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Burglary of a Structure


Understanding Burglary of a Structure in Florida

When it comes to understanding burglary of a structure under Florida law, it’s crucial to know the specifics that classify an act under this category. According to Florida Statute 810.02(4)(a), the crime is defined as unlawfully entering a structure, remaining inside surreptitiously, or staying after permission to remain has been withdrawn, with the intent to commit a crime inside.

What is considered a structure for the purposes of a burglary charge in Florida? A structure is any building, either temporary or permanent, that has a roof over it, along with the surrounding curtilage.

The distinction between occupied and unoccupied structures plays a significant role in how the crime is charged and prosecuted. An occupied structure burglary is treated more severely, reflecting the higher risk and potential for harm.

Burglary of a Structure in Florida

Penalties for burglary of a structure can vary greatly, influenced by factors such as the structure’s occupancy at the time of the offense and the defendant’s criminal history. For instance, burglary of an unoccupied structure is considered a Third Degree Felony, potentially leading to up to five years in prison, five years of probation, and a $5,000 fine. Conversely, burglary of an occupied structure is a Second Degree Felony, with penalties reaching up to fifteen years in prison, fifteen years of probation, and a $10,000 fine.

It’s important for anyone facing these charges to understand the legal definitions and potential consequences. Moreover, knowing the available defenses can significantly impact the outcome of a case. Defenses may include lack of intent to commit a crime inside the structure, consent to enter the structure, or being a mere bystander without active participation in the crime.

Given the complexity of burglary charges in Florida, consulting with experienced burglary and trespassing defense attorneys is crucial. At Leppard Law, we specialize in navigating the intricacies of Florida’s burglary statutes, offering personalized and effective defense strategies to protect your rights and freedom.

 

Penalties for Burglary of a Structure

When facing charges for burglary of a structure in Florida, the stakes are high. The law delineates clear penalties for those convicted, with the severity of the punishment varying significantly depending on whether the structure was occupied or unoccupied at the time of the offense. Understanding these consequences is crucial for anyone navigating the complexities of the legal system in the face of such charges.

Penalties for Burglary of a Structure

Consequences of Conviction

The penalties for burglary of a structure can be severe, reflecting the seriousness with which Florida law treats these offenses. They are designed to not only punish the offender but also to serve as a deterrent against future crimes. Here’s a breakdown of potential sentences you could face:

  • Burglary of an Unoccupied Structure: Classified as a Third Degree Felony, this charge can lead to up to five years in prison, five years of probation, and fines reaching $5,000. This level of offense is assigned a Level 4 offense severity ranking under Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code.
  • Burglary of an Occupied Structure: This escalates to a Second Degree Felony, with penalties including up to fifteen years in prison, fifteen years of probation, and $10,000 in fines. It carries a Level 6 offense severity ranking, indicating the increased risk and potential harm associated with the presence of occupants.

It’s important to note that the actual sentence can vary widely based on the judge’s discretion, the specifics of the case, and the defendant’s criminal history. Factors such as the use of a weapon during the burglary, the commission of additional crimes, and whether the structure was a dwelling can further influence sentencing.

What does it mean when a structure is considered occupied? For the purposes of burglary charges, a structure is deemed occupied if at any time during the commission of the crime there is someone present inside. This distinction significantly impacts the severity of the charges and penalties.

Given these potential consequences, securing skilled legal representation is essential. At Leppard Law: Burglary and Trespassing Defense Attorneys, we understand the nuances of Florida’s burglary laws and are committed to defending your rights. Our approach combines thorough legal knowledge with strategic defense tactics designed to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients.

Whether you’re facing charges for burglary of an occupied or unoccupied structure, our team is here to help. We’ll explore every avenue for your defense, from challenging the evidence and arguing lack of intent to negotiating plea deals or pursuing case dismissal. Your freedom and future are our top priorities.

Don’t navigate this challenging time alone. Contact Leppard Law: Burglary and Trespassing Defense Attorneys at 407-476-4111 to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can fight for you.

