In 2001, the Florida state legislature substantially expanded the definition of “burglary” to include numerous actions that were not previously considered to be versions of this offense. As a result, it is surprisingly common for people to be charged with burglary based on a police officer’s interpretation of their intentions inside someone else’s property, rather than any provable act of larceny they committed.
Since burglary charges are always prosecuted as felonies, it is important to have help from a theft defense attorney who has experience in managing these cases. Throughout your proceedings, your dedicated Avalon Park burglary lawyer could give you the customized legal guidance and tenacious representation you need to achieve a positive resolution to your case.
According to Florida Statutes § 810.02, someone commits the criminal offense of burglary if they enter “a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance” that is not open to the public and which they are not lawfully authorized to enter with the intent of committing a criminal offense. In this context, a “structure” is any temporary or permanent enclosed building with a roof over top of it; a “conveyance” is any mobile motor vehicle, ship, airplane, railroad car, or similar means of transportation; and a “dwelling” is any temporary or permanent structure or conveyance designed to be occupied by people lodging overnight.
Additionally, someone can also commit burglary as defined under this statute if someone remains within a dwelling, structure, or conveyance without permission or legal authority in order to commit any criminal offense or forcible felony. This could happen either surreptitiously or after permission to enter has been withdrawn by the property owner or manager. As an Avalon Park burglary attorney could further explain, the “offense” does not necessarily need to be theft and the defendant does not actually need to successfully commit the offense for a court to convict them of burglary. This can occur if the court can prove there was intent to commit a crime when the defendant first unlawfully entered or remained inside someone else’s private property.
Burglary can be prosecuted as anything from a third-degree felony to a first-degree felony depending on exactly what the defendant actually did while unlawfully inside someone’s property. Third-degree burglary involves someone committing burglary of an unoccupied structure of conveyance while unarmed and without committing assault or battery on any other person during the offense.
Second-degree burglary entails someone who is unarmed, and who does not commit assault or battery, committing burglary of an unoccupied or occupied dwelling, any occupied structure or conveyance, an authorized emergency vehicle, with intent to steal any controlled substance (i.e. drugs) from within.
Finally, first-degree burglary occurs when someone:
A person in Avalon Park should retain a burglary defense lawyer, since first-degree charges could be punishable with life in prison.
If there is just one thing that the information listed above should impress on you, it is that burglary charges can be exceptionally complex and sometimes hard to define. If you are dealing with charges of this nature, seeking help from a seasoned defense attorney could be an essential first step towards protecting your rights and best interests.
A capable Avalon Park burglary lawyer knows how you need to navigate these difficulties. Call today to discuss your options with The Umansky Law Firm.
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