Burglary is an extremely serious felony offense in the State of Florida. If you are under investigation for or have been accused of Burglary, it is important that you know your rights and that you hire an experienced and skilled attorney to represent you. Attorney Anthony Rickman has represented numerous client throughout the state of Florida charged with different varieties of burglary. Through his diligent, aggressive, and very thorough representation, Mr. Rickman has successfully defended clients against burglary accusation that resulted in the reduction, or dismissal of criminal charges. If you have been accused of Burglary, contact Anthony Rickman at The Rickman Law Firm for a free consultation.
In Florida, burglary occurs where a person enters or remains in a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit a criminal offense therein. Burglary by definition is unlawfully entering a dwelling, structure, or conveyance with the intent to commit a crime inside; or the lawful entry into a dwelling, structure, or conveyance, but then remaining inside either with the intent to commit a crime; or after permission to remain has been withdrawn, with the intent to commit a crime inside; or with the intent to commit a forcible felony. The possible sentence a person may face and the degree of charge will vary depending on if the location that was burglarized was occupied or not.
Burglary of a Dwelling:
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 punishable by up to 15 years in Florida State Prison.
Burglary of a Structure:
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. Burglary of a Structure is a Second Degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in Florida State Prison.
Burglary of a Conveyance:
A conveyance is defined as any motor vehicle, ship, vessel, railroad vehicle or car, trailer, aircraft, or sleeping car. Burglary of a Conveyance is a Third Degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
Armed burglary is a first degree felony punishable by up to life in prison. A person can be charged with armed burglary if in the course of committing a burglary the person arms himself (with a weapon), or becomes armed within the dwelling, structure, or conveyance. A person can be charged with armed burglary in Florida if they arm themselves while they are inside the home (by possessing a weapon that they retrieved from the dwelling or conveyance), or were armed when they entered the location, or armed themselves after leaving the location. It should be noted that if the weapon possessed was a firearm the person accused will face a minimum mandatory sentence under the 10-20-life statue.
Home Invasion occurs when an offender enters a dwelling with the intent to commit a robbery of the occupant’s therein. If in the course of committing the robbery the person carries a firearm or other weapon he or she can face a first degree felony punishable by life imprisonment.
Burglary with Assault or Battery:
Burglary with Assault or Battery is also a first degree felony punishable by up to life in prison. To prove the charge of Burglary with Assault, the State must show that the person accused entered a dwelling, structure, or conveyance with the intent to commit a crime therein; and while engaged in the burglary committed an assault by making an unlawful threat of violence through act or word with the ability to carry out that threat. To prove the charge of Burglary with Battery, the State must show that in the course of committing the burglary, the person accused touched or struck another person against that person’s will. If you are accused of Burglary with Assault or Battery, you will most likely be facing a mandatory prison Sentence based on the Florida Sentencing guidelines.
If you have been arrested or accused of Burglary you could have multiple defenses available to you. As often as burglary accusations are made; it’s incredibly hard to prove due to lack of evidence that the accused entered the home. A skilled attorney can attack the State’s lack of evidence, such as eyewitness identification, fingerprints, or DNA to establish that the charge cannot be proven. A common defense to burglary is that the person accused of the crime did not commit the burglary, nor assist’s in the burglary but was charged because a friend or family member entered a dwelling, structure or conveyance without the knowledge of the othe that they did not have permission to do so. In these cases, simply being a bystander is not a crime. Another defense to burglary is that you have permission or consent to enter the dwelling, structure or conveyance. Finally, in order to be convicted of burglary the state is required to prove the person accused had the intent to commit a crime. Therefore, lack of criminal intent is also a defense to burglary.