Stealing something—or committing any other crime—from inside a building owned by someone else can be its own criminal charge. Other theft offenses can sometimes be prosecuted as misdemeanors depending on what you allegedly stole. Burglary is always considered a felony offense punishable by multiple years of imprisonment and certain types of burglary are prosecuted as first-degree felonies punishable by a life term in prison.
You should try to defend against this criminal charge without a seasoned theft defense attorney on your side. A Winter Garden burglary lawyer could work diligently to enforce your rights throughout your criminal proceedings and to present the strongest possible defense in court.
All variants of burglary are defined and prosecuted under Florida Statutes § 810.02, in the chapter of the Florida Statutes which also addresses other forms of trespassing into private buildings and unauthorized entry onto private land. Under this statute, someone commits the crime of burglary if they enter any dwelling, conveyance, or structure owned by someone else with intent to commit any criminal act inside that property. It is also burglary if they unlawfully remain inside such a place, after initially entering lawfully, with the intent to commit any criminal offense inside.
As per Fla. Stat. § 810.011, a “dwelling” is any temporary or permanent building with a roof and is designed to have people lodge inside it overnight, a “structure” is any such building meant for any purpose other than lodging, and a “conveyance” is any vehicle, boat, plane, train car, or similar construction. Notably, juries can infer from the fact that someone tried to enter a building or conveyance in a stealthy way that they meant to commit a crime inside. This is a presumption which a Winter Garden burglary attorney could push back against.
Someone who commits burglary of an unoccupied structure or conveyance has committed a third-degree felony offense, meaning that they could face a maximum sentence upon conviction of five years’ imprisonment and/or a $5,000 fine. If the structure or conveyance is occupied at the time of the offense, or if the offense involves an occupied or unoccupied dwelling, the criminal charge will be upgraded to a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years’ imprisonment plus a maximum $10,000 fine.
Finally, anyone who does any of the following while committing burglary may be prosecuted for a first-degree felony offense:
It is critical to work with a burglary lawyer in Winter Garden because the maximum penalty for a first-degree felony in Florida is life imprisonment.
Contesting a burglary charge in Florida usually requires establishing either that you did not actually enter a building or vehicle unlawfully, that you did not actually commit a crime while inside and had no intention of doing so, or that you had a valid reason to believe you had permission to be inside the property. Regardless of what defense strategy works for your situation, you will find it difficult to achieve a positive case result without a criminal defense attorney.
A Winter Garden burglary lawyer could defend you against these charges. Call today to learn more.
The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys