Burglary of a Structure
Burglary of a structure is one of the most common property crimes prosecuted in Sarasota county and throughout the state. Unlike other types of burglary, burglary of a structure often involves theft or other crimes committed within a business or other unoccupied building instead of a private home or vehicle. Thankfully, this results in a less serious offense than other types of property crimes. Nevertheless, any type of burglary is a serious offense and a conviction can have a drastic impact on your present and future prospects. Anyone charged with such a crime should not hesitate to retain a dedicated Sarasota criminal defense lawyer to represent them.
Burglary is one of the most misunderstood criminal offenses on the books. Many people associate burglary with home invasions and residential burglary, but a far more common offense is burglary of a structure. While burglary of a dwelling is often carried out surreptitiously or after planning of the criminal offense, burglary of a structure is a crime that is much more opportunistic in nature. Often, people hard on their luck will see the opportunity to steal from a closed business or a storage area in order to make a quick buck. Unfortunately, modern security, surveillance and forensic science has made it easier for law enforcement to track down the individuals responsible.
The biggest misconception about burglary is that it requires the perpetrator to steal something within the building being burglarized. In fact, the statute requires the state to prove that the defendant intended to commit any crime upon entering the structure. Most often, that crime is theft, however there are a multitude of other criminal offenses that can qualify illegal entry into a building as burglary. People have been convicted of burglary for entering into a building to commit sexual assault or even to conduct a drug transaction. Burglary is a more complicated offense than commonly though, so it is important to always consult with a skilled Sarasota criminal lawyer to determine what options might be available to you.
Under Florida Statute 810.02, burglary of a structure is defined as entering into a structure with the intent to commit a criminal offense inside. A structure is defined under the statute as "any building of any kind, either temporary or permanent, which has a roof over it," so long as the structure is not used as a place for people to sleep. Under that condition, a person could be charged with burglary of a dwelling. Burglary of a structure typically encompasses burglary of unattended businesses or storage areas.
Because burglary of a structure is inherently less intrusive than a burglary of a dwelling, the penalties are also less serious. Someone convicted of a burglary of a structure will be facing penalties for a third degree felony, which is up to five years in prison. However, the penalties can be enhanced if certain facts are present in the facts of the case. If the defendant is armed during the burglary, the offense is enhanced to a life felony. The prosecution can also seek a life sentence if the defendant commits a battery or an assault inside of the structure during the burglary. The offense can be upgraded to a second degree felony for the simple fact that another person is inside the structure. The penalties for burglary offenses can be extraordinarily serious, so hiring a skilled criminal defense lawyer is imperative to preserving your future.Speak to Our Lawyers Today
The lawyers at Hanlon Law know that your future is the most important consideration when dealing with criminal cases. We will work with you to ensure that we achieve your goals and that we avoid any longstanding consequences for criminal convictions. Don't wait to see what happens on your own or with a lawyer you are unhappy with. Call today for a consultation at 941.462.1789.