Defenses Against Burglary of a Structure Charges

When you’re facing charges for burglary of a structure in Florida, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. However, it’s crucial to remember that being charged is not the same as being convicted. There are several defense strategies that, when effectively employed, can significantly impact the outcome of your case. At Leppard Law, we’re well-versed in these defenses and are ready to tailor a defense strategy that aligns with the specifics of your case.

Several defenses can be utilized in burglary of a structure cases, each depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged crime. Here’s a closer look at some of the most common defenses:

  • Bystander: Simply being present at the scene does not make you guilty of burglary. If your presence was coincidental and you did not participate in the crime, this could form the basis of your defense.
  • Consent to Enter: If you had permission to be in the structure, the burglary charges could be contested. Consent can sometimes be a complex issue, especially if it’s implied or if there’s a misunderstanding about the permission granted.
  • Lack of Intent to Commit a Crime: Burglary charges hinge on the intent to commit an offense inside the structure. If you entered the structure without any criminal intent, perhaps seeking shelter or believing you had the right to be there, this could negate the burglary charges.
  • Open to the Public: If the structure was open to the public at the time of the alleged crime, you might argue that you were lawfully inside. This defense challenges the notion that your presence in the structure was unauthorized.
  • Off Limits or Employee Only Area: Entering a restricted area within an otherwise public space can complicate your defense. However, if there was no clear indication that the area was off-limits, this could be a point of contention.

What does “Lack of Intent to Commit a Crime” mean in a burglary case? In the context of burglary charges, it refers to entering a structure without the purpose of carrying out an illegal act. Demonstrating a lack of criminal intent can be a pivotal aspect of your defense strategy.

At Leppard Law, our approach to defending against burglary charges is comprehensive. We meticulously review every detail of your case, from the circumstances of your arrest to the evidence presented by the prosecution. Our goal is to identify and leverage any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, whether it’s challenging the legality of a search and seizure, disputing the evidence of intent, or arguing for the legitimacy of your presence in the structure.

Remember, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution. Our job is to cast doubt on their case, and we take this responsibility seriously. Whether it’s through negotiating a plea deal, seeking to have charges reduced or dismissed, or vigorously defending you at trial, we’re committed to achieving the best possible outcome for you.

Don’t let burglary charges define your future. Contact Leppard Law: Burglary and Trespassing Defense Attorneys at 407-476-4111 today to schedule a consultation. Let us put our expertise to work for you.

 

Understanding the complexities of Burglary of a Structure charges in Florida can be daunting. Through hypothetical scenarios, we aim to shed light on how these charges can unfold in real life and underscore the critical importance of skilled legal representation.

Seeking Professional Help

Imagine you’re accused of entering a local business after hours. You thought you had permission to be there, but now you’re facing serious charges. This scenario is more common than you might think and highlights the necessity of consulting with experienced Burglary and Trespassing Defense Attorneys to navigate the legal system effectively.

In another instance, consider you were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, and now you’re being charged as an accomplice in a burglary. The distinction between being a mere bystander and an accomplice can be nuanced, requiring a defense that only a knowledgeable attorney can provide.

Why is legal representation crucial in Burglary of a Structure cases? Expert legal counsel can challenge the evidence, negotiate with prosecutors, and, if necessary, defend your rights in court to achieve the best possible outcome.

At Leppard Law: Burglary and Trespassing Defense Attorneys, we understand the stress and uncertainty that come with criminal charges. Our approach is to provide not just legal defense but a support system to help you navigate this challenging time. With our comprehensive understanding of Florida law and a commitment to our clients, we’re here to offer the guidance and representation you need.

Navigating the legal system can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. If you or a loved one are facing Burglary of a Structure charges, it’s imperative to seek professional help immediately. Here are a few ways we can assist:

  • Comprehensive case evaluation to understand every detail of your situation.
  • Development of a tailored defense strategy based on the specifics of your case.
  • Aggressive negotiation with prosecutors to reduce or dismiss charges where possible.
  • Vigorous defense in court, leveraging our extensive trial experience.

