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What is a Burglary


Burglary is defined by F.S. 810.02. A person commits a burglary by 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

The crime of burglary is traditionally viewed as breaking into a home or business. However the crime of burglary has been defined as to cast a net much more broad than such traditional views. You can be charged with burglary for breaking into cars, shacks, etc.


The burglary of a structure is a 3rd degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. The burglary of a residence is a 2nd degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Both burglaries can have an enhanced sentence if there is a battery, deadly weapon, or firearm used in the burglary. In such cases the burglary becomes a first degree felony punishable by life in prison. These enhanced sentences apply even if the person is unarmed during the burglary, but becomes armed during the commission of the burglary. For example if someone breaks into a store and steals a gun he can be charged with burglary with a firearm, since he became armed in the commission of the burglary when he took the gun.


Like all criminal charges there are a number of defenses to burglary. One defense is that the place the defendant had allegedly broken into was open to the public. However the open to the public defense does not apply if the place that the burglary occurred is off limits or for employees only. For example if you reach behind the counter in a store you can generally be charged with burglary, since only employees are allowed behind the counter.

Another defense is that the defendant did not intend to commit a crime when breaking in the residence or structure. However if the defendant used stealthily entry to break into the building, then the prosecutor use the stealth entry as an inference that the defendant intended to commit a crime.

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ArsonAssault & BatteryBurglary
Check FraudChild Abuse/NeglectConspiracy
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