Burglary Involving a Firearm

Theft Crime Lawyer Helping Residents of Clearwater and St. Petersburg

If you are facing prosecution for a burglary offense, such as burglary involving a firearm, you should talk to an attorney about your case as soon as you can. Burglary is a felony in the State of Florida, and a conviction of a burglary offense can result in many years of incarceration, as well as other penalties. Speaking with a St. Petersburg or Clearwater burglary defense lawyer can help you identify possible strategies that could help you avoid a conviction or enable you to receive a less harsh sentence. Theft crime attorney Will Hanlon at Hanlon Law has dedicated his legal career to protecting the rights of the criminally accused, working hard to achieve the desired result for each and every client whom he represents.

At common law, the crime of burglary occurred when there was a breaking and entering of a dwelling, in the nighttime, with the intent to commit a felony in it. Now, the crime of burglary – like most other crimes – is defined by statute. While the core idea remains the same – going into someone else’s property with the intent of committing a crime – some of the original elements have been eliminated. Under Florida Statutes § 810.02, it is no longer necessary that the defendant enter a “dwelling.” Instead, a person can be convicted of burglary if it is proven that they entered a “dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance,” as long as they did so with the intent to commit “an offense” in it. The offense that the defendant sought to commit does not need to be a felony, and the crime does not need to take place at any particular time of day or night. In other words, it is equally illegal to enter another person’s backyard at noon to steal an item worth $10 as it is to enter a home at midnight with the intent of stealing $10,000 worth of property.

Elevated Penalties for Burglary Involving a Firearm

A person who is convicted of burglary in Florida faces incarceration, fines, and other penalties. If a firearm is involved in the commission of the crime, the defendant faces a harsher sentence than if a weapon had not been used. Whereas second-degree burglary can result in a term of imprisonment of up to 15 years, and third-degree burglary is punishable by incarceration of up to five years, a defendant who is convicted of first-degree burglary involving a firearm can be sentenced to life in prison.

Defeating an accusation of burglary involving a firearm can be difficult, but it is sometimes possible. For example, if the defendant can prove that they lawfully entered the premises where the alleged crime occurred, this may negate one of the elements of the crime of burglary. The defendant also may be able to argue that they did not have the intent to commit a crime simultaneously with illegally entering the property. Depending upon the circumstances of the alleged crime, the investigation of the situation, and the defendant’s arrest, there may be many other options available to a defendant as well.

Contact a Clearwater or St. Petersburg Attorney When Charged with Burglary

A conviction of any felony has the potential to greatly affect one’s future – the kind of work that the defendant may be able to do, where they will live, the kind of people who will be part of their social circle, and so on – but a conviction of a first-degree felony can take away many years of your freedom. To have the best chance of success in court, you need an attorney who is dedicated, resourceful, and experienced in this area of the law. Burglary defense attorney Will Hanlon is available to discuss the nuances of your situation. Call us at 727-897-5413 or contact us online for an appointment to go over your case with a lawyer. He represents people in Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Newport Richey, and Dade City, as well as the surrounding areas.