gavel and handcuffs

Will I Get Prison Time for My First Burglary Offense in Florida?

Burglary is the crime of entering a home, business, or property that is not yours with the intent to steal, obtain illegally, money or property. How your crime is charged in Florida is determined by a variety of factors, including prior history of crime, if force or a weapon was used in the execution of the crime, and if people were present when the burglary was alleged to have happened. In Florida, burglary can also be referred to as breaking and entering. It is a serious criminal offense and, if convicted, leads to serious consequences.

Burglary Charges & Penalties in Florida

The prosecutor in the case will have to prove that you illegally entered a property and intended to commit a crime while on the premises illegally. If you are suspected and fear you could be charged with burglary, it’s in your best interest to hire a defense attorney to fight the charges. Burglary charges carry stiff penalties and fines if convicted. The penalties for burglary, like most crimes, will depend on the details of the case and the circumstances involved.

First Degree Felony

First Degree Felony Burglary is an extremely serious crime that can carry a life sentence and a fine of $10,000 or less if the assailant was armed with a deadly weapon, committed assault, or battery against a person within the dwelling, and used explosives to enter the structure.

The charge of first-degree felony burglary would also apply if the conditions of the crime involved using a vehicle to execute the crime, not as a means of escape, as in a getaway car, but to enter the property and the damages from said destruction exceed $1000.

Second Degree Felony

Second Degree Felony Burglary carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison, or it can carry up to 15 years of probation. A fine not to exceed $10,000 is levied as long as the defendant was not armed with a dangerous weapon or commit assault on anyone within the property that they enter or remain.

Third Degree Felony

Third Degree Felony Burglary carries a penalty of up to 5 years in prison, or it can carry up to 5 years of probation. The charge also carries a fine that cannot exceed $5,000 if the defendant entered a structure where no one was present at the time they entered or remained on the premises.

Dedicated Legal Representation When it Matters

Whether or not you will receive prison time for a first conviction of burglary depends on several factors. One of which is whether the crime was violent. It’s not even summertime yet, and the warmer weather is already translating into an increase in violent crime. Researchers who study crime at the University of Miami are noticing an increase in violent crime, which they blamed some of the increase of aimless post-pandemic pent-up energy. There is the adage about idle hands and causing trouble. Another extenuating circumstance would be whether people who could be endangered were present at the time of the burglary. In Florida, the penalties for burglary are steep, so if you are arrested or charged with burglary, the time to take the reins of your legal defense is now! Because the charges and penalties for burglary will vary depending on the circumstance of your case, it’s best to have an attorney start reviewing the details as soon as possible. Call a Clearwater criminal defense attorney from our firm today at (727) 245-9009 to set up a free consultation.