of the case, and determine the best defense to use going forward.
Your Legal Defense Options
There are numerous possible defenses to burglary charges. Some common defenses to this charge center on the accused’s permission to be on the premises. For example, being invited inside, entering a building that is open to the public, or having a license to enter are all defenses to burglary charges.
Another defense is proving that the defendant did not enter the structure, dwelling, or conveyance with an intent to commit a crime. If you are facing a burglary charge in Florida, contact a burglary defense attorney right away. Your burglary attorney in Florida can tailor a defense specific to your situation, and will work hard to help you avoid prosecution or a conviction.
Our Florida Burglary Attorneys Can Help You
Are you facing burglary charges? If so, call our experienced Florida burglary lawyers right away. We will work closely with you to determine the best defense strategy in your case. Contact us today to speak with an attorney about your case.