Orlando Burglary Lawyer

At Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense, we believe that everyone, regardless of the charges leveled at them, deserves access to top-tier legal representation and guidance. If you’ve been charged with a crime in the State of Florida, contact us for top-tier legal advice.

Life is complex, and so is the criminal justice system. Many people mistakenly believe that if someone is charged with a crime, it’s for a good reason — but that’s simply not the case. 

The truth is that criminal charges routinely result from misunderstandings, out of reasonable desperation, or from a lack of awareness. In some situations, the defendant’s charges simply don’t match with the reality of what happened and result in much harsher penalties than are appropriate for the crime. 

Burglary is a prime example. According to Florida law, specifically Florida Statutes Section 810.02, even partially entering someone’s dwelling without consent is burglary. That means that reaching your arm through your neighbor’s open window could technically constitute burglary. Here’s the point: Just because you’ve been charged with a crime doesn’t make you guilty of committing it. That fact won’t stop you from being convicted and punished, though — especially if you fail to secure top-tier legal representation.

If you’re facing burglary charges, you need to mount a robust defense to avoid conviction. The Orlando burglary defense lawyers at Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense are here to help. This article will explain everything you need to know about burglary charges in Florida, including possible penalties, legal defense strategies, types of burglary, and how our law firm can help clear your name.

How a Burglary Lawyer in Orlando Can Help You

Make no mistake: Many public defenders are hard-working, highly capable attorneys. However, that doesn’t mean they have the time, energy, or resources to effectively try your case. The reality is that many of these individuals are chronically overworked and underpaid, spread too thin to dedicate themselves fully to your defense. Fortunately, we don’t have that problem.

The criminal defense attorneys at Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense have the robust resources, unparalleled expertise, and years of experience you need to avoid conviction. Our criminal law professionals will design a top-quality, aggressive defense strategy to ensure the best possible outcome for your case and provide the support and guidance you need to weather your charges with confidence.

What Actions Should You Take After Being Arrested for Burglary in Orlando?

Orlando criminal defense attorney. Your actions in the direct aftermath of your arrest can have a tremendous impact on the outcome of your case, which is why we suggest doing the following:

  • Remain silent. You have the right to remain silent, and you should absolutely exercise it. Do not discuss your case, your actions, related events, or anything else pertaining to your case — especially with police — until you’ve been advised to do so by an Orlando burglary defense attorney.
  • Ask for an Orlando criminal defense lawyer. Law enforcement officers must provide you with an opportunity to contact legal counsel, and insisting on this right is critical to protecting your rights.
  • Document everything. Make mental notes of everything that transpires during and after your arrest, to the best of your ability. This includes the names of arresting officers, as any actions or comments they make.

Following these simple guidelines can have a dramatic impact on your case and our ability to effectively clear your name. Regardless of the reason for your arrest, they provide a solid process by which you can avoid making avoidable mistakes.

What Are the Penalties for Burglary?

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In the State of Florida, burglary occurs when a person enters or remains in a dwelling, structure, or conveyance (motor vehicle) without the owner’s permission or a legal right to be there. To be considered burglary, the person must have the intent to commit an offense within the dwelling at the time of entering or remaining there. The penalties associated with conviction vary based on several factors, including on the degree assigned to the charge.

First-Degree Burglary Penalties

In Florida, burglary is divided into two categories — first-degree burglary and second-degree burglary — depending on the specific details of the incident, as well as the presence of aggravating factors. First-degree burglary is the most serious form, and it is characterized by entering a dwelling, structure, or conveyance with the intent to commit an offense and:

  • Assaulting or battering a person
  • Being armed with a dangerous weapon or firearm
  • Using a motor vehicle to assist in the offense and causing damage

First-degree burglary is considered a first-degree felony in the State of Florida. A conviction is punishable by up to life in prison, life on probation, and up to $10,000 fines — and these are just the legal penalties. Additional consequences include convicted felon status, a loss of constitutional rights, limited housing, employment, and educational opportunities, and social stigma.

Second-Degree Burglary Penalties

A person commits second-degree burglary when they enter a dwelling, structure, or conveyance with the intent to commit an offense inside. The only aspect that separates it from first-degree burglary is that it doesn’t involve any aggravating factors, such as the use of a deadly weapon or firearm, violence, and property damage.

Second-degree burglary, while less serious than a first-degree felony, can still result in serious, life-altering consequences and put a permanent blemish on your criminal record. It is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in state prison, up to 15 years on probation, and up to $10,000 in fines.

How Can I Fight a Burglary Charge?

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The best way to beat a burglary charge is to solicit help from an experienced burglary attorney as soon as you possibly can. The longer your attorney has to prepare a rock-solid defense strategy, the better you have of beating your charge, having it reduced, or getting it dismissed altogether. Your attorney will review the details and evidence of your case and guide you toward the best legal defense for your situation. We’ll discuss a few of the most common defenses below.

Lack of Intent

To convict you of burglary in any degree, the prosecution will need to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you had intent to commit an offense at the time you partially or completely entered the dwelling, structure, or conveyance. If we can demonstrate that your entry was accidental or for a lawful purpose, it significantly diminishes the prosecution’s ability to prove intent.

Mistake of Fact / Claim of Right

We may be able to argue that you believed you had the right to enter the property or that you mistakenly believed the property was yours. If we can demonstrate a lack of criminal intent based on a mistake of fact or claim of right, you are unlikely to be convicted of burglary.

Factual Innocence

In some burglary cases, the accused was not involved in the burglary in any way, shape, or form. If this is your situation, we can argue for your factual innocence and present compelling evidence to support your claim. Evidence could include eyewitness testimony, surveillance footage, documentation, or a credible alibi.

Police Misconduct

We may be able to challenge the prosecution’s case by exposing misconduct by law enforcement officers. In this context, misconduct could include illegal searches, coerced confessions, or violations of your constitutional rights. If we can effectively demonstrate police misconduct, we may be able to get your charges thrown out.

Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense: Trusted Orlando Burglary Lawyers

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Burglary offenses may not be a violent in nature, but a conviction can still result in prison time. The reality is that burglary is an extremely serious infraction, and conviction can result in various severe penalties that redefine your life trajectory. If you’ve been charged with burglary in the Central Florida, your future hangs in the balance — don’t make the mistake of assuming it will all work out. Contact our law office today and start preparing a strong case for your freedom.

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In need of a strong defense? Don’t face your charges alone. Get the legal support you need call today or email us. Your defense starts here.