Burglary is a felony offense under Florida law, so it's certainly in your best interests to investigate every possible defense strategy. However, it's a common misconception that you are not guilty of burglary if you didn't fully enter the location.
Key Points to Remember About Florida Burglary Charges
If you're facing burglary charges in Florida, it's important to remember the following three key points:
- Full entry is not required. You do not need to be completely inside a vehicle, business, or home in order to be charged with burglary. If any part of your body enters the building, structure, or conveyance, this is sufficient for a burglary charge. For example, sticking your hand through an open window to grab a necklace on a bedroom shelf or a wallet left on a vehicle seat would merit a burglary charge under Florida law.
- There is no need to prove criminal intent. The prosecutor does not need to prove criminal intent for you to be convicted of a burglary charge. The judge can infer criminal intent from any method of attempting to enter a location that does not include knocking on the front door or being expressly invited to enter.
- No item needs to be stolen. You can be charged with burglary even if you aren't found with stolen property in your possession. The crime is considered complete from the moment you partially or fully enter the location with the implied criminal intent, so it makes no difference if you were scared off or had a sudden change of heart. (What many people think of when they imagine a burglary is actually more in line with robbery charges.)
Contact an Okaloosa County Burglary Attorney
If you or a loved one have been charged with burglary in Okaloosa County, call Flaherty & Merrifield today at (850) 243-6097 for a free consultation.