Burglary is a serious criminal charge that a Florida resident can face. Although it’s often confused with robbery and theft, it’s actually a property crime that carries serious consequences. However, to be charged with burglary, certain elements must be in place.
Burglary is carried out when a person illegally enters a property, home or structure with the intention of committing a separate offense once inside. Entering doesn’t have to be done through a break-in as it can also occur when going in through an open door or window when the individual has no legal right to do so.
Like many other crimes, burglary can be classified in varying degrees with a first-degree felony being the most severe. However, in order for the prosecution to argue that a defendant is guilty of burglary, there must be certain elements present in the case. The unlawful entering of a property such as a building, vehicle or structure is the first.
The second element of burglary is that the property or structure is something occupied by another person or people. Meanwhile, the third element is the intent to commit a separate crime once inside.
Penalties for burglary
The penalties for a burglary conviction depend on the circumstances of the case. However, no matter what the severity of the crime, burglary is classified as a felony, which carries a minimum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 and requires a solid criminal defense strategy.
A burglary offense involving the use of a deadly weapon or assault and battery is classified as a first-degree felony. A conviction carries up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.