Burglary Frequently Asked Questions
Burglary Under Florida Law - FAQs
- What does “residential burglary” mean?
- How many years can you get in prison for aggravated burglary?
- What is the difference between burglary and robbery?
- Can you be charged with burglary and robbery?
- Are theft and robbery the same thing?
- What evidence is used to prove burglary?
- Is housebreaking considered burglary?
As mentioned above, there is a specific crime of “Burglary of a dwelling”, which just means burglary to a home, or a place designed to house people to sleep at night. That can include an conveyance where it is a camper or RV, since those are designed to allow people to sleep in them. It is also important to note that a dwelling includes the surrounding area immediate around the house – like any porches, back deck areas right next to the house, or any area immediately next to the house. Burglary of a residence or dwelling is the most serious of burglaries under Florida law. There are numerous defenses to this offense, but due to the serious penalties for Burglary of a dwelling it very important that you secure representation from an experienced lawyer to guide you. David P. Hill has been handling these types of cases for 28 years, and help you with these very serious types of charges.
The most serious aggravated burglaries (where an assault or battery occurs, where the alleged offender is or becomes armed, or where significant property damage takes place) are first degree felonies punishable by up to life in prison.
A burglary involves entering into or remaining in a house, building or car without permission, with the intent to commit an offense. Those can be occupied by a person or not (with differing penalties). A robbery is a forcible taking of someone’s property from their person – so it does necessitate taking property from an actual person. Breaking into or sneaking into someone’s house when no one is there and taking their property would be a burglary, not a robbery.
If a person commits a robbery while committing a burglary, they are generally charged with home invasion robbery or burglary with an assault or battery, but not with both burglary and robbery.
No. Theft is taking someone else’s property either permanently or temporarily without their permission. Robbery is forcibly (by actual physical taking or by some sort of physical threat) taking someone’s property from their person (without their permission). You can commit a theft by taking someone’s property when the person is not there and is not aware it is being taken. A robbery involves the other person’s property being taken from their person.
If the accused is not found in the premises (home/building or car) at the time of the burglary, often times fingerprints will be lifted from the crime scene and used as evidence that the person accused was inside the premises without permission. Video taken by home security systems are on the rise as well, as they capture high quality video of the person inside the premises. Eyewitness testimony can be used if a passerby or neighbor sees and can identify a person leaving the area of a burglary. Another method of establishing a burglary is if someone takes property taken in a burglary to a pawn shop – law enforcement can contact the person who pawned the stolen property and question them, which may lead to a burglary charge.
Yes, breaking into a house without permission (– there are exceptions in emergency situations like fighting a fire, or in emergency scenarios like clearing an area due to an impending hurricane) would be considered a burglary. Again, remember that burglary does not require a person to break a window or door to gain entry – you can be charged with burglary for opening an unlocked door and entering without permission. Also, you can be charged with burglary after being invited into a home, then being asked to leave by the owner, refusing to do so and then either committing an offense there or just intending to commit an offense there.