TAMPA BURGLARY LAWYER
Work with an Experienced Former Prosecutor
Florida law heavily prosecutes those accused of theft crimes. Burglary is one of the theft offenses that can result in felony charges in Florida. Since this criminal offense often results in a prison sentence and hefty fines, you need the best Tampa criminal defense law firm to represent you.
Before becoming one of the leading criminal defense attorneys in the Tampa Bay area, attorney Andrew Buda was a former prosecutor for Pinellas County and Hillsborough County. Using this experience, attorney Andrew Buda knows how to create a strong defense against even the most serious criminal offenses. You can trust that your legal team from Buda Law will protect your rights through the entire legal process.
When you work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer like Andrew Buda, you’re chances of having your charges lowered, dropped, or dismissed significantly increase. Your legal team may even be able to get you enrolled in the pre-trial diversion program, which can also help lessen the penalties you could face.
How Does Florida Define Burglary?
According to Florida law, burglary is considered a property crime and occurs when a person unlawfully breaks into or enters a structure, home, or conveyance with the intent to commit a crime. Burglary is often confused with robbery, which is a violent crime that occurs when someone forcefully takes something of value from another.
Burglary is a serious crime and is punishable as a felony offense. Those facing a burglary conviction will most likely serve at least five years in prison and be required to pay up to $5,000 in fines. Depending on the severity of your crime, your prison sentence and penalties may even increase.
If you’ve been arrested for an alleged burglary crime, you need the experience and knowledge of the best criminal defense lawyers in Tampa, FL. When you work with an experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney from Buda Law, you can trust that your legal team will be providing aggressive defense strategies against your criminal charges.
Florida Statute § 810.02
Burglary is defined under Florida Statute § 810.02 as illegally entering a structure, dwelling, or conveyance intending to commit a criminal act. A person can still be charged with burglary if they legally enter a property but remain there to commit a crime.
To convict a person of burglary, the prosecuting attorney must prove the person entered the property and intended to commit a crime. If an offender entered a home illegally but didn’t steal anything, they can still be charged with burglary. The prosecutor must only prove the person intended to commit a crime.
According to Florida law, the type of property where the burglary occurs can also affect the penalties one is charged with. In terms of burglary, a person is guilty of this crime if it’s committed in a dwelling, conveyance, or structure.
- Structure: Not designed to be inhabited, like places of business. This building type has a roof over it.
- Conveyance: A motor vehicle, vessel, ship, railroad vehicle, sleeping car, and aircraft.
- Dwelling: Designed for temporary or permanent inhabitants. It can be any building or conveyance that has a roof over it.
What are the Penalties for Burglary in Florida?
Burglary is considered a felony in Florida and carries serious penalties if convicted. While the crime can result in a felony conviction, the specific penalties one can be charged with will depend on the circumstances surrounding the criminal offense. Factors like if a person was armed at the time of the crime, whether the building was occupied, the type of dwelling, structure, or conveyance, if any damage was incurred, and more all affect the degree of burglary you may be charged with. Also, anyone with prior criminal convictions will be more likely to face harsher penalties for their alleged crime.
Third-Degree Felony Burglary
The severity of the crime will play a significant part in the amount of prison time one receives and the amount of fines that will be owed. If the person did not assault anyone during the crime or was unarmed, they can face third-degree felony charges. If convicted, one can spend up to five years in prison and pay $5,000 in fines.
Second-Degree Felony Burglary
If the burglary was done so with the intent to steal a controlled substance, enter an occupied property, or illegally enter an emergency vehicle, the person could be charged with a second-degree felony. Like a third-degree felony, this offense does not involve a weapon or assault. This type of felony can result in a 15-year prison sentence and fines costing $10,000.
First-Degree Felony Burglary
If the offender was armed during the burglary or committed assault or battery, they can be charged with a first-degree felony. This type of felony can also be charged if the person used a vehicle to commit the burglary or caused property damage worth over $1,000. A first-degree felony is punishable by life imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.
If convicted of felony charges, offenders can also:
- Be placed on probation.
- Pay additional court and other related fees.
- Lose their right to vote and own a firearm.
The enhancer penalty will affect criminal charges if the burglary is committed during a hurricane or state of emergency. If a theft crime or burglary is committed during this time, a third-degree felony will be bumped up to a second-degree, and so on.
Florida Burglary Defenses
Burglary is considered a serious crime in Florida and should be handled by only the most experienced Tampa criminal defense attorneys. After understanding the circumstances surrounding the burglary, attorney Andrew Buda will create a tailored defense to fight against the criminal charges.
At Buda Law, our Tampa criminal lawyers may use one of the following aggressive defense strategies:
- The evidence did not prove intent to commit the theft crime.
- Mistaken identity.
- The accused never actually entered the vehicle or property.
- The premises did not fall under Florida’s definition of structure, dwelling, or conveyance.
- The premises were open to the public.
- The accused had permission to be on or remain on the premises.
Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer for Burglary Charges
Theft crimes, regardless of the severity, can carry lengthy prison sentences and significant fines. Even a person convicted of a third-degree felony will spend time in prison and may be charged up to $5,000 in fines. Felony criminal charges threaten a person’s future since they will remain on their criminal record forever. A criminal record also makes finding a home and job more difficult.
When facing such severe criminal charges, don’t leave your defense strategy up to just any Tampa criminal defense lawyers. Andrew Buda has experience handling theft crimes on both sides of the courtroom. As a former prosecuting attorney for Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties, he understands how to create a solid criminal defense strategy against your alleged crime. By evaluating evidence and reviewing police reports, attorney Andrew Buda can find any errors that may result in the dismissal of your case.
Calling attorney Andrew Buda immediately following your arrest is crucial for your defense. Law enforcement officers use many tricks and tactics when talking to those arrested on criminal charges. With Andrew Buda by your side, you can trust that you won’t say or do anything that could be detrimental to your case.
You never want to face theft charges on your own. Working with Tampa criminal defense lawyer Andrew Buda will increase your chances of receiving a better outcome than if you chose to represent yourself. Not only will your legal team work to get your charges lowered, but they will aggressively fight to get your charges dropped or dismissed.
Call the Tampa Burglary Defense Lawyers at Buda Law Today
If you’re facing a possible burglary conviction in the Tampa Bay area, you need experienced criminal defense attorney Andrew Buda representing you. In addition to defending burglary charges, Buda Law also represents clients facing the following drug trafficking, petit theft, grand larceny, domestic violence, aggravated assault, and most violent crimes.