In Florida, burglary is considered a felony level offense and is followed by some very harsh penalties if convicted, such as huge fines and years spent in prison. Sarasota burglary lawyer Erika Valcarcel understands the devastation that can arise from these charges. As a former prosecutor , she is well-versed in navigating the legal system and has seen first hand how these cases are approached in court. Now as a defender, she utilizes her experience to anticipate the prosecution’s strategy in order to construct an effective defense. Let Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. protect your rights so that your freedom can be maintained.

Call (941) 363-7900 today to see how your charges can be eliminated or reduced, if possible.

Florida Burglary Laws

Section 810.02 of Florida Statutes defines burglary as a person entering or remaining in a structure or dwelling with the specific intent to commit a crime. Burglary can also take place in a conveyance, which is any motor vehicle, vessel, ship, train, or aircraft. According to this description, a structure is any building that possesses a roof, whether it is permanent or temporary. A dwelling, on the other hand, is any building that is designed for permanent or temporary occupancy, such as a house or an apartment.

A burglary can be committed with only parts of a person’s body. Although it sounds a little odd, this crime can take place if a person extends any part of their body into a vehicle or building with criminal intent. Another strange and unfair element in burglary cases is that criminal intent can be inferred. This means that a jury can simply interpret the actions of the accused in whatever way they see fit. A burglary charge could be issued for simply entering a building.

Penalties and Collateral Consequences

Depending on the severity of the crime, burglary can be filed as a first, second, or third-degree felony. A burglary might be elevated to a first-degree felony when an individual commits assault or battery on a person, or if the individual is armed when they enter the building. This crime might be filed as a second-degree felony if there is a person in the building when the individual enters. When the burglary involves minimal risk and the committed crime is minor, the offense is filed as a third-degree felony. Criminal penalties for burglary include, but are not limited to:

  • Burglary (First Degree Felony): Up to life in prison
  • Burglary (Second Degree Felony): A fine of up to $10,000 and up to 15 years in prison or up to 15 years on probation
  • Burglary (Third Degree Felony): A fine of up to $5,000 and up to 5 years in prison or up to 5 years on probation

A conviction also carries collateral consequences that can haunt you for life. Finding a job once you are released from prison might be all but impossible. This is due to the fact that most employers shy away from hiring those with criminal records. Furthering your education might also be stifled, as colleges and universities thoroughly vet applicants before admitting them.

Contact Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. Today

With the help of a skilled attorney, there are a number of defenses that can be used to get your charges eliminated or reduced. One effective strategy is proving that you were given permission to enter the building or vehicle. It might also be the case that you are the victim of mistaken identity. Eyewitness testimony has been proven to be inaccurate, and it is entirely possible that you were falsely identified as the perpetrator. Whichever defense is used, making a compelling case is crucial to protecting your freedom.

A burglary charge can negatively impact every aspect of your life. From a ruined career to permanently altered relationships, there is no area left unaffected. Sarasota burglary lawyer Erika Valcarcel realizes that people are falsely accused of burglary every day. She will work tirelessly to prove that you did not commit the crime you are being accused of, whether that involves pointing out police misconduct or conducting an independent investigation.

Call (941) 363-7900 now to see you can avoid spending time behind bars.