In Florida, the crime of burglary is as much about where you committed the offense as what you may have taken or done while you were there. You open yourself up to a burglary charge whenever you enter a building or vehicle that’s not yours with the intention of breaking the law. Even if you do nothing but hide out there before moving on, you’re at risk for a burglary conviction. If you have anything on you at the time that qualifies as a weapon, the charge jumps to a first degree felony. If you injure another person while you’re there, through direct assault or battery, this is also a first degree felony. Likewise, if you cause any damage or harm to the premises, this is also a first degree felony charge in the state of Florida.
If any of these circumstances are involved and if you’re convicted, you might spend the rest of your life in prison. You could be liable for as much as $15,000 in fines. An experienced and dedicated criminal defense attorney can make all the difference against these charges. A crucial factor involves whether or not you were invited into the premises, or if there was a reasonable expectation that anyone could enter because it was a public place. The attorneys at Katz & Phillips know about this distinction and can use it to have the charges against you reduced so you don’t have to spend many years of your life in prison. [expand]If another individual was on the premises when you entered the property, but other factors were absent, you may be facing only second degree felony charges, punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. If the dwelling was empty, we might be able to get the charges against you further reduced to a third degree felony, depending on the other factors involved in your case. A third degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
There is a huge difference between the penalties incurred by a first degree felony charge and a third degree felony charge. You need an attorney who can create a strong defense for you and maximize this difference to your benefit. The legal team at Katz & Phillips has handled a wide range of burglary cases with all sorts of extenuating circumstances. If you make an appointment with us for a consultation, we’ll sit down with you to discuss the details of your case. We’ll let you know if a factor can work in your favor, and how we can use it. Don’t go down without a fight and accept a greater penalty than you deserve. Call the attorneys at Katz & Phillips today so we can get to work on your case and make sure your punishment is just.