Fort Walton Beach Burglary Attorney
If you are being investigated, or have been accused of Burglary in Fort Walton Beach, it is vital that you protect yourself right away and follow these two very simple pieces of advice:
- Retain the best criminal defense attorney you can find.
- Do not agree to talk to the police without your attorney present.
Burglary is a very serious felony offense. The prosecutors in Fort Walton Beach will be looking to put you in prison if you are convicted. If you follow the advice we’ve listed above, you greatly increase the odds of a successful outcome. Don’t wait until it’s too late to take control of your case and your future.
My name is Tim Flaherty. Since 2001, I have been defending clients in Fort Walton Beach and throughout Okaloosa County. Brandy Merrifield is my partner. She has worked with me since 2007. Criminal Defense is our only area of practice, and we are ready to put our experience to work for you. Contact us at (850) 243-6097 if you are facing a burglary charge.
Burglary Under Florida Law
Florida Statute 810.02 defines Burglary as follows:
“entering into a conveyance, structure, or dwelling 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 notwithstanding a licensed or invited entry, remaining in a structure, dwelling, or conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein after permission to remain has been withdrawn.”
There are 3 different types of Burglary:
Burglary of a Conveyance
A conveyance is a motor vehicle, vessel, or trailer.
Depending on whether the vehicle was occupied or not, and on whether you were armed during the commission of the crime, Burglary of a Conveyance can be charged as a first, second or third degree felony with a possible sentence ranging from 5 to 30 years in prison.
Burglary of a Structure
A structure is any kind of building.
Burglary of a Structure will either be filed as a third degree or second degree felony. The potential term of imprisonment for Burglary of a Structure is between 5 and 15 years.
Burglary of a Dwelling in Fort Walton Beach
Simply put, a dwelling is a home or building that is designed for people to occupy.
This level of Burglary is the most serious of the three. Depending on the circumstances, it will either be a second degree felony with a maximum sentence of 15 years, or a first degree felony punishable by life in prison.
Defending a Fort Walton Beach Burglary Charge
We will prepare your defense along three different tracks at the same time:
- Pretrial Investigation and Motions: After reviewing the police reports, talking to all of the witnesses, and visiting the scene of the crime (especially if it’s a dwelling or curtilage), we will look to see whether we can raise a defense on issues such as: Whether our client was a licensee or was invited, whether the area in question really was a part of the curtilage of a dwelling, or whether our client had the intent to commit an offense when they entered the conveyance, structure, or dwelling.
- Negotiation and Mitigation: We will prepare a full background of our client and put together a mitigation package before negotiating with the prosecutor. In the past, this approach has been very successful, especially with younger clients with no criminal record. In several of these cases, the result was a program in Fort Walton Beach called Pretrial Intervention (PTI). PTI is a diversion program that guarantees a dismissal of all charges if the conditions of the program are completed. In other cases, the Burglary charges were reduced to a lesser charge, or a misdemeanor.
- Trial Preparation: We prepare every one of our felony cases for trial from day one. We do this because even though most cases do not go to trial, it puts you in the best possible negotiating position if the State knows we are ready and willing to fight the case in court.
Ready to feel better about your Fort Walton Beach Burglary Case?
You already know that you are facing very serious penalties, including a long time in prison and a permanent felony conviction on your record. And right now, you are probably stressed about what to do, who to hire, how much it is going to cost, etc. If you call Flaherty Defense Firm, we will not pressure you or give you a sales pitch. We will not judge you or make you feel worse than you already feel. We will listen to you, answer your questions, and tell you exactly what we will do to help you.
Call Flaherty Defense Firm today at (850) 243-6097 if you have been charged with Burglary in Fort Walton Beach.