Because Florida classifies burglary as a serious felony crime, the offense carries notably severe penalties. The court can include a lengthy prison sentence, probation, fines, and restitution in your sentence if convicted.
If you or a loved one has been charged with burglary, our burglary lawyers in Pinellas County, FL can help. We can provide the smart counsel and aggressive legal defense you need throughout the criminal justice process. Call Goldman Wetzel at 727-828-3900 and explore your defense options now. The consultation is free.
Types of Burglary Cases Goldman Wetzel Accepts
Goldman Wetzel’s number one objective is providing excellent legal defense to people charged with crimes in Florida. We accept all types of cases in Pinellas County, from misdemeanors to felonies. With more than three decades of combined experience, we have developed an intricate knowledge of the justice system and amassed effective defense strategies that serve our clients well.
Our team has the resources, skill sets, and background to defend against any theft-related charge, including those involving:
- Burglary and armed burglary
- Possession of burglary tools
- Auto theft and burglary of a vehicle
- Grand theft
- Shoplifting and petit theft
- Fraud and embezzlement
Degrees of Burglary Offenses in Florida
Florida Statute § 810.02 separates burglary into three categories, depending on the factors involved. In ascending order of severity, the state will label burglary offenses as follows:
Third-degree Felony Burglary
The state rates the offense a third-degree felony when the offender:
- Was not armed;
- Did not commit assault or battery while carrying out the burglary; and
- Burglarized an unoccupied structure or conveyance.
Second-degree Felony Burglary
The state rates burglary a second-degree felony when the offender:
- Was not armed;
- Did not commit assault or battery while carrying out the offense; but
- Burglarized any place with the intent to steal a controlled substance, or a home, emergency vehicle, occupied structure, or conveyance.
First-degree Felony Burglary
The state rates the offense a first-degree felony when the offender:
- Was armed with weapons or explosives;
- Assaults or batters another person while carrying out the crime;
- Entered an unoccupied dwelling or structure and caused over $1,000 damage; or
- Entered an unoccupied dwelling or structure using a vehicle for more than a getaway car and caused damage.
Penalties for Burglary
The penalties the accused faces for burglary depends on the category of the offense:
- Third-degree felony burglary: Up to five years in prison, probation, and a $5,000 fine.
- Second-degree felony burglary: Up to 15 years in prison, probation, and a $10,000 fine.
- First-degree felony burglary: Up to 30 years in prison, probation, and a $10,000 fine.
Defendants facing burglary charges often also face higher penalties (for repeat violent offenders or “career criminals”) and/or additional charges related to the offense, such as trespassing, possession of a firearm by a felon, drug charges, and attempted murder.
Regardless of the circumstances, you do not have to face burglary charges in Pinellas County alone. You have the right to counsel, and our Goldman Wetzel criminal lawyers stand ready to help. We can safeguard your rights, develop a comprehensive plan of defense, and pursue a dismissal, acquittal, or reduction in charges/penalties. Contact our office for immediate assistance.
Defenses to Burglary Charges
Florida recognizes several possible defenses to burglary, which include the following:
- You are innocent. We can collect supporting evidence to prove an alibi or otherwise show that the police have mistaken you for the offender.
- Factual defenses that seed reasonable doubt.
- Evidence does not exist to prove you committed burglary, e.g., no fingerprints, witness, surveillance footage, or retrieved stolen items.
- You were invited, i.e., you had the owner’s consent to enter or remain on the premises.
- The building was open to the public.
- You believed, in good faith, that the item(s) you took belonged to you.
- The building was not a “dwelling.” An affirmative defense, proving the building you entered was not a home can effectively reduce the charges to a lesser offense.
Our attorneys will work together on your case and brainstorm the best approach for your situation, given the unique circumstances. In some cases, this might mean presenting preliminary evidence to the prosecutor or court that clears your name and results in dropped charges. In other situations, it might mean negotiating with the prosecutor for a plea bargain, filing motions to dismiss evidence, or working on pre-trial tasks to solidify your defense before we take it to court.
Ways Our Burglary Defense Lawyers in Pinellas County Can Help
Our dependable burglary attorneys, with both prosecution and defense experience, understand how both sides of criminal cases work, and how to use that knowledge to our clients’ benefit. We will look for errors or weaknesses in the state’s case, expose them at trial, and challenge the evidence to bolster your case.
Knowing your rights and legal options empowers you to make the best decisions regarding your case. So, we will sit down and carefully go over your case with you, explaining what to expect each step of the way and update you on any changes in negotiations or proceedings.
Do not leave your freedom and future to chance. Goldman Wetzel will diligently work with you throughout the entire criminal process and pursue the best possible outcome for your circumstances. When you enlist our help, we supply you with the legal advocacy you need and fight aggressively for you in court.
FREE Consultation with a Burglary Defense Lawyer
If you or a loved one is facing burglary charges in Pinellas County, contact our office to speak with one of our defense lawyers about the case. After reviewing the facts and getting your input, we will share our professional opinion, your available legal avenues, and how to go about retaining us so we can spring into action.
Call us at 727-828-3900 for a free consultation today.