Defending Against Burglary Charges
A burglary occurs every seven minutes somewhere in the state of Florida. If convicted of the crime of burglary, offenders face severe prison terms and fines. That’s why at the first sign of charges, it is important to stop talking and engage an experienced local criminal attorney.
What Constitutes Burglary?
According to Florida Statute 810.02, burglary involves trespassing into a private dwelling or structure, or a public building that is closed for business, or a vehicle, with the intent to commit a burglary (steal items). Even if the offender simply reaches into such a place to steal something, it is considered burglary. Juries may surmise that if the activity occurred surreptitiously or in stealth, criminal intent was involved
Penalties for Burglary
When charged with burglary during which others were not in the vehicle or structure at the time, the charge will likely be a 3rd degree felony, punishable by as much as 5 years behind bars and a $5,000 fine.
If the burglary occurs when another person is in the building or vehicle, it becomes a 2nd degree felony. Penalties include a maximum of 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and $10,000 in fines.
In the event the offender commits an assault or battery during the burglary, or even carries a dangerous weapon during the commission of the crime, or causes $1,000 worth of damage or more, the charge bumps up to a 1st degree felony, and the defendant could face up to life in prison.
Defending the Charge of Burglary
Every case is unique, and an adept criminal attorney will explore the circumstances of your situation in order to determine the best path forward. The accused is always supposed to be considered innocent until proven guilty. A strong defense attorney will strive to establish a strong alibi and will provide evidence to address possible opportunity and motive. When appropriate, a defendant’s character will be a primary focus. Evidence provided by the other side will be challenged as well. Prosecutors may be basing their cases on faulty eyewitness testimony, on circumstantial evidence, or even on entrapment. There may have been procedural errors in the arrest or in citing Miranda rights. Extenuating circumstances may indicate that a defendant was retrieving their own property, or that they had permission to be where they were. If a defendant was intoxicated, a prosecutor may have a challenge proving the intent was to steal, rather than to simply relax in a safe haven for a period of time. A knowledgeable attorney will help you to decide on the best tact in your situation.
Start on your Defense Today
There’s no time to waste when it comes to criminal charges. At the Salazar & Kelly Law Group, P.A., our experienced Kissimmee criminal defense attorneys are prepared to fight for the best possible outcomes for you. Contact our office for a free, confidential consultation today.