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What to know about a burglary charge

On Behalf of | Sep 30, 2022 | Felony Offenses, Theft Offenses |

There are several elements that must be proven to obtain a conviction on a burglary charge in a Florida court. Perhaps the most important element is proving that a defendant intended to break the law when entering a structure. Let’s take a closer look at all the elements of this charge and how you may be able to defend yourself against it.

You enter a structure

The first element of a burglary charge is establishing that you entered a structure of any kind. A structure could be a home, a car or anything that this designed to house people, animals or objects. Therefore, it’s possible that you could be charged and convicted of the crime if you tried to enter a boat or a commercial building. It’s worth noting that it doesn’t matter whether you enter a structure by force, through an open door or after being invited in by its owner.

You commit a crime

You may be charged or convicted of this offense if you commit any type of crime after entering a home, boat or other structure. For example, you could be charged with burglary and other felonies if you entered a location with the intent to burn it down or to steal valuable items. Of course, you could also be charged with this offense if you broke into a house to use marijuana while the owner wasn’t home.

Intent matters

If you are given permission to enter a home to retrieve an item that belongs to you, this is generally not a crime. The same would be true if your employer let you into the office building at night to get your work laptop or for some other lawful purpose.

If convicted of burglary, you may spend time in jail, pay a fine or face other penalties. It may be possible to have the charge reduced or dismissed by casting doubt on police testimony or other evidence used to justify taking you into custody for this offense.