Pasco County Attorney: Burglary Charges And Classifications
Being charged with burglary can stem from many different causes- and may begin with nothing more insidious than simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time. In Florida, you can be charged with burglary if you:
- enter a dwelling, site, building or other conveyance unless it is open to the public or you have been invited by the legal owner.
- surreptitiously and with intent after permission is withdrawn, the building is not otherwise open or if you have been asked not to return
In both of the above scenarios, it can become burglary if it can be proven that you were there with criminal intention, including criminal damaging or actually stealing something of value. The Pasco County attorney who is handling your case may try to establish the fact that you were not there to steal anything by proving that nothing was found in your possession, and that you should at most be charged with trespassing. This defense becomes less viable if while you are illegally inside of the building you:
- are armed or become armed once inside.
- commit additional crimes while on the premises
- assault or batter person or persons while inside
- use a motor vehicle in the commission of the crime, ( other than as a get away car)
- cause damages to the structure in excess of $1000
Once you have been charged with these additional crimes, it is less likely that the Pasco County attorney could convince the prosecutor to take a plea agreement where you simply plead to trespassing. Burglary in and of itself is a first degree felony unless the above are committed in addition to the original offense. Assault could carry an additional third degree felony charge which has the possibility of five years in prison and a $5000 fine.
The more charges that can possibly be added, the more likely the prosecutor will focus on the most serious charges first- allowing for the possibility of dropping some of the lesser charges. You must act fast, and consult the best Florida criminal defense attorney for assistance.
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