Okaloosa County Burglary Lawyer
If you have been arrested for burglary in Okaloosa County, it is important to take steps immediately to protect yourself. Law enforcement officers and the State Attorney’s Office will be doing everything in their power to ensure that you are convicted. A conviction for a burglary charge could result in a lengthy prison sentence and a stigma that will follow you for the rest of your life.
When you are ready to discuss your Okaloosa County burglary case and find out what we can do to protect your future, call Flaherty Defense Firm at (850) 243-6097. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will accommodate your schedule when setting up a free consultation. My name is Tim Flaherty and I have been defending burglary charges for over 16 years in Okaloosa County. I am ready to put my experience to work for you and help you through this stressful time.
Burglary Under Florida Law
Florida Statute 810.02 defines burglary as entering 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.
There are 3 types of burglary charges in Okaloosa County:
- Burglary of a Structure: A structure is defined as “a building of any kind, either temporary or permanent, which has a roof over it, together with the surrounding curtilage.”
Burglary of an unoccupied structure is a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. If the structure was occupied, it enhances the charge to a second degree felony with 15 years prison exposure.
- Burglary of a Dwelling: A dwelling is defined as “a building or conveyance of any kind, which has a roof over it and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night, together with the surrounding curtilage.” The simple definition of a dwelling is a “house”.
Burglary of a dwelling is a second degree felony and you could be sentenced to up to 15 years in the Department of Corrections. Burglary of a dwelling also carries 56 sentencing points, scoring out to a minimum of 21 months in prison, if convicted.
- Burglary of a Conveyance: A conveyance is defined as “any motor vehicle, ship, vessel, railroad vehicle or car, trailer, aircraft, or sleeping car.”
Burglary of a conveyance is a third degree felony and is punishable by up to five years incarceration. If the conveyance was occupied, the charge is enhanced to a second degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
If an assault or battery was made during a burglary to any structure, dwelling, or conveyance, or a weapon was used, you could be facing an additional charge of Burglary with Battery, which is punishable by up to LIFE in prison.
Burglary: The Elements
To prove the crime of burglary in Okaloosa County, the prosecutor must prove three elements beyond a reasonable doubt. The first element is that the defendant entered a structure or a conveyance that was owned by or possessed lawfully by another person.
The second element of a burglary in Florida is the wrongful entry. An invited guest, such as a person invited into your home or party or social event is not a wrongful entrance. However, if at any time a person is advised that they are no longer welcome then wrongful entry can be established.
The most critical element of proving the charge of burglary in Okaloosa County is that at the time of the entering, the person had the intent to commit an offense inside. This is the element that distinguishes a burglary charge from a simple trespass.
Contact an Okaloosa County Burglary Attorney
The stakes are high when you are accused of burglary. This is not the type of charge to leave in the hands of an overworked and underpaid public defender or an inexperienced general practice attorney. You need someone who has devoted their entire career to defending those accused of serious crimes.
Flaherty Defense Firm only practices criminal law, giving us the ability to devote the time necessary to defend our clients properly, the way we would want to be defended if we were in your shoes. Call us today at (850) 243-6097 to begin taking the steps necessary to get your life back and protect your freedom.