In the State of Florida, few crimes carry as heavy a weight as burglary. Not only can it mean that your entire future is at risk, but it’s assured that you will have a tarnished reputation to go along with pretty severe punishments. One thing to consider when discussing burglary is the unique definition that many people are unaware of.
Burglary is when an individual or individuals enter a dwelling or structure, whilst intending to commit an offense without authority or legal reason to be there.
After a burglary is committed, there are three different levels that your felony can fall into. Regardless of the degree of the felony, there are severe consequences that you can expect to take on. Which is why we urge you to seek out an experienced burglary defense lawyer to help you with your case.
Third Degree Felony Burglary
As the lowest level of burglary, it still carries a heavy penalty that you won’t want to suffer through. If you commit burglary on a structure that isn’t a dwelling, and the building is not occupied at the time, then you will face this charge. A fine of up to five thousand dollars, and up to five years in prison are the standard penalties that a person will face. A skilled attorney may be able to find a hole in the argument and get your case severely reduced or, at the very best, removed entirely.
Second Degree Felony Burglary
Similar to the above, a second degree felony is entering a dwelling, an occupied space, an authorized emergency vehicle, or a building where the intent is to commit theft of a controlled substance. You will likely see up to fifteen years of imprisonment on top of an already steep fine of up to ten thousand dollars.
First Degree Felony Burglary
The last, and most severe, burglary crime has a few stipulations that make it unique in the list:
- The criminal becomes armed or is armed during the offense
- Assault or battery is committed upon another person
- The use of a motor vehicle to enter a building, causing damage to the structure
- Causing damage to the building of over $1,000 in value
If any or all of these happen during the course of a burglary, the conviction is automatically upgraded to a first degree charge. This is accompanied by imprisonment anywhere from 30 years to life. So if you’ve accused of first degree burglary, it’s a good idea to seek out an experienced attorney that can provide you the defense that you would need. But what defense tactics can be used to help you?
Possible Defenses to Burglary Charges
While there is little that can be done at the time of the crime, there are some things that a lawyer can look out for to possibly help your cause. Did the owner of the premises consent to entry or presence on the property? Were the premises open to the public before the arrest was made? Or was there no intent to commit a crime? Any one of these questions can mean the difference between a conviction and the possibility of getting off without any penalty. If you want to have a reduced sentence, or the outright removal of charges, then discuss your case with an attorney that has years of experience dealing with burglary cases. At Grozinger Law, P.A. it’s our goal to get you the best outcome possible for your case, so reach out to us today.