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Burglary in Florida

A burglary in the State of Florida occurs when a person enters a dwelling, structure, or conveyance owned by or in possession of another person and, at the time of entering, the defendant had the intent to commit an offense in the dwelling, structure, or conveyance.

Historically, a burglary was limited to breaking and entering into a home at night with the intent to commit a felony within. In our day and age, the legislature has expanded the definition of burglary to include additional properties outside the home and removed the restrictions relating to the time of day and the type of crime intended within.

Dwelling vs. Structure vs. Conveyance?

The type of property ‘entered’ can affect the severity of potential punishments.

Florida defines a ‘dwelling’ as:

“a building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether such building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night, together with the curtilage thereof.” Florida Statute 810.011(2)

Examples of dwellings can be a house, apartment, condo, mobile home, trailer, or hotel/motel room. Each of these can fit within the definition of a dwelling under Florida law.

Florida defines a ‘structure’ as:

“a building of any kind, either temporary or permanent, which has a roof over it, together with the curtilage thereof.” Florida Statute 810.011(1)

Examples of structures can be stores, restaurants, or any other structure not designed to be occupied by people lodging at night.

A conveyance is far more straight forward. Florida defines a ‘conveyance’ as:

“any motor vehicle, ship, vessel, railroad vehicle or car, trailer, aircraft, or sleeping car;” Florida Statute 810.011(3)

Sentencing Exposure

Burglary charges in Florida can expose a defendant to a variety of sentencing exposure. Below are just a few of the potential varieties:

FIRST DEGREE FELONY

Burglary is a first-degree felony, with penalties of up to life in prison, where the defendant:

  • Commits an assault or battery upon any person;
  • Is or becomes armed within the dwelling, structure, or conveyance, with explosives or a dangerous weapon.

SECOND DEGREE FELONY

Burglary is a second-degree felony, with penalties of up to 15 years in prison or 15 years of probation and a $10,000 fine, where the defendant enters or remains in a:

  • Occupied or unoccupied dwelling;
  • Occupied structure; or
  • Occupied conveyance.

THIRD DEGREE FELONY

Burglary is a third-degree felony, with penalties of up to 5 years in prison or 5 years of probation, and a $5,000 fine where the defendant enters or remains in an

  • Unoccupied structure or conveyance.

Critical to Obtain Early Representation

Florida aggressively prosecutes burglary charges and the legislature has crafted numerous avenues for heightened sentences. Early representation by an experienced attorney can mean all of the difference in the outcome of your case. Our attorneys are committed to protecting your rights and obtaining the best outcome possible in your case.

For a free legal consultation, call The Law Offices of Kate Mesic at (904) 615-8950 now and arrange a time to meet with our team, or obtain a case evaluation over the phone.

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