Burglary and Trespass Attorney
Burglary and Trespass
Burglary and Trespass cases are common in Florida. In 2017, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) documented that over 500,000 property crimes were reported.
Burglary cases, in particular, can be devastating because of the relative ease that they can be prosecuted and the hefty scoresheet points they carry. A burglary and trespassing criminal defense lawyer will fight to minimize penalties and potentially clear your name.
Criminal Defense Legal Assistance in Pinellas County
Sean McQuaid is a highly rated and respected criminal defense attorney in Florida. For over 19 years his dedicated service to the St Petersburg community has seen clients receive favorable outcomes. Sean McQuaid is a named partner at Battaglia Ross Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., which for 60 years has been providing outstanding legal assistance, earning a Tier 1 national law firm ranking by US News and World Reports.
If you’re facing Burglary or Trespass charges in Pinellas County, use an attorney of the highest standing to represent you. You can contact Sean McQuaid today for a free consultation to begin the fight for your defense.
What is Burglary in Florida?
Florida Statute §810.02 states burglary is, “entering 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.”
It must be proven that the accused was actually trespassing with an intent to commit a crime. If no intent can be determined, then misdemeanor trespassing charges are usually offered.
What is Trespassing in Florida?
Trespassing isn’t as serious an offense as burglary despite the elements being very similar. Florida Statute §810.08 defines the crime as when a person enters a property without permission, or after a warning not to do so. Trespass charges are first-degree misdemeanors punishable by up to 1 year in jail.
What is the difference between Burglary and Theft in Florida?
Burglary differs from theft charges according to the intent. Theft must have the intention of actually stealing a belonging from another person at any location, whether permission to enter was given or not. Burglary is when the person enters a property without permission, but with the intent to commit a crime.
Types of Burglary
- Burglary of a structure/conveyance
- A structure is any building that isn’t considered a home. For example, an office, bank, school or business. A conveyance is something that moves such as a car or boat.
- Burglary of a dwelling
- A dwelling is a building that is a residence. Typically burglary of dwellings includes “crime within” charges, as damage to the property and theft crimes are usually committed.
- Burglary with assault, battery or armed burglary
- This is when the burglary involves threatening behavior (assault) or non-consensual physical contact (battery).
What are the penalties for burglary in Florida?
Punishments for burglary and trespassing can vary depending on the specific behaviors that are proven to have occurred. Violent behavior, damage to property and the actual way in which the person entered the property can all determine the penalties.
- Burglary of a Structure/Conveyance
- This is a third-degree felony, with a penalty of up to 5 years in a Florida prison. If the structure is occupied during the incident, then the charge may be increased to a second-degree felony.
- Burglary of a Dwelling
- Initially, this is a second-degree felony, with up to 15 years in prison. The punishments are severe, regardless of previous offenses. If the dwelling was occupied, a person was armed or committed assault or battery during the burglary, then the degree of the felony increases and can result in up to life imprisonment.
- Burglary with an Assault or battery or armed burglary
- Punishments become extremely severe if these additional elements are involved. They are first-degree felonies and are punishable by up to 30 years in a Florida state prison. If this occurred on a dwelling then a life sentence is a possibility.
What are the penalties for Trespassing in Florida?
Most trespassing crimes receive a one-year probation sentence or less. Severe crimes such as trespassing while armed, or entering a school can become third-degree felonies punishable by up to 5 years in prison time.
What if you never actually entered the building?
The accused may be guilty even if they never actually entered the structure or dwelling. “Curtilage” may have been breached, which is when a person accesses an exterior area of the property without permission. That may include climbing a fence or entering through a window.
Defense for Burglary and Trespassing
As intent and permission to enter can often be hard to prove, a high-quality criminal defense attorney has an opportunity for a successful defense. If there was no intention to commit a crime, then a lawyer may be able to clear the accused of any charges. Shelter from the weather, being lost or escaping emergencies are all common motives for why a person may have been falsely charged with trespassing and burglary.
If multiple people had authority over permissions, then the accused may also have been confused as to whether they were allowed on the property or not. These are just a few examples of how a criminal defense attorney can potentially clear you of wrongdoing and reduce charges.
Why should you hire a Pinellas County Burglary and Trespass Attorney?
If you’re facing charges of burglary or trespassing, then your future is in jeopardy, and the only way to save it is through a successful defense. Hiring a premiere Pinellas County criminal defense attorney is your best chance to clear your name. Sean McQuaid has held the ‘Florida Super Lawyer’ title since 2014 and will fight for you. As your burglary and trespass defense lawyer he will:
- Navigate complicated Florida Law with expert knowledge
- Handle the paperwork and procedures on your behalf
- Arrange for your release from jail so you can be present for your defense.
- Fight for your innocence or minimize charges
- Avoid prison by using his experience to gain alternative sentences
- Utilize his strong and trusted connections in the legal system
- Attempt to keep your criminal record as clean as possible
- Guide you through the process and be your advocate from start to finish.
You can contact Sean McQuaid at Battaglia Ross Dicus & McQuaid, P.A today to begin your defense.
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