Miami Burglary Defense Attorneys
Charged With Burglary In Miami-Dade County?
Burglary is a type of property crime that is taken quite seriously in the state of Florida. There are different degrees of severity to burglary crimes under the law, and a conviction can have serious consequences, not the least of which is the loss of your freedom. If you are facing burglary charges, it takes a highly skilled criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and your future.
Valiente Law, a first-rate law firm located in Miami, has a well-earned reputation for providing our clients with bold and aggressive legal representation. Our legal team has in-depth knowledge of the applicable burglary statutes and a proven track record of achieving successful outcomes, inside or outside of the courtroom.
Florida Burglary Laws
Under Florida law (Fla. Stat. §810.02), burglary involves entering a structure, dwelling or conveyance with the intent of committing an unlawful act, except when the premises is open to the public or the accused is an invitee. The offense may also occur when an individual remains in premises in a surreptitious manner with the intent to commit a crime after permission to remain has been withdrawn. The law defines a structure as any type of building that is not designed for habitation while a dwelling serves as a place for habitation, regardless of whether anyone is present at the time. Finally, conveyances include cars, trailers, ships, boats, and similar properties.
The classifications of burglary are as follows:
- First Degree Felony Burglary — Entering a dwelling or structure with the intent to commit a crime when the accused (1) commits assault and battery upon another person, (2) is or becomes armed with a dangerous weapon or explosives, (3) causes property damage in excess of $1,000 or (4) uses a motor vehicle to enter a building, damaging the structure, punishable by 30 years to life in prison.
- Second Degree Felony Burglary — Entering a dwelling, structure, occupied space, unarmed, with the intent to commit a crime, or entering a building or structure with the intent to commit the theft of a controlled substance, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, or both.
- Third Degree Felony Burglary — Entering a structure or conveyance that is not a dwelling and that is not occupied, unarmed, with the intent to commit a crime, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $5,000, or both.
In sum, burglary typically involves the unlawful breaking or entering and taking of another’s property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the owner of the property. It is worth noting that “intent” is a key element in these crimes and burglary charges may still be brought even if no property is actually stolen or damaged or no other offenses are committed.
Defenses to Burglary Charges
There are a number of defenses that can be asserted against burglary charges, starting with proving your innocence. This often entails having an alibi — you were not at the scene when the crime occurred. Additionally, it may be possible to argue that the owner consented to your entry or presence on the property, or that the premises were open to the public at the time. Finally, showing that you lacked intent or did not have a motive to commit the crime may help to refute the prosecution’s case against you.
In any event, prosecutors must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you (1) intended to commit an offense while in or on the premises, (2) entered the premises without authorization, or (3) remained on the premises after the invitation had been withdrawn. Our attorneys have the legal know-how to assert any defenses and will vigorously attack the prosecution’s case by questioning the validity of the evidence or any witnesses. Above all, we will work tirelessly to secure your freedom.
Miami Burglary Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with burglary, Valiente Law can help to mount a successful defense. We will take the time to understand the circumstances that led to your arrest, thoroughly examine the state’s evidence against you, identify and interview relevant witnesses, including the police, and seek out evidence of your innocence. Our legal team will fully explain all of your rights and explore all of your options.
While we are committed to winning an acquittal, we will be honest with you about your chances for success at trial. In some cases, we may seek to have the charges reduced. In the event of a conviction, we will determine whether you have grounds for an appeal. When your freedom and reputation are at stake, we will be there to fight for you. Call our office today or complete the convenient online contact form to set up a free consultation.