Under Florida law, burglary offenses are felonies that vary in degree based on the facts and circumstances of your case. If you enter a building, residence, home, or vehicle owned by someone else with the intention of committing a crime, you can be charged with burglary. Burglary cases usually involve thefts or the taking of another’s property without their permission, but if you intend to commit any crime within the structure or vehicle, you can be found guilty of burglary.
Florida law defines burglary as the unprivileged entering into someone’s dwelling or home, other building, or even vehicle, with the intent to commit a crime inside that property. You do not actually have to break into a home, building, or vehicle to be found guilty of burglary. It is enough if you enter through an open, unlocked door or window without permission, or to remain inside after your permission has been revoked; as long as you intend to commit a crime inside you can be convicted of burglary. Usually the crime that is committed inside that property is theft, but the crime could be anything from assault, rape, arson, or murder. Because Florida law requires that to be found guilty of burglary, you must have intended to commit that crime once they are inside the property, the fact that you did not have the intention to commit a crime while inside the building or residence could be a solid defense to burglary charges. Other legal defenses might include the fact that the resident or building that was open to the public at the time of the alleged burglary offense, or that you have a permission to be inside the motor vehicle, building, or residence.
In Florida, a burglary conviction is punished with penalties such as a lengthy jail sentence and a stiff fine depending on the facts and circumstances of your criminal case. Burglary is typically charged as a first-degree felony when the criminal act is committed while the suspect is armed with a weapon, if an individual commits an assault or battery upon someone else, if a suspect enters a dwelling or vehicle and causes damage, or if the suspect causes damage costing about $1,000 or more to repair or replace. A first-degree felony is punished with up to thirty years in prison plus a legal fine of up to $10,000. A Second degree felony burglary charge is often the type of charge that is known as a home invasion and when the suspect is unarmed, the suspect enters or remains in a residence and the suspect intends to commit a crime while inside that building, vehicle, or residence. It doesn't matter if there are occupants inside the building or home at the time of the crime. In Florida, the penalties for a second-degree felony burglary include a prison sentence of up to fifteen years, plus a legal fine of up to $10,000. It is a third-degree felony should the suspect enter an unoccupied dwelling with the intention to commit a crime inside the dwelling. Third-degree felonies are punished with a prison sentence of up to five years in jail, plus a legal fine of no more than $5,000.
Possible Criminal Trial Defenses to Charges of Home Invasion Robbery in Florida
In the State of Florida, a criminal charge of home invasion robbery is classified as one of the more grave criminal offenses in the Florida Justice System. A charge of home invasion robbery is a first-degree felony, no matter if a gun, weapon, or explosive, was used in the crime. If convicted of home invasion robbery without a deadly weapon, the maximum prison sentence is 30 years. If the defendant used a deadly weapon or firearm, the defendant could face a prison sentence of up to life in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors are required to prove the criminal charge of a home invasion beyond a reasonable doubt. In order for the prosecution to win a guilty verdict, the prosecutor in the criminal case must show:
- The accused entered the victim’s dwelling without permission;
- The accused had the intention of committing a robbery while inside the dwelling;
- The accused committed the crime of robbery while inside the dwelling.
Prosecutors in the State of Florida will often enter in evidence such as witness statements, forensics, and circumstantial evidence in order to try and prove their case. An experienced criminal defense attorney will challenge each one of these key elements in a number of pre-trial defenses. Especially witness testimony. An experienced Florida criminal defense lawyers understand that witness statements are typically full of contradictions, and forensic “evidence” is not as strong evidence as it may appear.
A few common defenses used in home invasion and robbery charges in the State of Florida include:
- Error in identification
- Lack or Insufficient evidence.
- False accusations.
If you or someone you love has been arrested and accused of committing burglary, or home invasion robbery, Musca Law can help you develop a strong defense.
A burglary conviction in the State of Florida will have long-lasting effects on your life, including your employability, a possible lengthy jail sentence, and a large fine. Should you be charged with the criminal offense of burglary, it is essential that you talk with one of our experienced attorneys as quickly as possible. The attorneys at Musca Law will review your burglary or home invasion burglary criminal case, can help your understand your rights and responsibilities, and they can help you determine the best strategy for fighting your burglary charge in the State of Florida.
Our Florida burglary defense lawyers work hard to exploit the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and develop a strategic defense for our clients. Our record of success in and out of the courtroom speaks for itself. To learn more about how Musca Law can make a difference for you, call (888) 484-5057 today.