If you have been charged with burglary of a dwelling in Florida then you may have a defense. Consent to enter, permission to be on the property, invitation, misidentification, “open to the public” and lack of intent to commit a crime inside are all defenses that are oftentimes successful when fighting burglary cases. Even if you don’t think you have a defense, you should always speak to an attorney to make sure you have a full understanding of how the law applies specifically to your case. If you want to know more about these defenses or how to beat your burglary case in Florida, contact Matthew Williams now for a free consultation.
A lot of burglary cases involve a couple that lives together in a house where only one of them is on the lease. After an argument, the person on the lease calls the police to try to make the other person leave. Once the police get involved, the person who called the police says the other person doesn’t live there and isn’t on the lease….so the person who is not on the lease gets charged with burglary, when really, they were living in the home before everything transpired. Attorney Williams has won both trials and motions to dismiss in cases like this. It happens way too often, especially in Leon County.
In Florida, burglary of a dwelling is defined under Florida Statute 810.02(1)(b)(1). A person commits burglary of a dwelling when they unlawfully enter into a dwelling, remain inside a dwelling surreptitiously, or remain inside a dwelling after permission to remain has been withdrawn with the intent to commit a crime inside.
A dwelling is defined as a building or conveyance of any kind, which has a roof over it and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night, together with the surrounding curtilage.
Burglary of a dwelling is a second-degree felony, meaning it is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, or up to 15 years of probation and up to $10,000 in fines (you can also get a jail or prison sentence followed by probation, but the total length of the punishment cannot exceed 15 years). In addition to facing prison time, if you are adjudicated guilty of burglary of a dwelling then you will lose constitutional rights and you’ll have to deal with many other collateral consequences.
Keep in mind that burglary becomes a first-degree felony if the Defendant enters into an occupied or unoccupied structure and uses a motor vehicle as an instrumentality, other than merely a getaway vehicle, to assist in committing the offense, and thereby damages the dwelling or the structure, or causes damages to or within the dwelling or the structure in excess of $1,000.
Criminal convictions, especially convictions for burglary, carry severe consequences and can never be removed from your criminal record. If you are convicted of a felony you will lose your right to vote, your right to own firearms, and your ability to maintain certain business licenses. You can also lose your ability to receive financial aid, your ability to live in certain places and your ability to obtain a passport.
If you need an attorney who will advise you, fight for your rights, and do everything possible to protect your future, or if someone you know has been charged with burglary in Florida then contact Matthew Williams now for a free consultation.