Oh, the joys of living in Florida! The warm weather, the beaches, the activities, the list goes on. Yet, what we do not want to speak of is Florida’s high burglary rate. Burglary is unfortunately a common crime here in the great state of Florida. In the year 2014 alone, there were 143,220 reported burglaries in Florida! Earlier this week, on Memorial Day, a 40-year-old male, Greg Cruz, was arrested for burglary of a Bradenton church. Mr. Cruz is accused of stealing video and audio equipment from the church. Cruz gained access to the church by breaking through a window.
If you or a loved is a victim of a burglary, it is imperative that you hire an experienced attorney. The crime victim lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz PA have the experience and skill needed to best protect your interests. For more information call us toll free at (877) 475-2905 or contact us online to set up a FREE initial consultation.
Burglary in Florida
While burglaries occur often here in the Sunshine state, they are a very dangerous offense; sometimes life altering if a victim is seriously injured (or even killed). Per Florida Statute 810 Section 02, burglary is a felony and is defined as entering one’s dwelling or structure (such as a church) with the specific intent of committing an offense within and without permission or legal right to be there. Florida recognizes different degrees of burglary. First Degree Felony Burglary occurs when:
- The suspect is armed or becomes armed while committing the burglary;
- The suspect committed an assault or battery upon another person;
- The suspect used a motor vehicle to enter the dwelling or structure, damaging it; or
- The suspect damages the dwelling or structure while committing the offense and the damages are more than $1,000.
A person convicted of First Degree Felony Burglary may face a prison term of up to 30 years.
Next, Second Degree Felony Burglary is a likely charge when the suspect did not use a weapon and nobody was hurt during the offense, and the property where the burglary was committed was one of the following:
- A dwelling;
- An occupied conveyance or occupied structure;
- An authorized emergency vehicle; or
- A building where the suspect steals a controlled substance during the break in.
If the accused is convicted of Second Degree Felony Burglary, he or she may face prison time of up to 15 years.
Third, Florida recognizes Third Degree Felony Burglaries. If the burglary is committed on a structure not deemed a dwelling, and the building is not occupied at the time, the suspect may be charged with Third Degree Felony Burglary. A conviction here may land the accused in prison for up to five years.
If you or your loved one is a victim of burglary, it is important that you contact an experienced attorney. The Miami crime victim lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, PA are here to protect your interests. Contact our crime victim lawyers today for a FREE consultation. We are available at (877) 475-2905 and/or at firstname.lastname@example.org.