People in Florida enter into other’s property almost every day. This could be when they go to work, the grocery store, or friends and family. For the most part, these individuals are invited onto the property either explicitly or there is an implied invitation such as when people go to stores to go shopping. However, there are many instances when individuals enter the property of another without an invitation. In these circumstances, if the individual who entered the property did so without permission to do so and with the intent to commit a criminal offense, then they could be charged with burglary.
The punishment for those convicted of burglary can be quite severe. If the building in question was occupied at the time and allegations are made that the accused individual assaulted someone inside or damages property, then they could be charged with first-degree burglary. Burglary in the second-degree occurs when an individual enters an occupied building, but does not assault anyone or have dangerous weapons. Third-degree burglary occurs when an individual enters an unoccupied building and commits a crime. The most severe burglaries can result in life in prison, while even those that may seem relatively minor can still result in years behind bars.
However, before a conviction can be obtained a prosecutor would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused did not have permission to be there and also that they had the intent to commit another crime once inside. There are oftentimes a number of defenses available to accused individuals who are going up against these types of criminal charges.
Many people are charged with burglary each year in Florida. A charge only means there is probable cause that the person committed a burglary. It does not mean that they will be convicted because the burden of proof is much higher for a conviction. People are innocent until proven guilty, and there may be defenses available to them, which could help them avoid a conviction. Experienced attorneys know how to utilize the law to their clients’ advantage by crafting skilled criminal defense strategies that seek to avoid as many penalties as possible.