The Seriousness of a Burglary Charge
Burglary is a serious criminal offense and a conviction potentially leaves the defendant with a felony record that never goes away. If you are faced with allegations of burglary, you should secure the services of a knowledgeable lawyer as soon as possible. Before trial even commences, your lawyer can file pleadings to assist in your case and possibly get the charges dropped.
Burglary Scams Nationwide
Law enforcement agencies and consumer watchdogs across the country are warning individuals about a rash of widespread burglary scams. Entrance into a dwelling is typically gained through trickery with the creation of a panic situation. The scheme generally involves a warning about the victim’s water or electricity. It also usually involves more than one party. According to Consumer Affairs, several of the most common cases include:
- In Florida, a woman was kept busy at her front door by a woman claiming to work for the power company. Meanwhile, an accomplice entered the back door and allegedly stole numerous items from the home.
- In Illinois, law enforcement agencies are investigating several similar occurrences. In one particular situation, an elderly resident opened the front door for a man claiming to work as a city yard worker. The man then barged into the house and distracted her attention, while an accomplice came in through the back and stole her jewelry.
- In New Jersey, a person claiming to work with the water department entered a home with permission from the homeowner. Several day later, the homeowner discovered that a lock box in the attic was broken into and emptied.
If you have been falsely accused of burglary as a result of one of these scams, it is in your best interests to speak with a legal professional immediately.
Burglary in Florida
Florida law generally defines burglary as “entering a dwelling or structure with the intent of committing an offense and without permission or legal right to be there.” The state issues the charge at various degrees, depending on the details of the crime.
- First Degree Burglary – This is the most serious classification. It carries a possible incarceration up to 30 years and applies when:
- the assailant is armed during the incident; and/or
- committed an assault on another person during the incident.
- Second Degree Burglary – A second degree burglary charge is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. It applies when:
- the structure entered is a dwelling;
- occupied; or
- an emergency vehicle.
- Third Degree Burglary – A third degree burglary charge is the least serious of the three categories. Convictions can carry a sentence up to five years in prison. It generally applies when:
- the structure entered is not a dwelling; nor
- is it occupied at the time of the alleged burglary
With the assistance of an experienced lawyer, you can launch a successful defense to a burglary allegation. You may argue that the structure was open to the public at the time of the entering, which would negate the unlawful entering claim. The intent requirement is also ripe for a defense claim. The prosecutor must prove that the defendant intended to commit a crime while in the dwelling. If your lawyer is able to counter this claim, you can successfully beat the charges.
If you or a loved one is facing burglary charges in Miami, Attorneys Mycki Ratzan and Jude Faccidomo can provide you with an aggressive and comprehensive defense. Contact Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC today at (305) 330-3905 for a confidential and free consultation.