Does Florida Law View Breaking and Entering the Same as Burglary?

Is Breaking and Entering the Same as BurglaryIn Florida, anyone who commits the crime of breaking and entering will be charged with burglary. The terms are one and the same, according to the Florida legislature. Burglary is a felony offense in Florida, and in every state, having a felony on your permanent record can have lifelong consequences.  Convicted felons don’t have the right to vote, sit on a jury, own or possess a firearm, and many other restrictions that vary from state to state. If you’re facing charges of burglary for breaking and entering, then you’re looking at felony charges that a criminal defense lawyer can help you with. If you’ve been charged with this felony in Orange County, protect your freedom and your future by seeking counsel from the experienced criminal attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm.

How Does Florida Define Breaking and Entering as a Burglary Offense?

Under Fl. Statute 810.02, burglary is defined as “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.” Some key definitions of that include:

  • Dwelling – a building that has a roof and is occupied by those living there at night. That consists of the areas that the dwelling occupies, like a back yard.
  • Structure – a building that has a roof and is occupied, whether permanently or temporarily, but does not need to be the place where occupants sleep or stay at night. 
  • Conveyance – any car, motor vehicle, ship, vessel, aircraft, sleeping car, or railroad vehicle. Entering a conveyance also includes taking any portion of the conveyance apart, like taking a wallet that’s sitting on the front seat of someone’s car. 

A crucial part of Florida’s definition of burglary is “remaining in a dwelling.” Even if a person stayed in someone else’s living space without the intent to cause harm, because they were there without the owner’s consent, it would result in burglary charges. In Florida, breaking and entering is not a separate offense but is often used as a term for acts that don’t involve other crimes.

What are the Penalties for Breaking and Entering in Florida?

Because breaking and entering is a burglary crime, the consequences are severe. Along with the previously mentioned penalties, offenders in Florida are ineligible for government assistance and must wait through a mandatory period before being approved for adoption. Most burglaries in Florida count as second and third-degree offenses.

To commit 1st-degree burglary, the offender must have caused damages that equal $1,000 or more. If convicted, the penalties include up to $10,000 in fines and 30 years in prison. Depending on the circumstances, offenders might get a life sentence in prison rather than 30 years. To commit second-degree burglary, the offender would have had to enter or remain in any of the following:

  • An occupied or unoccupied dwelling
  • A structure that’s occupied
  • A conveyance that’s occupied
  • A structure or conveyance with the intent to steal a controlled substance – which is charged separately from other drug possession or trafficking crimes
  • A state-authorized emergency vehicle

The penalty for a 2nd-degree burglary is up to $10,000 in fines and up to 15 years in prison. Committing a 3rd-degree burglary means the offender was unarmed and entered or remained in an unoccupied structure or conveyance. The offender must not have become armed during the burglary or committed assault or battery during the act. The penalty of 3rd-degree burglary includes up to $5,000 in fines and a maximum of five years in prison.

Charged with Burglary in Orange County? Call on The Umansky Law Firm to Help!

If you’re facing charges of burglary, then you’re facing weighty consequences that can affect the rest of your life. The Umansky Law Firm has a reputation as aggressive criminal defense attorneys in Orlando with more than 100 years of combined legal experience. Some of the defenses they might consider for your burglary charge include that you thought you had the right to be where you were. When you speak with one of our attorneys, we’ll analyze your case thoroughly and give you our honest feedback on the case that the state has against you, so you know where to begin.

To schedule your first free consultation to review your case, fill out a contact form online, or call anytime at (407) 228-3838.