If the police have arrested you for burglary, you need to know that it is a felony in Florida, and you could spend years behind bars if convicted. Upon release, a prison record will follow you forever.
Our legal professionals at Leifert & Leifert understand the trauma of facing the criminal justice system when you may have a defense to your charge. You could make sure your rights are protected by sitting down with a Weston burglary Lawyer to discuss your case.
What is Burglary in Weston?
Many people mistakenly believe that burglary only occurs when someone uninvited breaks into a house to steal something. Burglary is defined more expansively in Florida. Under the Florida Statutes Sec. 810.02, a burglary occurs when someone who does not have permission to enter a dwelling, structure, or conveyance, such as a motor vehicle or other transportation, enters anyway intending to commit a criminal offense. Burglary can also occur if someone who does have permission to enter is later supposed to leave, but does not, remaining behind with the intent to commit an offense. For example, a customer enters a jewelry store just before closing and hides in the restroom when closing is announced, with the intent to steal jewelry when everyone is gone. Our local criminal defense Lawyers have experience defending burglary cases such as these and could prove to be a vital asset in a person’s case.
Felony in Three Degrees
Burglary is a felony in three degrees, with first-degree burglary the most serious and with the most stringent penalties. The laws are nuanced, and the length of a prison sentence and fine can rest on small details.
First-degree burglary could land a person convicted of it in prison for life. First-degree burglary involves an assault or battery, a perpetrator armed with explosives or a dangerous weapon, or property damage over $1,000. If a burglar uses a motor vehicle as more than a getaway car, damaging the dwelling or structure, first-degree burglary will also be charged.
People charged with second-degree burglary enter or remain with the intent to commit a crime but are not armed and do not commit an assault or battery. However, they will be charged if they enter or remain in a structure or conveyance when there is another person present or enter a motor vehicle to steal drugs. It does not matter if anyone else is present if they enter a dwelling; they will be charged with second-degree burglary with a penalty of up to 15 years in prison and up to a $15,000 fine.
A burglary in the third degree is charged when the perpetrator, intent on committing a crime, is not armed and does not assault or commit battery on another. If there is no person in a structure or conveyance when the perpetrator enters or remains, the offense is third-degree burglary. However, if a burglary is committed under a state of emergency, the charge will be elevated to a second-degree felony. For example, burglarizing a store during a hurricane evacuation will be charged as second-degree even if no one is in the structure, and the burglar is not armed. Third-degree burglary comes with a prison sentence up to five years and a fine up to $5,000.
A Weston Burglary Lawyer Can Help You
You do not have to face burglary charges alone. Faced with possible prison time and fines, as well as a criminal record, you need someone on your side to fight for you. A Weston burglary Lawyer understands your plight and is standing by to help. Get in touch with one of our skilled Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert today to get started on working on your case.