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Burglary, as outlined by Florida Statute 810.02(1)(b), means to enter a dwelling, structure, or conveyance with the intent to commit an offense. Burglary is classified as felony. The circumstance surrounding the burglary determines the degree of the offense (first, second, or third), and the punishments at stake if you are found guilty.
With offices in Deland and Daytona Beach, we’ve represented clients throughout Central Florida for over 16 years.
What is Burglary?
A person commits burglary when they enter a dwelling, structure, or conveyance with the intent to commit an additional crime. The intended crime can be anything other than burglary or trespass, so crimes like petit theft, arson, assault, kidnapping, criminal mischief, or any other crime meets the criteria for a burglary charge. Note that you do not have to actually commit the crime during the course of the burglary – the intent to commit a crime is all that matters. Intent can be a tricky thing to prove since it involves the mental state of the defendant. However, intent, like any other element, can be proved using circumstantial evidence – evidence that is indirectly linked to the crime. Intent can also be inferred. The Florida Jury Instructions for Burglary state, “You may infer the defendant had the intent to commit a crime inside a structure or conveyance if the entering or attempting entering of the structure or conveyance was done stealthily and without the consent of the owner”. The Florida Jury Instructions further clarify that, to be found guilty of burglary, the whole body of the defendant does not need to enter. If any part of your body enters the structure or conveyance, even a small part such as your hand, you can be found guilty of burglary. As a prosecutor, Attorney Matt Thompson obtained a conviction on a defendant who only reached his hand into the bed of a truck and stole a chainsaw. Matt Thompson has extensive experience with all facets of burglary charges, and he can help you.
What is at Stake?
Burglary is classified as a felony. Felonies carry degrees – first, second, and third – that have varying levels of punishment. First, second, and third degree felonies all have at least one thing in common: they all carry jail time.
Third Degree Felony – If the offender does not make an assault or battery and is not armed with a dangerous weapon or explosive, and there is not another person in the structure or conveyance at the time the offender enters [s. 810.02(4)(a)(b)]. Punishable by up to 5 years in jail, 5 years probation, and a fine of $5,000.
Second Degree Felony – If the offender does not make an assault or battery and is not armed with a dangerous weapon or explosive, and the offender enters a dwelling (with or without another person in the dwelling at the time of entering) [s. 810.02(3)(a)(b)]; enters a structure or conveyance and there is not another person in the structure at the time of entering [s. 810.02(3)(c)(d)]; enters an authorized emergency vehicle [s. 810.02(3)(e)]; or enters a structure or conveyance when the offense intended to be committed is theft of a controlled substance [s. 810.02(3)(f)]. Punishable by up to 15 years in jail, 15 months of probation, and a fine of $10,000.
First Degree Felony – If the offender, in the course of committing the burglary, does any of the following: make an assault or battery upon any person [s. 810.02(2)(a)], is or becomes armed with a dangerous weapon or explosive [s. 810.02(2)(b)], enters an occupied or unoccupied dwelling or structure and uses a motor vehicle to cause damage to the dwelling or structure, or causes damage in excess of $1,000 [s. 810.02(2)(c)(1)(2)]. Punishable by up to life imprisonment and a fine of $15,000.
Even if it your very first time being arrested, if you are charged with burglary of a dwelling, or someone’s home, you are facing a mandatory prison sentence.
The Thompson Law Approach
With all of this at stake, it is important that you hire an attorney who is going to defend your case with every ounce of his energy. A public defender or large law firm will not have the time or energy to give your case the attention it needs. Thompson Law is purposefully kept small. Attorney Matt Thompson typically only handles 10 new cases, ensuring that he will aggressively defend your case. We begin crafting your defense the moment you step foot into our office.
This means that Thompson Law will be working with you every step of the way during the life of your case. Our firm begins by speaking directly to you. We listen to your description of the incident so that your attorney can assess the approach that is going to put you in the best position in light of your individual circumstances. Not every burglary case is the same, and when some cases carry the possibility of life in prison, an individualized approach is the only way to ensure that you get the best possible deal. This is why we emphasize direct and candid communication with each and every one of our clients. With over 10 years of legal experience, Matt Thompson knows that being accused of a crime is a difficult and confusing time in your life, and he offers the knowledge, honesty, and compassion necessary to work through your case.
Client-Focused. RESULT-DRIVEN.Working Closely with You To Build a strong case
Client was texting a friend when her significant other tried to grab for her phone. When the client tried to pull away, the victim claimed that he was battered and the client was arrested and brought before DCF due a child being in the house. Attorney Matt Thompson wrote a letter to the State explaining the discrepancy in evidence and claimed that the client was in fact moving away from the victim and did not intentionally try to hit the victim. All charges against the client were dismissed.
Sale and Possession of Heroin
Defendant entered a treatment facility while case was pending. Attorney Thompson provided progress reports of all of her progress during her stay to show improvement. State agreed to amend all charges to simple possession and the Defendant was sentenced into Drug Court.
Aggravated Assault with a Firearm
Client was accused of shooting a shotgun over the head of two minors. Attorney Thompson did a public records request to discover that officers reported to the scene of the crime the night of the incident and spoke to the victims on the evening the alleged crime occurred and believed the victims to be intoxicated and unreliable. Attorney Thompson conducted depositions of the officers and ultimately all charges were reduced to a misdemeanor and no incarceration.
Grand Theft, Fleeing, Possession of a Fictitious Driver’s License
Attorney Matt Thompson, through depositions and litigation was able to show that officers did not act according to the warrant by picking up the client immediately upon sight. The charge of Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Law Enforcement, which carries a mandatory felony conviction, was dismissed by the State and the client was offered probation and no felony conviction.
Sexual Battery & Domestic Battery
Mr. Thompson took depositions of the victim showing that the victim was not truthful with police when she provided her statement as to what happened. Confronted victim with social media posts, bank records, and telephone records to show that she was not in the places that she stated she was during the time the alleged crime took place. Case 1 was dismissed and the Defendant pled to Case 2 and received two (2) years of prison and credit for fifteen (15) months in prison.
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GIVE YOUR CASE THE ATTENTION IT DESERVES
Over 15 Years of ExperienceThere's no substitute for experience. When faced with a serious crime, you need an attorney who has successfully handled numerous cases like yours.
Aggressive Trial AttorneyMatt Thompson is a skilled trial attorney and has achieved many positive jury verdicts. If your case goes to trial, you can be confident that Matt is equipped to represent you.
High-Quality Legal RepresentationAt Thompson Law, P.A., every client matters. This means that your case will receive the personal attention and care it deserves.
Criminal Defense Is All We DoBecause our firm only focuses on criminal defense matters, you can trust our team has the specific knowledge needed to handle you case successfully.