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Burglary is a serious offense in every state, but Florida is particularly strict on offenders. Burglary includes an instance of entering a structure or building without the owner's permission with the intent to commit a crime inside.

It's easy to underestimate this offense due to minimal damage that may be done, but this is a felony charge which carries the potential for years in prison or thousands in fines.

Defuniak Springs Burglary Defense Attorney

The attorneys at Adkinson Law Firm are experienced in defending individuals facing a variety of property crimes. Our skilled lawyers can thoroughly examine the details of your case to build a customized defense that will benefit you the most.

An aggressive defense can lead to your charges being reduced or dropped altogether, and that's exactly what Adkinson Law Firm can fight for on your behalf. Call us today at (850) 892-5195 to schedule your free consultation with our legal team.

Burglary in the Florida Panhandle

According to Florida Statute 810.02, burglary is defined as entering or remaining in a building, dwelling, or structure belonging to someone with the intent to commit a crime inside and without the owner's consent. This excludes instances in which an area is open to the public of the offender has permission to remain there. Entering an area in a stealthy manner is considered evidence on the intent to commit a criminal offense, and therefore can be used to establish a burglary charge. Even if a crime was not committed, the intent to carry out one can still lead to a burglary charge.

Burglary ranges from a first-degree felony to a third-degree felony depending on whether an assault or battery was committed inside the building if the individual was carrying explosives, and if the offender used a vehicle to damage the structure.

Defense Strategies to Burglary

A common defensive strategy for burglary offenses involves establishing that the alleged offender had permission or an invitation to enter or remain at the place in question, or that the premise was open to the public at that time. In this instance, if the permission to enter the area was obtained through deceit, the defense becomes invalid. For example, if an offender lied about their intentions or purpose to a security guard and was then granted access to an area, a burglary charge may still be applicable.

Burglary charges often accompany other offenses. Since burglary states the offender intended to commit a crime, if any crime was committed in a place that the individual did not legal have a right to enter, they may face a burglary charge. Some offenses that are commonly associated include:

  • Trespass of a structure;
  • Assault;
  • Battery;
  • Theft; or
  • Robbery.

There are also accompanying charges such as Possession of Burglary Tools, as listed in Florida Statute § 810.06 and Impeding or Impairing Power or Telephone to a Swelling to Further or Facilitate a Burglary. These charges carry additional penalties, but the intent of the burglary charge greatly affects these additional charges.

Burglary Penalties in Florida

The classification of an alleged burglary crime depends on the type of structure entered, whether it was occupied, and other factors. These offenses are typically graded as follows:

  • Third-Degree Felony — If there is not another person present when an alleged offender enters or remains in a structure or conveyance, this crime is punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $5,000.
  • Second-Degree Felony — If there is another person present when an alleged offender enters or remains in a structure or conveyance, or the alleged offender enters or remains in any dwelling regardless of whether it is occupied, this crime is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $10,000.
  • First-Degree Felony — If an alleged offender commits an assault or battery upon any person during an alleged burglary, is or becomes armed within the dwelling, structure, or conveyance, with explosives or a dangerous weapon, uses a motor vehicle as an instrument to assist in committing the offense and thereby damages the dwelling or structure, or causes damage to the dwelling or structure or to property within the dwelling or structure in excess of $1,000, this crime is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $10,000.

Adkinson Law Firm, LLC | Walton County Burglary Defense Lawyer

If you're facing criminal charges for alleged burglary, you need to act quickly to defend your future. The DeFuniak Springs criminal defense attorneys at Adkinson Law Firm can analyze your case and devise a detailed strategy to protect your rights and fight for a favorable outcome.

Our lawyers proudly serve the Florida Panhandle, including Niceville, Okaloosa County, Santa Rosa County, Walton County, and Escambia County. Call us at (850) 892-5195 or submit an online form to schedule your free consultation. We can start planning your legal defense today.