If you have been charged with burglary of a structure in Florida, then you may have a defense. Permission or invitation, misidentification 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.
In Florida, burglary of a structure is defined under Florida Statute 810.02(4)(a). A person commits burglary of a structure when they unlawfully enter into a structure, remain inside a structure surreptitiously, or remain inside a structure after permission to remain has been withdrawn with the intent to commit a crime inside.
A structure is defined as a building of any kind, either temporary or permanent, which has a roof over it, together with the surrounding curtilage. Usually, a structure is any building other than a house.
Burglary of a structure is a third-degree felony, meaning it is punishable by up to five years in prison, or five years of probation, and a $5,000 fine (you can also get a jail or prison sentence followed by probation, but the total length of the punishment cannot exceed five years). In addition to facing prison time, if you are adjudicated guilty of burglary of a structure then you will lose constitutional rights and you’ll have to deal with many other collateral consequences.
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.