What makes a theft a burglary?

On Behalf of | Sep 2, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

People and businesses in Florida own various types of property. They expect that they will be keep it until they decide to sell it, throw it away or give it away. There are times when people may lose their property or it may be taken from them though. The people responsible for taking the property could be charged with a crime such as theft. However, it is not called a theft every time that people take property that does not belong to them.

In some situations, people could be charged with a burglary instead of theft. This occurs if people enter property that is not open to the public with the intention of committing a crime, typically taking the property. There are different types of burglaries as well. People can be charged with either a first, second or third-degree felony depending on the circumstances.

Levels of burglary

People can be charged with a first-degree felony if while committing the burglary they assault someone or have a weapon while committing the burglary. People can also be charged with first degree if they cause at least $1,000 of damage during the burglary.

Second-degree felony charges can occur if the burglary is at a home or in a building and there were other people in the building at the time of the burglary, but there was not an assault or weapon used.

A third-degree felony can be charged if the burglary does not involve an assault or weapons and takes place in a building with no other people present at the time.

There are many people who are charged with burglary each year in Florida. These are fact-specific charges though and the level of the charge really depends on the facts. There are also potential defenses available to people who have been charged. People are innocent until proven guilty and just because someone is charged does not mean they will be convicted of the crime. Experienced attorneys understand the potential defenses and may be able to help protect one’s rights.