According to Florida law, a person commits burglary if he or she enters “a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein, unless the premises are at the time open to the public or the defendant is licensed or invited to enter.” The statute lists various other provisions for either proving or defending a burglary charge.
If you are charged with burglary, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offense, if convicted, you may be facing a sentence of up to life in prison. In addition, a conviction for burglary carries more than the routine stigma that comes with a felony conviction. Finding employment after a burglary conviction is particularly difficult since it implies offenders are dishonest people, willing to take things that do not belong to them. When the consequences of a conviction are so severe, you owe it to yourself to fight hard against a burglary charge and enlist the help of a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney.
Elements the Prosecutor Must Prove
In order to obtain a conviction, a prosecutor must prove:
- You entered a dwelling or structure without permission.
- Even if you had permission to initially enter, you stayed after the permission was withdrawn.
- At the time you entered, you had the intent to commit an offense.
If the prosecution fails to prove even one of these elements, the case fails and you should not be convicted.
Defenses to a Charge of Burglary
Of course there are no guarantees in the legal system; however, there are defenses you can raise:
- You simply did not do what the prosecution alleges. You have an alibi and law enforcement has the wrong person.
- The structure you entered was open to the public.
- You had permission to enter the premises and that permission was never withdrawn.
- At the time of the entry, you had no intent to commit an offense.
If you are charged with burglary, contact us at the Law Office of James Davis, P.A. as soon as possible. We will investigate the circumstances of the charges and work with you to prepare your defense. At our office, you will find a Jacksonville defense lawyer who is committed to protecting all of your constitutional rights and in providing you the best possible defense.