Choosing a criminal defense lawyer to represent you after being arrested on charges of Burglary is a very important decision you need to make very soon. Florida Law considers burglary and related offenses particularly serious. From the State and alleged victim’s point of view, a person who commits burglary has not only invaded someone’s place of business, vehicle or their home.
Types of Burglary Include:
- Burglary of Conveyance
- Burglary of Dwelling
- Burglary of Structure
- Possession of Burglary Tools
Florida Law defines Burglary generally as the entering, or remaining in a structure, conveyance or dwelling house with the intent to commit a crime within.
Burglary Crimes Potential Penalties
Depending on a variety of factors and what the police claim you did, you could potentially be charged with any number of different burglary related charges:
Third Degree Felony Burglary
- Up to 5 years in prison.
- Up to 5 years of probation.
- Up to $5,000.00 in fines.
Second Degree Felony Burglary
- Up to 15 years in prison.
- Up to 15 years of probation.
- Up to $10,000.00 in fines.
First Degree Felony Burglary
- Up to 30 years in jail.
- Up to 30 years of probation.
- Up to $10,000.00 in fines.
If the State proves that you were in Actual Possession of a Firearm while committing a burglary, you can be sentenced under the Florida 10-20-Life Law, and could be subjected to a 10 year minimum mandatory prison sentence or even Life in Prison.
As you can see above, Florida Law provides several different types and degrees of Burglary along with several potential Sentence Enhancements or Aggravators to increase the potential penalty you are facing. When you hire the office of Dell & Schaefer, you are hiring a firm with over 30 years of experience defending clients charged with Burglary and Burglary related charges in the State of Florida.
Potential Defenses to Burglary Crimes
1) No Intent to Commit a Crime
You cannot be convicted of burglary of a conveyance if the only crime the state can prove you committed while inside the conveyance is a trespass. The State can use the method of your entry into the conveyance to prove that you had the intent to commit a crime. If the state alleges that you entered a conveyance in a stealth manner and depending on where the vehicle was parked, the State may meet their burden. Defenses such as these are applied on a case by case basis.
2) Permission to be in the Vehicle/Premises
If you have permission to be in a particular place at a particular time, you cannot be convicted of Burglary. However, after being given permission, if you enter a place that you were told not to go, the State may charge you under the theory of “remaining” in a place.
3) Area is Open for Access to the Public
If a structure or business is open to the public, there can be no burglary. That is unless you permitted to enter the structure, and you enter a place that entry is prohibited. Then the state may use your entry into the unauthorized area against you.
4) Foreclosed / Abandoned Home
The fact that the home you entered was abandoned, or foreclosed upon does not create a defense to the crime of Burglary of a Dwelling. The State uses the definition of Dwelling to mean a home which “has a roof over it and is designed to be occupied as lodging for people” the fenced in area (Curtilage) around the home. This has been taken to include mobile homes, home and sometimes even hotel rooms.
Since the foreclosed/abandoned home was designed to be occupied as lodging, it still counts as a Dwelling.
Broward County, Miami, and Palm Beach Burglary Defense Lawyer
It is important that you contact the office of Dell & Schaefer to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. Attorney Grant Schwarz is a former prosecutor and knows how the state attorney’s office prosecutes these cases and knows how to properly defend his clients in an ethical and aggressive manner.
Understanding that all cases are different, Attorney Grant Schwarz focuses all of his knowledge as a former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney to build a defense that works for your particular case. Contact us to set up a free consultation to learn how we can help you.