Florida's Various Burglary Penalties
In last month’s article, we provided credible defenses against a burglary allegation. This is important information to have, as we will now discuss the penalties for a burglary charge in the state.
Florida has various categories of burglary. Therefore, it also has different sets of penalties for each charge. Generally, burglary is defined as illegally entering a structure to commit a crime. That intent to commit a crime is key to a burglary charge. Otherwise, the offense is simple trespassing.
Moreover, the state has some broad definitions of a dwelling, structure, or conveyance. These definitions can apply to almost anything inhabited by people, including tents and RVs.
In fact, you could be accused of burglary even if you were invited onto the premises. If you, for instance, attended a party, but you are accused of attempting to commit a crime while there, you could face burglary charges.
It’s important to secure good representation if you’ve been accused of burglary. Florida takes this crime very seriously. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty, and you have a right to defend and preserve your freedom and innocence.
Here is a broad overview of the different types of burglary in the state along with their potential punishments.
Standard Burglary Penalties
When someone is accused of committing burglary, but there is no one else present in the structure or conveyance, this is a third-degree felony.
Such crimes are punishable with up to 5 years of prison or probation and fines up to $5,000.
Burglary In a Dwelling or With an Occupant
Penalties rise in severity depending on the circumstances. If you enter a structure or conveyance and someone is already there, the crime is more serious. This also applies to entering any dwelling, whether there is an occupant present or not.
This crime is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years of prison or probation and fines up to $10,000.
Burglary With a Great Amount of Damage or With a Weapon
The most severe form of burglary involves using a weapon or causing a great degree of damage. This damage applies to both property and bodily injury. When someone is assaulted during the burglary, or if the burglary results in over $1,000 in property damage, then the offender can face maximum penalties.
These forms of burglary result in a first-degree felony charge. These crimes can result in up to life in prison and fines as high as $10,000.
Enhancer Penalties for Looters
The situations surrounding a burglary can affect how the crime is charged. In a state of emergency, such as a hurricane, the state wants everyone to behave in an orderly fashion. If someone commits a burglary in times like this, they can be accused of looting. Such accusations elevate the standard penalties.
Therefore, a third-degree felony burglary can be charged as a second-degree felony burglary. Second-degree gets elevated to first-degree. If the crime is already a first-degree felony, a guilty verdict will almost certainly be penalized with the maximum sentence.
If you’ve been accused of burglary in Florida, contact our office for a free consultation. Our team may be able to help. You can call us at (561) 475-2752, or you can reach us online.