Burglary With Assault or Battery

Criminal Defense Lawyers for Clearwater Residents

When people think of the crime of burglary, they often think of home invasions or a masked burglar sneaking into a home or business to conduct a theft. In truth, Florida’s definition of burglary encompasses a surprisingly broad amount of conduct. Burglary in Florida is defined as entering a building or vehicle with the intention to commit a crime within. The enhanced crime of burglary with assault or battery may be charged when the person committing a burglary also commits a battery or assault on a person during the commission of the offense. Burglary with an assault or battery is a serious crime with significant consequences, and if you are charged, it is critical that you contact a skilled Clearwater burglary attorney immediately.

Elements of Burglary With Assault or Battery

Burglary on its own is considered a second degree felony punishable by up to fifteen years in prison along with hefty fines and sanctions. Burglary with assault or battery is an enhanced charge which significantly increases the penalties involved. If you are charged with this type of enhanced burglary, the offense increases to a first degree felony punishable by a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. The punishable-by-life status of this crime also means that, if charged, you will not automatically be entitled to a bond or pretrial release.

The harsh penalties and sanctions associated with burglary with a battery seem strange when considering the circumstances in which cases like this sometimes arise. Burglary with battery has been charged against neighbors who get into a physical altercation that spills into a home. A more shocking example is a young girl charged with burglary with a battery when she tried to fight a security guard who was inside of a small booth. Assault or battery, charged on their own, are minor misdemeanor offenses. However, when these types of offenses occur within a home or other building where the defendant is not allowed to be, the penalties are multiplied significantly.

More commonly, burglary with battery is charged against people who unlawfully enter a home or business and enter into an altercation with the home or business owner. If a physical altercation occurs, the intruder will typically be charged with burglary with a battery and will be subject to all of the enhanced penalties. No matter the factual circumstances of your arrest, if you are charged with a burglary with battery or assault you should contact an experienced Clearwater burglary attorney as soon as you can to develop a game plan for your defense.

Defenses to Burglary With Battery

Defending burglary with assault or battery can be a complicated process, and it is important that you consult with a Clearwater burglary attorney with the experience necessary to obtain the best result for you. A skilled attorney may be able to challenge the state’s evidence to show that you were allowed to be inside the home or structure when the alleged assault took place, which can result in the charges being reduced to a misdemeanor.

Self-defense may also be an option depending on the specific facts of your case. Self-defense when you are accused of unlawfully entering or remaining inside of a home has different requirements than traditional self defense or self defense under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. If you are unlawfully in a home, and someone who is lawfully in the home threatens force against you, you may be able to assert a self defense argument only if you attempt to retreat from the situation. You can only use force to defend yourself in this circumstance if you can no longer retreat, and your last resort is to defend yourself with force.

Speak With a Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorney Today

The attorneys at Hanlon Law have experience handling burglary cases with a wide range of factual circumstances. This experience and knowledge gives our clients the best chance to achieve the results they want in their cases. If you or a loved one is charged with a serious crime, don’t hesitate to call us today at 727-897-5413.