Criminal charges never should be taken lightly, especially those that could lead to felony convictions. In Florida, burglary charges can result in a felony conviction with life-altering consequences, including jail time, fines or both. The creation of a criminal record could cause issues for a person when he or she tries to find a job, rent a home or complete any task where a background check is necessary. However, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you.
West Palm Beach Burglary Attorney
If you are facing burglary charges, contact Palm Beach County theft and property crimes defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A.. Stine has more than 10 years of experience fight for the rights of clients who face criminal charges in South Florida. Each case is important to Stine, and he works to get the best possible outcome for each client.
Call 561.880.4300 to schedule a free case evaluation. Stine represents clients throughout Palm Beach County, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach and Wellington.
Florida Burglary Crimes Information
- Definitions of Burglary under Florida Law
- Classifications of Burglary in South Florida
- Penalties for Burglary in West Palm Beach
- Finding the Best Burglary Defense Lawyer in Palm Beach County
Burglary means entering a dwelling, structure or conveyance with the intent to commit an offense, according to Florida Statutes Annotated § 810.02. A burglary charge would not apply if the premises are open to the public at the time of the offense, if the person was licenses to enter or if the person was invited into the building.
For example, if a person enters a public library during operating hours and commits a crime, he or she likely would not be charged with burglary. If the library was closed and not open to the public, he or she also could face burglary charges.
Additionally, entering or remaining in a building after permission to do so has been withdrawn with the intent to commit a crime also could be classified as burglary. In a burglary charge, the intent to commit a crime is necessary. However, actually committing the crime is not.
For instance, if someone enters a home without permission and attempts to steal a television, but is caught before he or she could exit with the stolen property, it still could be considered burglary. The intent to commit a crime was there.
Several factors are involved in determining what degree a felony charge would be. For instance, whether an offender was armed when he or she entered a structure would be key in determining the penalties for the crime.
Burglary is a first-degree felony if the offender:
- Commits assault or battery on a person
- Is armed or becomes armed with a weapon or firearm upon entering the structure
- Uses a vehicle to assist in committing the offense and causes damage to the structure
- Causes more than $1,000 in damage to the home or structure being burglarized
Burglary is a second-degree felony if the offender:
- Does not commit assault or battery
- Is not armed with a dangerous weapon or explosive when entering or after inside the building
- Enters or remains in an unoccupied dwelling
- Enter or remains in a dwelling while at least one person is inside
- Enters or remains in a structure that was occupied
- Enters a structure with intent to steal a controlled substance
Burglary is a third-degree felony if the offender:
- Remains in or enters an unoccupied structure
- Remains in or enters an unoccupied conveyance
In Florida, it also is a third-degree felony to use any tool or machine to be used during the burglary. Even if the tool had not been used, but was brought to the crime scene with the intent to use, it still could be punishable by law.
Also, it is a third-degree felony to alter or damage any telephone wires or power lines to facilitate a burglary. For instance, if you cut telephone lines to prevent outside calls while committing a burglary, it would be a third-degree felony.
The penalties for burglary charges vary per offense. If you are charged with burglary you could face felony charges from the third to the first degree.
If you are convicted of a first-degree felony in Florida you could face up to 30 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. For a second-degree felony you could face up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. In Florida, third-degree felonies carry up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
If you are facing burglary charges in West Palm Beach, contact criminal defense attorney Andrew D. Stine, P.A.. Stine will fight for your rights and try to get the charges reduced or dropped. Call 561.880.4300 to schedule a free case evaluation.