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What constitutes burglary?

On Behalf of | Feb 18, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

In the state of Florida, a person may be charged with burglary after entering a structure for the purpose of committing any type of crime. If you are charged with burglary, it doesn’t mean that you have actually violated state or federal law. There are several elements that a prosecutor must prove to obtain a conviction in your case.

It must be shown that you actually entered a structure without permission

Generally speaking, a burglary cannot occur unless you actually enter a home, commercial building or other structure. In the eyes of the law, this could mean that you slipped your hand under a door or through an open window in an effort to gain greater access to it. A prosecutor must also show that you didn’t have permission to enter a home, office space or another type of building.

Did you intend to commit a crime after entering a building?

Simply setting foot into a building typically isn’t enough to be convicted of a burglary charge. In addition, you must actually commit a crime such as theft, arson or larceny. Of course, a prosecutor must show that you intended to do something that violated state or federal law. For example, accidentally setting fire to your friend’s house is unlikely to be seen as rising to the level of burglary or arson.

How is burglary different than robbery?

As a general rule, a robbery occurs when a victim is present when you enter a building. Furthermore, robbery typically involves the specific crime of taking property from its rightful owner. Depending on the specifics of your case, it may be possible to face both burglary and robbery charges.

If you are convicted of burglary, you may face a variety of penalties such as jail time, prison time or probation. However, it may be possible to cast doubt on the evidence used to charge you with this crime. If your efforts are successful, it may be possible to get your case dismissed or to obtain a full acquittal.