Burglary, pursuant to Florida Statute 810.02, is defined as entering a dwelling, structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense. There are two main types of burglary and both are felonies.
Burglary of a dwelling is the entering of someone’s residence with the intent to commit a crime within, typically theft. This is a felony of the second degree and if convicted, will result in a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and a $10,000 fine even if there is no prior criminal history.
Burglary of a structure or conveyance is typically the entering of a business or motor vehicle with the intent to commit a crime. The penalties for burglary depend on if the structure or conveyance is occupied or not. If unoccupied, this is a felony of the third degree and carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison or 5 years of probation and a $5,000 fine.
Burglary cases generally involve a great deal of evidence. In addition to standard police reports, there may also be DNA evidence from blood collected from broken windows, fingerprint evidence, crime scene investigation (CSI) reports, and laboratory reports. If there are co-defendants then there will be separate reports generated for those individuals as well.
Depending on the facts of the case, it may be necessary to take depositions of the police officers and witnesses. The purpose of this is to determine the extent of their knowledge of the facts and to discover what they will say if called to testify at trial. Depositions are taken under oath and are recorded for future use at trial if necessary.
When choosing a lawyer it is imperative to select someone that is experienced in all of the above. As a former Deputy Sheriff, Attorney Brandon Gans has investigated a number of burglary cases. He has experience collecting and preserving evidence such as fingerprints and DNA. He understands the procedures that must be followed by law enforcement to ensure evidence is preserved for trial. If the police do not follow protocol, the evidence may be inadmissible in court.