Burglary Attorney Miami, FL
Charged with Burglary in Miami-Dade County?
If you have been charged with burglary, your first action should be to retain the services of a skilled Miami burglary attorney. It is very frightening to be arrested or questioned in a theft crime, especially if you do not have someone by your side answering your questions and fighting for your defense. Prosecutors seek the maximum penalties in many types of offenses, including burglary.
Burglary is essentially defined as entering a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein. It is difficult to prove intent in many instances. At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., we believe that you deserve the best defense possible and will thoroughly investigate the evidence surrounding your charge.
A defense strategy can then be formulated with the goal of having your charges dismissed or reduced. Burglary is a felony offense and if you are found guilty you could be sentenced to imprisonment for life, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Contact our Miami burglary attorney to discuss your case today!
Florida Burglary Laws
One of the most common felony charges in the state of Florida is burglary, which can take place in several different forms. Florida statute §810.02 states that a burglary is the entering of a residence (dwelling), or another structure, or vehicle, with the intent to commit a criminal offense inside.
When referring to a dwelling in a burglary case, it means an inhabited residence, while a conveyance refers to a car and/or motor vehicle, and a structure refers to things like an office building and/or publicly owned property. If the intent to commit a crime cannot be established, misdemeanor trespassing charges are usually filed.
If the premises are open to the public or the person is invited to enter, it is not a burglary unless the person is told to leave and refuses to do so, then commits a crime inside (i.e. theft).
Types of Burglary
- Burglary of a Structure
- Burglary of Conveyance
- Burglary of a Dwelling
- Armed Burglary or Burglary with an Assault/Battery
Burglary of a Structure/Conveyance in Florida
In Florida, the unlawful entry of a structure could lead to a burglary charge or arrest if it can be shown that the person entering the structure had the intent to commit an offense. This is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years (5) in a Florida state prison. A structure or conveyance is any enclosed structure such as an office, car, warehouse, school, etc. In other words, for purposes of this offense, it can be anything that is not considered a dwelling—an inhabited residence.
If there is a person already in the structure at the time the offender enters or remains, the charge can be raised to a felony in the second-degree which potentially could result in imprisonment for up to 15 years. In the event that the offender is armed or becomes armed while in the structure, or commits battery on another, a felony in the first degree can be charged. A first-degree felony conviction could result in a prison sentence of up to 30 years.
A structure is basically considered to be any permanent or temporary building which has a roof over it. A Miami burglary lawyer at Hager & Schwartz, P.A. should be contacted if you have any questions as to the potential consequences of being convicted of burglary.
Burglary of a Dwelling in Florida
According to Florida Burglary Statutes, a dwelling means "a building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether such building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night."
If the entered premises is a residence (dwelling), the charge is Burglary of a Dwelling, this is a second degree felony punishable by up to fifteen (15) years in a Florida state prison. Usually, but not always, this offense also carries additional charges of theft/grand theft—as this is typically the "crime within"—and criminal mischief, as there is often some damage done to another's property in the process of breaking and entering.
If a person enters in a person's enclosed yard (curtilage) with the intent to commit a crime within (i.e. theft), that can also be charged as a burglary of a dwelling. Additionally, if a person is armed while burglarizing a dwelling, or commits an assault or battery, the charge can be increased to a first-degree felony which could result in them being imprisoned for up to 30 years.
It is possible to successfully defend against a burglary charge. We have years of experience in the field of criminal law and understand exactly how the justice system works. Put our knowledge and professionalism to work for you if you need legal help defending against a burglary charge in Miami, FL.
Armed Burglary in Florida
Both burglary with assault/battery and armed burglary are felonies of the first degree punishable by up to thirty years in a Florida state prison. Armed burglary is a felony in the first degree which is punishable by imprisonment for up to 30 years and a fine of up to $10,000. If the "crime within" is an assault (threat of imminent harm) or a battery (unconsented touching), a burglary with assault/battery can be charged. Burglary with assault/battery is also a non-bondable offense.
Even if you enter a dwelling, structure or conveyance unarmed and then arm yourself once inside, it is still a first-degree felony. Your future is at serious risk if you hesitate to consult with a tough Miami burglary lawyer who is ready to vigorously defend you against unreasonable charges.
Being arrested for burglary can be hard to bare. The consequences of being convicted are almost inconceivable. Your choice of lawyer is a very important step in helping you avoid the maximum penalties or in having your case dismissed. If you have any questions that need to be resolved before making your final decision as to an attorney, we are available to answer those questions.
Difference Between Theft and Burglary in Florida
The crime of burglary/trespassing is different than a theft charge because there is a difference of intent. Theft is said to have the intent of depriving an owner of their property while burglary always involves entering the residence of someone else without permission with the intent of committing a crime. Theft does not have to take place at a residence, but can take place in a public area.
What if I Never Actually Entered the Home?
The offense of burglary of a dwelling can, and usually will be, waged even if a person never enters a person's actual home. Burglary of a dwelling can also consist of jumping into an enclosed piece of property, called "curtilage" without the consent of the owner with the intent to commit a crime within (i.e. theft). It is likely, however, that if found on another person's property without consent, that you will face a trespassing offense—as intent to commit a crime must be proven in a burglary offense. The intricacies of burglary charges necessitate professional legal representation.
Protecting Your Rights in Burglary Cases
No matter who you are, you are innocent until proven guilty. You have rights and those rights need to be protected. We have a unique advantage in defending against criminal charges in that we are former Florida state prosecutors. We understand the system of justice from both sides and are able to utilize this knowledge to your benefit. Our experience and proven success in criminal defense cases may be able to give you the outcome you are seeking.
Your future is at risk. If you are found guilty of a felony offense, not only will you be imprisoned and heavily fined, you will find that future opportunities will be limited due to having a criminal history. Now is not the time to depend upon an inexperienced attorney. Experience counts -- we have it and are here to discuss your case.
Contact a Miami burglary lawyer who is able to protect your rights and aggressively defend you against any type of burglary charges.
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