Remember, the sooner you act, the more options you may have available. Contact Leppard Law: Burglary and Trespassing Defense Attorneys at 407-476-4111 today to schedule a consultation. Let us put our expertise to work for you, ensuring your rights are protected every step of the way.

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Don’t let a burglary charge disrupt your life more than it has to. With the right legal team on your side, you can navigate this challenging situation with confidence. Call us today, and let’s discuss how we can help you.

Infographic depicting the words Burglary of a Structure

 

What is Burglary of a Structure?

Burglary of a Structure is defined as unlawfully entering a building or structure with the intent to commit a crime inside, without the consent of the owner. This includes any temporary or permanent structure with a roof.

The crime becomes more severe if the structure was occupied at the time of the burglary.

What are the penalties for Burglary of a Structure?

The penalties for Burglary of a Structure can vary, depending on whether the structure was occupied or unoccupied:

  • Burglary of an Unoccupied Structure is typically a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
  • Burglary of an Occupied Structure is a second-degree felony, with penalties up to 15 years in prison.

What are common defenses against Burglary of a Structure charges?

Several defenses can be used in Burglary of a Structure cases, including:

  • Lack of intent to commit a crime inside the structure.
  • The structure was open to the public, implying consent.
  • Presence at the scene but without participation (bystander).

An experienced attorney can evaluate the specifics of your case to determine the best defense strategy.

How do I choose the right defense attorney for my Burglary of a Structure case?

Choosing the right defense attorney is crucial. Look for someone with:

  • Experience in handling burglary and criminal defense cases.
  • A track record of successfully defending similar charges.
  • Good communication skills and a strategy that aligns with your goals.

Consultations can provide insights into an attorney’s approach and how they can help you.

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Our dedication to excellence in Burglary and Trespassing is evident in every case we undertake. The positive feedback from our clients is a testament to the hard work and dedication we consistently deliver.

 

Infographic depicting the words Burglary of a Structure

Take Control of Your Future with Leppard Law

Being charged with Burglary of a Structure can be a daunting experience, but you don’t have to face it alone. At Leppard Law: Burglary and Trespassing Defense Attorneys, we understand the importance of a personalized defense strategy that aligns with your unique circumstances. Our dedicated team is committed to fighting for your rights and securing the best possible outcome for your case.

With a track record of success and a deep commitment to our clients, we’ve earned recognition on prestigious platforms, highlighting our expertise and dedication to excellence:

Award Granting Organization Year Criteria Link
Listed among the “Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in Orlando” Expertise 2024 Comprehensive evaluation of lawyers based on reputation, credibility, experience, availability, and professionalism Expertise
Listed among the “Best DUI Lawyers in Orlando” Expertise 2024 Criteria for selection include qualifications, reputation, experience, engagement, and professionalism Expertise
Awesome Attorneys Orlando Orlando Family Magazine 2023 Selected by readers of Orlando Family Magazine and legal peers Orlando Family Magazine
Martindale Hubbell “Client Champion Platinum” Martindale Hubbell 2024 Less than 1% of attorneys selected based on client reviews and peer recognition Martindale Hubbell
SuperLawyers “Rising Star” SuperLawyers 2020 Only 1.5 percent of lawyers selected by their peers for excellence in practice SuperLawyers

At Leppard Law, you’re not just a case number; you’re part of our family. Our approach combines the power of cutting-edge technology with the warmth of a personal touch, ensuring you feel supported every step of the way. From our initial free consultation to the resolution of your case, we’re with you, fighting for your future.

Don’t let a charge define your life. Contact us today at 407-476-4111 to schedule your free consultation and learn how we can make a difference in your case. Let’s turn this challenge into an opportunity for growth and a brighter future.

 

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Legally Reviewed by Joe Easton

Expert Attorney

Legally reviewed by Joe Easton and the content team, this article reflects the firm’s 60 years of combined criminal defense expertise. Joe Easton, with his extensive experience and strategic prowess in DUI and criminal defense, offers more than just legal representation; he brings a commitment to turning legal challenges into victories. His approach, combining tenacity in the courtroom with personalized client care, ensures your case is not just defended but championed with dedication and expertise.

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