There are several ways to define burglary in Brevard, Florida, but each can have a long-lasting impact on your future if you are convicted. Not only could you face jail time and fines, but the impact on your criminal record could create difficulties in finding housing, employment, or future educational opportunities. The type of burglary you are charged with, and the circumstances surrounding it, could leave you with many questions.
The team at Chang Law Firm has the answers that you are looking for. Our firm has the skill and experience to help defend you from these charges. We don’t use a standardized strategy because we take time to investigate the circumstances of your case. We know the long-term impacts a criminal conviction could have, which drives our commitment to preserving your rights throughout the legal process as well as providing you with top-notch representation.
Burglary in Florida is defined as illegally entering a building, dwelling, or conveyance with the intent to commit a crime. If you legally enter a building, but still intend to commit a crime, it could also be considered burglary. Burglary is considered a felony, and charges range from the first through the third degree. It is important to understand that, even if a crime is not committed after entering a building, conveyance, or dwelling, you could still be charged with burglary.
Florida law has further divided burglary charges by the type of property that is a part of the crime. Each type has its own set of circumstances that could impact not only the severity of the charge but also the type of penalty you could receive. The three types of burglary are:
In addition to the type of property in question, prior convictions, the use of violence, and other mitigating circumstances could determine the penalties you may face.
All burglary charges in Florida are considered felonies and therefore come with severe repercussions. If you are convicted of a felony, the minimum charge, a third-degree felony, could result in a five-year prison sentence and fines of up to $5,000. However, the other circumstances of the case will determine the type of felony you face.
If you are charged with a third-degree felony, the offense is considered to have been minimal. There were no injuries during the commission of the crime, or the burglar was unarmed. If the property was unoccupied at the time of the crime, this too could reduce the charge to a third-degree felony.
If you face second-degree felony charges, the following may have occurred:
If convicted of a second-degree felony, you could face up to fifteen years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
For a first-degree felony, the most severe, the consequences could mean prison time for up to thirty years and up to $10,000 in fines. You may face this charge if the burglary was committed in addition to assault and battery or if you were armed during the commission of the crime. If a motor vehicle was used in the commission of the crime, or you caused property damage, you could face an additional $1,000 or more in fines as well.
While prison time and fines are enough to worry about, additional penalties you could face include:
While no two cases are alike, there are several common ways to defend burglary charges. Defenses that could apply to your case include:
Your criminal defense attorney can investigate your case and determine the right course of action based on the circumstances.
Having your burglary charges reduced or dismissed, or being acquitted of them, is a matter of the circumstances of your case and building the right defense. Your defense attorney can conduct an independent investigation, review police reports, and analyze the evidence against you to challenge your charges. Being honest with your attorney about the facts of the case can help them build a stronger defense.
While the two charges are technically different, they are viewed the same in terms of the penalties you could face. Both are considered felony charges, regardless of the circumstances. Often, the two charges are filed with each other and could then be read as “burglary due to breaking and entering.”
Depending on the circumstances of the case, you could be charged with burglary. While your name may be legally on your home, if there is a court order that restricts you from being on the property, then you could be charged with burglary because you do not have permission to be there. However, if you are trying to enter your home because you locked yourself out, you would not be charged.
All burglaries are considered felonies. If you are found guilty of a third-degree felony, the lowest, then you could face up to five years in prison and fines of up to $5,000. If there are other mitigating circumstances with your charge, then you could face additional penalties on top of the burglary charge. Your criminal history could also have an impact.
Florida’s strict laws against convicted criminals mean that your conviction could carry serious weight, both in and out of the legal system. In addition to prison time and fines, you could face voting restrictions, difficulty securing a home, trouble finding a job, and more. The defense team at Chang Law Firm knows how serious this can be and is committed to defending you. Our team can investigate the circumstances of your case and build a defense that meets your needs. You don’t have to face your charges alone. Our team can work to have your burglary charges dismissed or reduced before your case even enters the courtroom. With our experienced and knowledgeable criminal team, you can have the confidence you need to fight back. Contact our offices today.