Often called “breaking and entering,” burglary is defined as entering another's property without permission and with the intent of committing a crime therein. Burglary is a felony which can result in a lengthy state prison sentence. You could be charged with burglary for spitting at your enemy through his car window. It's true. And of course, you'll be charged with burglary for breaking into someone's office and stealing his things. Florida burglary charges are very serious. Their defense requires a skilled and experienced attorney.
Burglary vs. Theft
Most people associate burglary with theft, believing that a burglar enters another's house to steal property. But burglary can also be committed by a person who enters or remains on another's property with the intent to commit vandalism or violence. The specific nature of the conduct alleged will determine what type of sentence a judge will impose upon conviction.
Definition of Burglary Under the Law
Florida law defines Burglary as:
- Entering a dwelling or structure with the intent of committing a crime therein, unless the accused has been invited or is licensed to enter, or the property is open to the public;
- Remaining in a dwelling or structure in a hidden manner with the intent to commit a crime therein;
- Remaining in a dwelling or structure after an invitation has been withdrawn, with the intent to commit a crime therein; or
- Remaining in a dwelling or structure and committing or attempting to commit a forcible felony (sexual battery, murder, manslaughter, carjacking, arson, kidnapping, aggravated assault or battery or any other felony that involves the use of physical force, threats, or violence against another person).
Penalties: First, Second, and Third Degree Felony
Burglary may be charged as a felony in the first, second, or third degree depending on the nature of the offense, whether or not there was an assault during the commission of the offense, whether or not the accused was armed, whether or not the place entered was an occupied or unoccupied dwelling or structure, etc. A third degree felony is punishable by a maximum of five years in state prison and a $5,000.00 fine, a second degree felony is punishable by a maximum of 15 years in state prison and a $10,000.00 fine, and a first degree felony is punishable by a life sentence and a $25,000.00 fine.
Let me put my experience and skill to work for you in defense of this most serious charge.