Miami Burglary Lawyer
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/Conveyance
This is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years 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.
Burglary of a Dwelling
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.
Burglary with an Assault/Battery or Armed Burglary
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. The latter charge carries a minimum mandatory prison sentence of 10-20 years. 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.
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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