Burglary Defense Attorney in Miami

Burglary Defense Attorney in Miami

Facing a burglary charge in Florida is a serious matter with potentially life-altering consequences. Our law firm is dedicated to defending clients in Miami, Broward, and Palm Beach against these charges, utilizing deep legal knowledge and a robust defense strategy. Here, we delve into the complexities of burglary laws, potential penalties, and the defenses that could significantly impact the outcome of your case.

Experienced burglary defense attorney in Miami

What is Burglary in Florida?

In Florida, burglary is legally defined under Section 810.02, Florida Statutes. This law describes various scenarios in which entering or remaining in a building, structure, or vehicle can lead to serious criminal charges if done with the intent to commit an offense therein. The full text of the statute provides critical information and can be viewed here.

Understanding the Crime of Burglary

The crime of burglary doesn’t necessarily require a full entry into a property. It’s sufficient if any part of the perpetrator’s body or any instrument used by them enters the property with the intent to commit a crime. This is outlined in the Florida Standard Jury Instructions (Crim) 13.1, which clarifies that even minimal intrusion constitutes burglary if coupled with criminal intent.

Formation of Intent

Intent is a pivotal element in burglary charges. It must be formed at the time of entry or while remaining unlawfully within the property. Determining when and how intent was formed often requires a nuanced examination of the circumstances surrounding the entry.

From Burglary to Trespass

A thorough investigation by a seasoned defense team can sometimes reveal that what might initially appear as burglary could legally be argued down to trespass, a significantly lesser offense. This often involves demonstrating the absence of intent to commit any further crime, which can transform a felony charge into a misdemeanor.

Full Entry Not Required

It’s essential to understand that burglary doesn’t require the defendant to fully enter a property. The law states that the crime is complete if the defendant, intending to commit a crime, extends any part of their body or an object into the property. This principle is documented in the Florida Standard Jury Instructions, which you can access here.

Inference of Criminal Intent

If someone enters a property stealthily, it’s possible for a jury to infer that this was done with criminal intent. This inference is significant as it shifts the burden to the defense to disprove intent, emphasizing the importance of a strategic legal response.

Penalties for Burglary

Burglary penalties in Florida vary greatly:

  • First Degree Felony: Life imprisonment for burglaries involving assault, battery, or armed with dangerous weapons.
  • Second Degree Felony: Up to 15 years for burglary of an occupied dwelling without violence.
  • Third Degree Felony: Up to 5 years for unoccupied property burglaries.

Defenses to Burglary

A robust defense is critical in burglary cases. Potential defenses include:

  • Consent: Entry with the owner’s permission negates unlawful intent.
  • Lack of Intent to Commit a Crime: If entering without intent to commit a further crime, the charge may not stand.
  • Mistaken Identity: Proving that the accused was not present at the crime scene.
  • Implied Invitation: Accessibility to a property, like a business open to the public, may imply consent.
  • Lack of Evidence: Disproving the presence or actions of the accused at the scene.

Importance of an Attorney

The complexities of burglary charges make it imperative to seek skilled legal counsel. A knowledgeable attorney can navigate the intricacies of the law, challenge the prosecution’s assertions, and aim to reduce or dismiss the charges.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the difference between burglary and trespass?
  • Burglary involves entering with intent to commit an offense; trespass does not involve such intent.
  1. Can I be charged with burglary if I did not steal anything?
  • Yes, burglary charges hinge on unlawful entry with intent to commit any offense, not just theft.
  1. What should I do if I am accused of burglary?
  • Contact an attorney immediately. Do not speak to the police without legal representation.

If you or someone you know is facing burglary charges in Miami, Broward, or Palm Beach, contact us today for a comprehensive legal evaluation. Our experienced attorneys are ready to defend your rights and work towards the best possible resolution of your case.

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