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Burglary

Under Florida Statutes Section 810.02, “Burglary” is defined as surreptitiously entering or remaining in a dwelling, structure or conveyance with the intention to commit an offense (other than trespass or burglary) inside of the dwelling, structure or conveyance at a time when the defendant is not licensed or invited to enter or remain, and the area is not open to the public. Defend yourself with the assitance of a Fort Lauderdale burglary attorney.

The basic element of a Florida burglary conviction requires the prosecutor to present evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the entering into the dwelling or conveyance was wrongful and committed with the intent of committing an additional crime once inside.

If a defendant enters a dwelling or conveyance without the intent of committing another crime in inside, then it is not a burglary. A Ft Lauderdale burglary defense lawyer can help to prove this.

Burglary of a dwelling can be proven in two ways. First by entering a dwelling without the permission of the owner or with intent to commit a crime inside, or secondly, by remaining in a dwelling surreptitiously, which means by stealth or hiding, after a consensual entry.

Under the Florida Burglary statutes, a “dwelling” is defined as a building that people used as a shelter, lodging or home. The dwelling includes the porch of the home, and any buildings attached to it such as a garage. A dwelling can include a mobile home, RV, or tent. A “structure” is any building that has a roof and foor, and includes the buildings attached to it such as a garage. A “conveyance” most commonly refers to a car, truck or other motor vehicle, but it can also include a airplane, vessel or boat (anything used to transport people from one location to another).

The jury instructions for a burglary offense provide that the jury may infer that the defendant had the intent to commit a crime inside the structure or conveyance if he entered in a manner that was stealthily and without the consent of the owner or occupant. In order to enter, the defendant’s entire body does not have to go inside of the structure, dwelling or conveyance, instead it is sufficient if any part of his body goes inside, including a hand. The intent to commit a crime therein looks at the operations of the defendant’s mind which is not always capable of direct and positive proof. Therefore, the prosecutor is allowed to attempt to establish evidence of intent by the use of circumstantial evidence.

Pursuant to Florida Statute 810.02 Burglary is defined as;

(1)(a) For offenses committed on or before July 1, 2001, “burglary” means entering or remaining in a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein, unless the premises are at the time open to the public or the defendant is licensed or invited to enter or remain.

(b) For offenses committed after July 1, 2001, “burglary” means:

1. Entering a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein, unless the premises are at the time open to the public or the defendant is licensed or invited to enter; or

2. Notwithstanding a licensed or invited entry, remaining in a dwelling, structure, or conveyance:

  • a. Surreptitiously, with the intent to commit an offense therein;
  • b. After permission to remain therein has been withdrawn, with the intent to commit an offense therein; or
  • c. To commit or attempt to commit a forcible felony, as defined in s. 776.08.

(2) Burglary is a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if, in the course of committing the offense, the offender:

  • (a) Makes an assault or battery upon any person; or
  • (b) Is or becomes armed within the dwelling, structure, or conveyance, with explosives or a dangerous weapon; or
  • (c) Enters an occupied or unoccupied dwelling or structure, and:

1. Uses a motor vehicle as an instrumentality, other than merely as a getaway vehicle, to assist in committing the offense, and thereby damages the dwelling or structure; or

2. Causes damage to the dwelling or structure, or to property within the dwelling or structure in excess of $1,000.

(3) Burglary is a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if, in the course of committing the offense, the offender does not make an assault or battery and is not and does not become armed with a dangerous weapon or explosive, and the offender enters or remains in a:

  • (a) Dwelling, and there is another person in the dwelling at the time the offender enters or remains;
  • (b) Dwelling, and there is not another person in the dwelling at the time the offender enters or remains;
  • (c) Structure, and there is another person in the structure at the time the offender enters or remains; or
  • (d) Conveyance, and there is another person in the conveyance at the time the offender enters or remains.

(4) Burglary is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if, in the course of committing the offense, the offender does not make an assault or battery and is not and does not become armed with a dangerous weapon or explosive, and the offender enters or remains in a:

  • (a) Structure, and there is not another person in the structure at the time the offender enters or remains; or
  • (b) Conveyance, and there is not another person in the conveyance at the time the offender enters or remains.

Contact an experienced burglary attorney in Ft Lauderdale FL today for assistance with any Fort Lauderdale burglary defense.