The term burglary covers a wide variety of specific offenses and potential penalties. At its core, a burglary is the entering of either a dwelling, structure or conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein. When broken down a burglary has essentially two basic components, first what type of place was entered and second what offense, if any, was committed.
Types of Burglaries
When looking at the place that was entered there are three categories, a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance. Each one of these is defined in Florida Statute 810.011.
- Burglary of a Dwelling – A dwelling is a building that is designed to be occupied by people at night, it is important to note the definition of a dwelling includes any attached porch and can also cover a garage or a carport that is attached to the home. Burglary of a Dwelling is a 2nd-degree felony which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine
- Burglary of a Structure – A structure is simply a building of any kind that has a roof over it, for example, a store building would be classified as a structure. Burglary of a structure is a 3rd-degree felony, carrying a max of up to 5 years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.
- Burglary of a Conveyance – A conveyance is a motor vehicle, railroad car, trailer, or boat. Burglary of a Conveyance is 3rd-degree felonies, carrying a max of up to 5 years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.
Each burglary offense can be enhanced depending on the offense committed therein. For instance, if the offense of theft is committed and the object is a firearm then the max for each offense would become greater. It is important to note that the charge would become burglary of a dwelling while armed or burglary of a conveyance while armed. The term while armed can mean a person either entered the house or car while armed or became armed. Meaning if a person enters a house or a car and removes a gun and you could be charged with a PBL offense. When a burglary charge is enhanced to burglary while armed it becomes punishable by life.
There are defenses for a burglary charge. One is consent, who had permission to enter the dwelling, structure, or conveyance. However, it is important to know that the burden to establish a consent defense is on the defendant, but once established the State must disprove consent beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt. Another possible defense is that no offense was committed within the dwelling, structure, or conveyance or that a person lacked the intent to commit an offense there within. Every case is different and there may be other specific defenses that can be used to fight your case, call us now for a free consultation.
Why Meldon Law?
Burglary is a serious offense which is why you need an attorney who has the knowledge and experience to deal with such a charge, it important to know maybe potential defenses to a burglary charge or facts that would potentially justify reducing the offense your charged with. Call us at 352-373-8000 to set up a free consultation with one of our attorneys.