When someone accuses you of a crime, it is important to understand the allegations. One offense that can cause confusion is burglary.
You may consider burglary and theft to be the same thing. According to the Florida Legislature, taking someone’s property is not an element of burglary charges. Instead, this offense involves the unlawful entry of a building. This could be a home, a business, or any structure on someone’s private property. Additionally, someone might charge you with this offense if they suspect that you were in another person’s car or boat without permission.
What are the elements of burglary?
Legal officials usually need evidence that you meant to perform some kind of illegal activity. They may, for example, suspect that you entered a building to steal something, perform vandalism or set a fire. Additionally, they have to demonstrate that you lacked permission to be on the premises.
Legal officials may evaluate the items you possessed during the incident. Lock-picking tools or bolt cutters, for example, could demonstrate that you did not have permission to enter a building. Items such as spray paint or matches could potentially demonstrate that you wanted to commit vandalism or start a fire.
What is the penalty for burglary?
A conviction for this offense could have a serious impact on your life. You might face up to first-degree felony charges, depending on the nature of the incident. The charges could be more serious depending on the following factors:
- Whether someone else was in the structure
- Whether you harmed or attempted to harm another person
- Whether you caused property damage
- Whether you had a deadly weapon
A conviction could require you to pay a fine or spend time in prison.
You may need help demonstrating that officials have misunderstood or misinterpreted the situation.