Burglary occurs when somebody goes into a residence or structure intending to perpetrate an offense. Usually it happens when somebody goes into these places intending to steal. Burglary charges and convictions can severely restrict your ability to get a job or rental home in the future. Accordingly, it’s wise to consult an experienced Fort Lauderdale burglary defense attorney if you are facing this kind of theft charge. Evan Hoffman provides knowledgeable, tenacious criminal defense representation to clients facing a wide spectrum of property crime charges, including grand theft and petit theft.Burglary
Burglary is charged under Florida Statutes section 810.02. To obtain a conviction, the prosecutor will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) the defendant entered a conveyance, structure, or dwelling, (2) of another, (3) intending to perpetrate a crime in the conveyance, structure, or dwelling.
Alternatively, the prosecutor trying to establish burglary will need to prove: (1) the defendant lawfully entered, (2) a conveyance, structure, or dwelling with permission or consent, (3) and stayed inside with one of the following kinds of intent: (a) intending to perpetrate a crime after surreptitiously remaining inside, (b) intending to perpetrate a crime inside, staying after permission to be there had been revoked, or (c) intending to perpetrate or trying to perpetrate a forcible felony inside.
Structures covered by the statute include any sort of temporary or permanent building with a roof overhead and curtilage. Conveyances covered by the statute include any motor vehicle, aircraft, ship, vessel, railroad vehicle, trailer, or sleeping car. Dwellings covered by the statute include temporary or permanent buildings of any sort that have a roof overhead and are designed for human occupation at night, along with any enclosures immediately around them.
It’s important to realize that the prosecuting attorney doesn’t need to show that your entire body went into the dwelling, structure, or conveyance to secure a conviction. Rather, burglary is complete when a defendant, intending to perpetrate a crime, puts any part of his or her body into a building or vehicle. For example, if you break the window of a house, intending to open the door and go in to steal things, and you put your hand inside the window and the police catch you, you could face burglary charges.
Moreover, if you try to go into a structure, conveyance, or dwelling with stealth, the jury may infer your actions were undertaken with criminal intent. For example, if you put a stocking mask over your face and go in the dead of night to somebody’s house to jimmy the lock and go inside, the jury is allowed to infer that you intended to commit a crime inside.Degrees of Burglary
The circumstances will dictate what degree of burglary will be charged. Third degree burglary is the least serious burglary offense, and it’s charged if you went into a structure intending to perpetrate a crime, but nobody was there. For this you can face a maximum of five years of imprisonment or probation and a $5,000 fine.
The prosecutor will charge second degree burglary if she believes you went into a structure lawfully without intent to perpetrate a crime and you didn’t carry a weapon or actually perpetrate an assault. It doesn’t matter if somebody is present or not. You can face a maximum of 15 years of imprisonment or 15 years of probation and a $10,000 fine for this offense.
The prosecutor will charge first degree burglary if while committing burglary you (1) assaulted or committed battery on someone, (2) became armed within the conveyance, structure, or dwelling with a dangerous weapon or explosives or (3) entered an occupied or unoccupied structure or dwelling and either (a) used a vehicle as an instrumentality to commit the crime, not just a getaway, and thereby damaged the structure or dwelling, or (b) damaged the dwelling or structure or property inside it in an amount greater than $1,000. You can face lifelong imprisonment for this offense.Burglary Defense Attorney Serving Fort Lauderdale
If you are facing charges for burglary, shoplifting, or another type of theft offense in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in Broward County, you can contact the Hoffman Firm at (954) 524-4474 or through our online form for a free consultation. Mr. Hoffman is a seasoned defense lawyer who looks closely at his clients’ cases to determine how to best protect their rights. We represent clients in areas including Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Deerfield Beach, Davie, and Sunrise.