Burglary Defense Attorney in Tampa, FL
Burglary charges in Florida can lead to severe penalties, including a life sentence in some cases. The laws that cover this crime are multi-layered and complex, as are the penalties and sentencing requirements. This is why it is essential to have qualified legal representation before you attempt to deal with burglary charges.
If you or a loved one are facing burglary charges in the Tampa, FL, area, call Armando Edmiston, an experienced Tampa burglary criminal defense lawyer, today.
Burglary Defined in Tampa, FL
In Florida, burglary is defined as unlawfully entering or remaining in a building or vehicle with intent to commit a crime there. Entering or remaining in a building or vehicle into which you were allowed or invited, or a building or vehicle open to the public, doesn’t count unless you remain surreptitiously with intent to commit a crime, you remain with intent to commit a crime after you have been told to leave, or you remain with intent to commit one of several forcible felonies such as murder or carjacking. Penalties for burglary vary depending on whether the offender burglarizes a dwelling, structure or vehicle; whether someone else is there at the time; and whether violence occurs.
Violent Burglary in Tampa, FL
The most serious sentences are reserved for burglaries involving assault or battery, explosives or dangerous weapons, and structural damage or property damage greater than $1,000. All these types of burglary are punishable by a maximum of life in prison. Mandatory minimums are also stiff for these crimes: By themselves, they come with minimum sentences of almost three years, while factors such as prior record, gang involvement and probation status can add significantly more time. Burglary with a firearm carries a minimum 10-year sentence.
Burglary of a Dwelling in Tampa, FL
Non-violent burglary is divided into levels of severity based on the location that is burglarized — dwelling, structure or conveyance — and whether anyone is there at the time. Regardless of whether a victim is inside, burglary of a dwelling is a second-degree felony with penalties including a minimum of 21 months in prison and a maximum of 15 years. A dwelling is defined as a building or vehicle with a roof and walls that is designed for nighttime occupation.
Burglary of a Structure in Tampa, FL
A structure is essentially any building not a dwelling. Burglarizing an occupied structure is a second-degree felony punishable by 15 years, as is burglary of any structure with intent to steal a controlled substance. They carry penalties of between 21 months and 15 years. Burglary of an unoccupied structure is a third-degree felony punishable by as many as five years.
Burglary of a Conveyance in Tampa, FL
A conveyance is any vehicle, including automobiles, ships, trains and aircraft. Burglary of a conveyance includes not only entering or remaining in a vehicle, but also taking it apart. Burglary of an occupied conveyance is a second-degree felony with a minimum penalty of 21 months and a maximum of 15 years. Burglary of an unoccupied conveyance is a third-degree felony punishable by at most five years.
Separate Burglary Crimes in Tampa, FL
Possessing any tools, machines or implements with intent to use them to commit a burglary or trespass, or to allow them to be used for those purposes, is a separate crime, a third-degree felony punishable by as many as five years. Burglary of an emergency vehicle is a second-degree felony with penalties including between 21 months and 15 years. Burglary leading to a death is third-degree murder, punishable by a maximum of 15 years.