Burglary in Florida

Fort Lauderdale has one of the highest crime rates in the State with a rate of approximately sixty-two (62) crimes per one thousand residents.

Property crimes account for about fifty-five percent (55%) of all Ft. Lauderdale crimes (per 1,000 residents), with burglary accounting for about eleven percent (11%) of those property crimes.

Essentially, burglary is the breaking and entering of a structure – meaning a home or building, or of any conveyance such as a car or boat.

Attorney for Burglary Charges in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Property and theft crimes are some of the more prevalent crimes in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Many times, the facts of whether a property crime occurred are convoluted. If you or someone you know has been charged with burglary in Broward County, FL, or any of the surrounding areas such as West Palm Beach, Miami, LaBelle, or East Naples, FL, then contact the criminal defense attorneys at Bacchus Law Firm.

Our attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients charged with burglary and other theft and property crimes in Florida. We strive to keep our clients informed of the developments in their case and we fight to provide them with the best possible result.

With our office located at 401 E. Las Olas Blvd. in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, just minutes from the Broward County Central Courthouse in Downtown, we serve clients throughout the Miami-metropolitan area in Broward County, and in the surrounding counties of Hendry County, Palm Beach County, Collier County, and Miami-Dade County, Florida.

Call (954) 500-5555 now for an initial consultation to learn more about potential defenses to your burglary charges.

Overview of Burglary in Broward County

Back to top

Elements of Burglary in FL

The elements of burglary, that is, the allegations that the State has to prove in order to convict a person of burglary, are outlined in § 810.02 Fla. Stat.

To convict a person of burglary, the prosecution must show the following:

  • that the defendant entered a structure or conveyance owned or possessed by the victim;
  • that the defendant, at the time of entering the structure or conveyance, had the intent to commit a crime, other than burglary, within that structure or conveyance.

If the defendant presents facts that allege a license or invitation to be in the structure or conveyance, then the State must also show:

  • that the defendant was not licensed or invited to enter the structure or conveyance and that the premises were not open to the public at the time of the entering.

Back to top

Other Statutes for Burglary

Florida law allows for different penalties based on the various circumstances of the alleged burglary. For example, burglarizing a structure or conveyance that has someone in it is penalized differently than burglarizing an amusement park after hours. The categories of burglary crimes in Florida include "Burglary" under § 810.02 Fla. Stat. and "Possession of Burglary Tools" under § 810.06 Fla. Stat.

Moreover, the burglary penalties may vary based on the degree of burglar charged. In Florida, burglary may be charged as a third, second, or first-degree felony, depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime.

Back to top

Third-Degree Felony Burglary

Burglarizing a dwelling, conveyance, or structure that is unoccupied is charged as a third-degree felony in Florida. Third-degree felonies are punishable by up to five (5) years in Florida State Prison and up to $5,000 fines. Burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, structure, or conveyance is the most common type of burglary crime charged.

Back to top

Second-Degree Felony Burglary

Burglary offenses are enhanced as the circumstances surrounding the burglary become more dangerous to other people. Burglary penalties are enhanced to a second-degree felony if, at the time of the commission of the burglary, the dwelling, structure, or conveyance was occupied. In Florida, second-degree felonies are punishable by up to fifteen (15) years in prison and up to $10,000 fines.

Back to top

First-Degree Felony Burglary

When the circumstances surrounding a burglary included, not just breaking and entering an occupied dwelling or structure, but additional acts of violence or threatening behavior, then the penalty for burglary is a first-degree felony.

In order to convict an individual of first-degree burglary, the State must show the following elements:

  • that the defendant, during the commission of the burglary, committed an assault or battery upon a person;
  • that the defendant was armed or became armed with a weapon during the commission of the burglary; or
  • that the defendant entered the structure or conveyance and used a motor vehicle to assist in committing the offense or caused damage, in excess of $1,000, to the dwelling or structure, or the property inside.

First-degree felony burglary is punishable by up to thirty (30) years in Florida State Prison.

Back to top

Burglary Versus Trespass

One of the fundamental differences between burglary and trespass is that burglary involves the specific intent to break into and enter a dwelling, structure, or conveyance, whereas trespass simply involves entering another person's property uninvited.

Trespass can involve something as simple as crossing a property line or climbing a fence. Unlike, burglary, trespass does not involve breaking and entering someone else's property. Given that, trespass is a lesser-included offense of burglary, meaning if the prosecution does not charge the more serious crime of burglary, the alleged offender can still be charged with trespass.

Back to top

Additional Resources

Florida Statute Section 810.02 – Visit Online Sunshine, the Florida Legislature's website that provides the full legislative text of the Florida burglary statute, including links to the penalties and number of years charged for being convicted of burglary.

Florida Crime Statistics By County – Visit the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for more information on the most recent crime statistics categorized by county and by crime, including the total number of crimes, the population, and the percentage change index for crimes committed in Florida in 2015 and 2016.

Back to top

Find a Lawyer for Burglary in Broward County, FL

If you or someone you know has been charged with burglary or another theft crime in Broward County, Florida, reach out to an attorney who will fight to get your charges dropped.

The attorneys at Bacchus Law Firm are advocates dedicated to ensuring that criminal defendants receive a fair and just resolution of their case. We pride ourselves on our work product and commitment to the notion of innocent until proven guilty.

At our office, located in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, we serve clients throughout the Miami-metropolitan area in cities like West Palm Beach, Miami, LaBelle, and East Naples, Florida.

Contact our office at (954) 500-5555 for more information about a consultation and how one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help you.


Back to top