Although the elements of a Florida burglary charge are very specific, there are many legal defenses to the crime – especially in proving that the person charged “intended” to commit an offense. That is where an experienced Plantation burglary lawyer can help the most.
Most people associate burglary with breaking into a home and stealing something. However, you do not have to have stolen anything or caused any damage to be charged with burglary. If you are facing burglary charges, a determined theft attorney could be an important part of defending yourself.
One of the most important parts of creating a defense to criminal charges is understanding the nature of the offense. Often, exploring the basics of criminal charges can be a good place to start building your defense.
Legal Definition of Burglary
Found in Florida Revised Statutes Chapter 810.02, the state defines burglary as entering a structure, dwelling, or conveyance that is either not open to the public or as an uninvited guest with the intent to commit an offense. Burglary also includes remaining in a specific structure, dwelling, or conveyance after the invitation to be in that location is withdrawn.
Intent plays a major role in this offense. It is important for the State to be able to establish an individual’s intent in establishing that burglary may have occurred. There are a number of other factors that may determine whether burglary charges are appropriate and the severity of those charges, including the amount of property damage caused if any. A knowledgeable Plantation burglary lawyer can help anyone facing these charges understand other important aspects the state must prove to establish burglary charges.
Three Degrees of Burglary
Florida recognizes three degrees of burglary – all of which are considered felonies:
- 3rd degree Florida burglary felony. This applies when a burglary is committed on a structure which is not a dwelling and is not occupied at the time of the offense. It can result in spending up to five (5) years in prison and paying fines of up to $5,000
- 2nd degree Florida burglary felony. This applies when the person did not have a weapon, nobody was hurt and the property in question was a dwelling, an occupied structure, an authorized emergency vehicle, or a building which contained controlled substances. It can result in spending up to 15 years in prison and paying fines of up to $10,000
- 1st degree Florida burglary felony. This applies when a person is armed or becomes armed during the commission of the offense, commits an assault or battery upon another person, uses a motor vehicle to enter a building, and causes damages of $1,000 or more. It can result in spending life in prison and paying fines of up to $10,000
What are the Consequences of a Burglary Offense?
As with many crimes, the actual consequences may depend on the circumstances surrounding the charge. There may be aggravating or mitigating circumstances that the court may be willing to consider when determining sentencing. For example, in cases where someone is considered a repeat Offender, consequences of an additional offense can be more severe.
Burglary is separated into categories ranging from a third-degree felony to a first-degree felony. The least serious of these charges, third-degree burglary charges, could result in up to five years in jail and/or up to a $5,000 fine. However, more serious first-degree felonies may result in imprisonment for life and/or fines of up to $10,000.
It is important to remember that many factors can compound the potential consequences. Often, burglary charges are related to other charges and those related charges – such as assault – can increase the penalties an individual may face.
Consulting a Plantation Burglary Attorney
When facing any criminal charges, it is important to understand your rights and know how to assert and advocate for them effectively. Working with an aggressive burglary defense attorney who understands important nuances in the law and who is prepared to take a thorough approach to establish a defense is an important part of fighting against these serious charges.
When determining the best approach to take to your defense, there are a number of different factors you and a lawyer may consider. A Plantation burglary lawyer could evaluate the strength of the evidence against you, address your criminal history if you have one, and understand the important details of your specific case throughout the legal process.
If you are facing burglary charges, a dedicated Plantation burglary defense lawyer who can work with you so that you do not have to fight them alone. Call today to set up a free consultation.