16th Nov 2015
The first step of a criminal defense is for the criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale to examine the crime that his or her client is accused of. Burglary is defined under Florida law as a person entering a dwelling, structure or conveyance with the intent to commit a crime inside such property. Additionally, the individual must not have been invited to enter or otherwise a licensee or must have had this status and then been requested to leave. A criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale can explain the potential punishment associated with a conviction, as well as possible defenses to the charges.
Burglary under Florida law is separated into three different degrees. Third degree burglary is defined as entering a structure or conveyance, not a dwelling, when no other person is present. It is punishable by a maximum prison term of up to five years and a fine of $5,000. Second degree burglary is committed when a defendant enters in a dwelling of any kind, in a structure or conveyance where someone is located there with the intent to commit a crime that involves a controlled substance. An individual can be imprisoned for a maximum of fifteen years and a $10,000 fine. First degree burglary carries the highest penalty with imprisonment of a maximum of 30 years to life and a fine of $10,000. It involves assault and battery, the defendant bearing explosives or having another dangerous weapon or causing damage to the structure in excess of $1,000.
A criminal defense attorney will evaluate the case to determine potential legal arguments and defenses. Sometimes the defendant may have been in a structure or dwelling but had no intent to commit a crime. Because the laws regarding burglary carry specific wording, a defense may rely on disproving one of the elements of the charge.