Under Florida Law, Burglary has occurred when a person enters or remains in a dwelling, structure, or conveyance with the intent to commit a criminal act.
Definition of Structure
A building of any kind, either temporary or permanent, which has a roof affixed to it, and the enclosed space of ground and outbuildings immediately surrounding the structure.
Definition of Conveyance
Any motor vehicle, ship, vessel, railroad car trailer, aircraft, or sleeping car.
Definition of Dwelling
A building or conveyance of any kind, temporary or permanent, which has a roof affixed to it and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night, together with the enclosed space of ground and outbuildings immediately surrounding it.
Burglary has occurred either when:
- The defendant enters a dwelling, structure, or conveyance owned by or in possession of another person and, at the time of entering, the defendant had the intent to commit a criminal offense.
- The defendant lawfully enters a dwelling, structure, or conveyance and remains inside;
- Surreptitiously and with the intent to commit a criminal offense; or
- After permission to remain inside had been withdrawn and with the intent to commit an offense; or
- With the intent to commit or attempt to commit a forcible felony inside.
A man with a backpack goes from house to house late at night looking for an unlocked door. After finding one, he walks into the house and starts putting the owners belongings in his bag. Shortly after walking in, the owner, who wasn’t asleep at the time, realized someone was breaking into the house. The owner called the police to report the burglary, and sent over a video of the man walking in the house from his doorbell camera. The police were able to identify the man through the video, and he was arrested for burglary.
The penalties for burglary differ based on the circumstances of the crime.
Burglary as a 1st Degree Felony
Penalties of up to life in prison. The defendant:
- Commits an assault or battery on any person;
- Is or becomes armed within the dwelling, structure, or conveyance; or
- Enters an occupied area or unoccupied dwelling or structure and uses a motor vehicle as an instrumentality other than a getaway vehicle, to assist in committing the offense, and thereby damaging the dwelling or structure.
Burglary as a 2nd Degree Felony
Penalties of up to 15 years imprisonment or probation. The defendant:
- Does not commit an assault
- Does not carry a deadly weapon
- Enters or remains in a dwelling, structure, or conveyance
Burglary as a 3rd Degree Felony
Penalties of up to 5 years in prison or on probation and a $5,000 fine. The defendant enters or remains in a:
- Structure, and there is not another person in the structure at the time the offender enters or remains; or
- Conveyance, and there is not another person in the conveyance at the time the offender enters or remains.