Early in February, there was a lot of police activity in Rockledge. After a burglary was reported at an apartment complex, the Rockledge Police Department brought in the K9 unit and helicopters to try and catch the suspect. Deputy Chief Donna Seyferth stated that the investigation was ongoing and is asking the public to come forward with any information.
Burglary is a very misunderstood crime in Florida. Many people think it is merely breaking and entering and as such, does not come with serious consequences. However, Florida statutes do not include the crime of breaking and entering. Instead, this offense is charged as burglary, which is always a felony and has serious consequences associated with it. It’s best to get a criminal defense lawyer involved to help you understand burglary charges in Florida better.
Burglary Defined in Florida
In Florida, burglary is defined as entering a structure, dwelling, or conveyance with the intent to commit a crime and without the permission of the owner. A person cannot be charged with burglary if the structure was open to the public at the time the alleged crime was committed. Additionally, no person can face burglary charges if they had permission to enter the structure. If they still committed a crime once inside, however, they may face charges for that offense.
Penalties for Burglary in Florida
Burglary is a felony in Florida, but the degree of the charge will depend on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offense.
When a person assaults someone or commits battery in conjunction with a burglary, it is considered a first-degree felony. A person may also face first-degree felony charges if they are armed with a weapon at the time, or if the burglary results in property damage exceeding $1,000. A conviction for first-degree felony can result in a sentence of life in prison.
Burglary is charged as a second-degree felony if the structure a person enters is occupied and they remain inside or intends to steal a controlled substance. If the structure is an emergency vehicle, the offense may also be charged as a second-degree felony. Second-degree felonies in Florida are punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Burglary is considered a third-degree felony when the structure a person enters is unoccupied and remains inside. For those convicted, the penalty is up to five years in prison.
Due to the serious nature of the crime of burglary, and the serious consequences it holds for those convicted of the offense, it is crucial that anyone facing charges speaks to a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Our Skilled Florida Criminal Defense Lawyers can Help with Your Charges
In Florida, burglary is a very serious offense. If you have been charged, it is important that you speak to one of our Orlando criminal defense lawyers today. At O’Mara Law Group, our attorneys have the skill and experience to challenge the prosecution’s case and prepare a solid defense to give you the best chance of beating the charges. Call us today at (407) 634-6604 or contact us online so we can get started on your case.