When we see burglary on movies or television, we may see a door being violently kicked down and the criminal entering the property and stealing something valuable. Under Florida law, though, the crime of burglary need not be so nefarious.
What constitutes burglary in Florida?
In Florida, if a person enters a dwelling or structure that is not open to the public and that they are not invited onto, intending to commit a crime therein, this constitutes burglary. Note that the intent to commit a crime is not limited to theft crimes. It can be any crime. In addition, one can still be charged with burglary if the intended crime was not actually committed, as long as the intention to commit a crime therein exists.
What are the penalties for burglary in Florida?
In Florida, the crime of burglary is considered a first-degree felony. A person convicted of burglary in Florida can face life in prison if, in the course of committing the crime, assaulted or committed battery against another person, if the accused was armed with explosives or dangerous weapons or if the accused used a motor vehicle to commit the offense other than as a getaway vehicle damaging the structure or if in the course of the burglary they cause greater than $1,000 in property damage.
Burglary is considered a second-degree felony in Florida if no assault or battery is committed, the accused is not armed with explosives or a dangerous weapon and the accused enters a dwelling or structure that another person is or is not in.
Burglary is considered a third-degree felony in Florida if no assault or battery is committed, the accused is not armed with explosives or a dangerous weapon and the accused enters a structure that is unoccupied.
Learn more about theft crimes in Florida
This is only a brief overview of burglary in Florida and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Those in the Sunshine State who want to learn more about theft crimes are encouraged to explore our firm’s website for further information.