Facing an arrest or charge for burglary can be a traumatic experience. Burglary is more complicated than you may think, and the offense often carries severe consequences. There are 2.5 million burglaries annually in the United States and the rate of burglary in Mount Dora is 2.63 per 1,000 residents. It is a serious offense.
You probably have many questions if you have been arrested or charged with burglary. Thankfully, our experienced theft attorneys are here to help you protect your rights. A Mount Dora burglary lawyer could assess your case and determine the best options for moving forward.
How is Burglary Defined in Florida?
Florida statutes define burglary as person entering a structure, dwelling, or conveyance with the intent to commit a crime. The definitions of structure, dwelling, and conveyance, are far-reaching and can be any temporary or permanent, either mobile or immobile. In addition, the type of property involved in the burglary affects the possible penalties, so understanding the differences is essential.
A structure is a building of any kind which has a roof. This type of building is not designed for inhabitation. For example, it may be a business. A dwelling is any kind of structure used for temporary or permanent human occupation. It can be any type of building or vehicle, including any attached porch, with a roof over it. Finally, a conveyance is any type of transportation, including a “motor vehicle, railroad vehicle, vessel, ship, aircraft, and sleeping car.”
Meanwhile, a burglary charge does not necessarily involve stealing. It can also apply if a person was allegedly in a building to commit another criminal offense, such as sexual assault or battery, or if they possess burglary tools with which they intend to enter a building.
How do Robbery and Burglary Differ from One Another?
People often conflate burglary with robbery, but they are different crimes. Robbery refers to taking property unlawfully by force or the threat of force. Individuals commit burglary when they enter a structure, dwelling, or conveyance, intending to commit a crime. The burglary may or may not involve violence.
A knowledgeable Mount Dora lawyer knows the differences between burglary and robbery and can further explain these nuances during a plaintiff’s case process.
The Different Types of Burglary Charges
In Mount Dora, the three types of burglary charges are a first, second, and third-degree felony. Typically, charges for unarmed burglary of a conveyance are the least serious, and charges for armed burglary of a dwelling are the most serious.
A third-degree felony is the most common burglary charge seen statewide. It applies to burglary of an unoccupied structure or to a conveyance. It also means that the alleged offender was unarmed or there was no assault or battery involved in the crime. Furthermore, third-degree may apply to anyone possessing any tool, machine, or implement with the intention of committing any burglary or trespass.
The burglary may be a second-degree felony if there is another person in the structure or conveyance at the time of the burglary; the alleged offender illegally enters an authorized emergency vehicle or commit the burglary intending to steal a controlled substance.
The law considers an armed burglary or a burglary involving assault or battery a first-degree felony crime. A burglary offense may also be a first-degree felony if the alleged offender damaged property worth more than $1,000 or used a motor vehicle to commit the crime.
What Are the Penalties Associated with Burglary?
Defining the possible penalties for a burglary charge depends on a variety of factors, such as:
- The type of structure entered
- The use of violence
- Any weapons used
- Any relevant prior convictions
Prison time is a common penalty associated with burglary. However, along with a sentence, someone accused of the charge could also face:
- Court fees
- Voting restrictions
- Firearm restrictions
A dedicated lawyer in Mount Dora could help someone accused of burglary fight against these penalties and keep their life on track.
Defending a Burglary Charge
When beginning the case process, a dedicated attorney will conduct meticulous research to investigate the facts of the case and seek evidence to build a strong defense. In defense of a person’s rights, legal representation might argue that:
- The property did not fall within Florida’s definition of structure, dwelling, or conveyance.
- There is insufficient evidence to prove intent to commit the crime
- The property in question was open to the public
- The accused person had permission to be or remain on the property
- Other proof that the accusations were inaccurate or exaggerated
The right defense depends on the situation and circumstances, but our Mount Dora attorneys know the best way to defend a burglary charge and protect an individual’s key rights.
Take Your Case to a Mount Dora Burglary Attorney
If you have been arrested or charged with burglary, remember that it is a serious charge that requires a steadfast defense. Our experienced lawyers will advise you of your rights, options, and the strategies that may apply. For further information or a free consultation, reach out to us online. A Mount Dora Burglary lawyer can fight to protect your rights and integrity.