Fort Walton Beach Burglary of a Dwelling Lawyer
Burglary of a Dwelling is a very serious felony offense and the prosecutors in Fort Walton Beach will be looking to put you in prison if you are convicted. In order to protect yourself, we recommend that you contact a Fort Walton Beach burglary lawyer as soon as possible. We also recommend that if you are contacted by the police about your involvement in a Burglary of a Dwelling, you respectfully tell them that you will NOT discuss the case without an attorney of your choosing present. This is especially important in Burglary of a Dwelling cases where the police don’t know who committed the crime, but they suspect someone. Don’t do their job for them and don’t talk to them without a Fort Walton Beach burglary lawyer present.
Call the Fort Walton Beach offices of Flaherty Defense Firm today at (850) 243-6097 and ask us to send you a very important card that has detailed information on it about what to say to the police if they knock on your door and want to question you. This card also contains a message to the police that asserts your constitutional rights and puts them on notice that you are protected. The card is free. Just call us and ask.
Burglary of a Dwelling under Florida Law
Florida Statute 810.02(1)(b) defines Burglary of a Dwelling as:
“entering into a 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invited entry, remaining in a dwelling with the intent to commit an offense therein after permission to remain has been withdrawn.”
Florida Statute 819.011 defines a dwelling as:
“a building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, which has a roof over it and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night, together with the curtilage thereof.”
Is the garage considered part of the dwelling?
Yes it is. If the garage is attached to the house, it is part of the curtilage of the home. Therefore, if a defendant commits a burglary in an attached garage, they will be charged with Burglary of a Dwelling. If the garage is a separate building that is not attached to the home, the correct charge would be Burglary of a Structure, a less serious level of Burglary.
How Serious is Burglary of a Dwelling?
Regardless of which level of Burglary you are charged with in Fort Walton Beach, it will be a felony offense. Burglary of a Dwelling can be either a first degree felony (up to 30 years or life in prison) or a second degree felony (up to 15 years in prison) depending on the following variations:
(1) First degree felony: if the defendant is armed or becomes armed within the dwelling or if the defendant enters a dwelling and causes damage to the dwelling or to property within in excess of $1000.00.
(2) Second degree felony: regardless of whether the dwelling was occupied or not, all charges of Burglary of a Dwelling will at least be charged as a second degree felony.
How will a Fort Walton Beach attorney defend my Burglary of a Dwelling case?
It starts with the advice I gave you at the beginning. Hire the best Fort Walton Beach burglary lawyer you can find and don’t talk to the police. In fact, don’t talk to anyone about your case except for your attorney. You never know if the buddy you’re confiding in has problems of his own that he could solve by turning you in. So no matter what, do not discuss your case with anyone except your attorney.
To answer the question more specifically, here are the three most common issues that we try to exploit when we defend clients accused of Burglary of a Dwelling:
(1) Whether our client was a licensee or was invited.
(2) Whether the area in question really was part of the curtilage of the dwelling.
(3) Whether there was any intent to commit an offense when our client entered the dwelling.
We will carefully review the police reports and witness statements, interview all state witnesses, and visit the crime scene to take pictures. We’ll take depositions of the state witnesses, and prepare the case for trial. We will also negotiate on your behalf for a reduced charge or lower sentence. Either way, I will present all options to you and it will be your decision whether to accept a plea or go to trial.
Burglary of a Dwelling Lawyer in Fort Walton Beach
You already know that you are facing a long time in prison. And right now, you are probably nervous about what to do, who to hire, how much it’s going to cost, etc. I want you to know that if you pick up the phone and call me, no one at my office will pressure you or give you a sales pitch. Our team will listen to you, answer your questions, and give you an idea about what we can do for you and how much it will cost. After we meet, you will have peace of mind knowing that you are not alone and that you can fight this charge.
Call Flaherty Defense Firm today at (850) 243-6097 if you have been charged with Burglary of a Dwelling in Fort Walton Beach.