Orlando Vehicle Burglary Lawyer

As leading criminal defense lawyers in Orlando, we have helped countless clients avoid conviction through rock-solid legal defenses and tireless commitment to their freedom. If you’ve been charged with a crime, time is of the essence — contact us today to get started. 

In the vast majority of criminal cases, there’s more going on than meets the eye. However, the real story is rarely the most sensational, and as a result, half-truths and out-of-context remarks are typically what floods the media. Fortunately, we understand that there are two sides to every story — even in car burglary cases.

For example, someone might hear about a vehicle burglary and assume the alleged thief stole the car because “that’s what criminals do” or because they wanted to sell it for drug money. In reality, the accused individual may have taken it in a desperate attempt to drive their injured partner to the hospital or to rescue their younger brother from a dangerous situation. 

Here’s the point: We rarely understand the full context of a situation or a person’s reasoning for doing what they did. But at the end of the day, regardless of their motivations, every accused person deserves a robust, aggressive legal representation, which is exactly what Sergio Cruz provides. 

This article will explain everything you need to know about vehicle burglary in Orlando, Florida, including its legal definition, possible defense strategies, penalties for conviction, and how a skilled Orlando burglary defense lawyers can help. 

How Can a Car Burglary Lawyer Help Me?

Burglary charges are serious, and without access to high-quality legal services, a person accused of this crime is unlikely to find a favorable court outcome. That’s because public defenders, despite being hard-working and passionate lawyers, rarely have sufficient time or resources to properly defend against serious criminal charges. 

If you’ve been charged with car burglary in Florida, read this very carefully: Your freedom hangs in the balance. Failing to mount an aggressive legal defense may result in a range of harsh criminal penalties and life-altering consequences that you aren’t prepared to handle. Your best course of action is to partner with a trusted criminal defense law firm as soon as possible. 

At Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense, we have everything needed to mount a highly effective, robust legal defense on your behalf. With years of experience, unparalleled expertise, and vast resources, we have everything needed to secure the best possible outcome for your case. Keep reading to learn more about the nature of car burglary crimes in Florida.

Car Burglary Definition in Florida

In the State of Florida, car burglary or vehicle burglary is also called “burglary of a conveyance,” and is governed by Florida Statutes Section 810.02. It is defined as the unlawful entry into or remaining inside a conveyance (motor vehicle) with the intent to commit an offense inside.

Here are the key elements of car burglary in Florida:

  • Unlawful entry or remaining inside. The prosecution will need to demonstrate that the defendant entered or remained in someone else’s vehicle without their permission. In this context, entry can be partial or complete; even reaching into a vehicle can qualify as entry in some cases.
  • Conveyance. The prosecution will need to demonstrate that you entered or remained in a “conveyance,” which can refer to any motor vehicle, not just cars. It may also refer to ships, vessels, railroad cars, trailers, aircrafts, and more.
  • Intent to commit a crime. Lastly, the prosecution will need to prove that the defendant had the intent to commit a crime inside the vehicle, which could include theft, vandalism, or any other infraction.

It’s important to note that the prosecution does not have to prove that a defendant forcibly entered a vehicle — only that they entered it with criminal intent. Additionally, the alleged car burglar does not need to have successfully completed the intended crime to be convicted; they only need to have had the intention to do so, which can be difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

Legal Defenses for Burglary

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The best legal defense strategy for you will be custom-tailored to the specific details of your case and individual circumstances. That being said, there are a few commonly used legal defenses that our law firm can help you explore. Our Orlando burglary defense attorneys may be able to make one of the following arguments on your behalf:

  • Lack of intent. You lacked the intent to commit a crime upon entering the vehicle. Perhaps you mistakenly believed you were entering your own car, or you entered the vehicle simply to rest for a moment. Neither of these situations involve the level of intent needed to convict you for car burglary.
  • Mistake of fact / claim of right. At the time you entered the vehicle, you believed you had the right to do so. You believed you had permission to enter it, and you had no intention of committing a criminal act once inside.
  • Factual innocence. You simply weren’t involved in the crime at all. You weren’t at the scene of the crime when the incident occurred, as evidenced by a strong alibi, witness testimonies, surveillance footage, and other documentation.
  • Police misconduct. Law enforcement officers engaged in police misconduct during the investigation or during the arrest, providing ample grounds to challenge the charge. Perhaps police officers conducted an illegal search, coerced confessions, or violated your constitutional rights.

These are just a handful of the many possible legal defenses we can help you explore as we strive for the best possible outcome for your case. After a thorough review of all the pertinent evidence, we’ll provide insights on the most effective legal defenses for your situation.

What Are the Penalties?

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As with most crimes in Florida, the penalties associated with car burglary offenses are varied and severe. If you are convicted, you may face the following legal consequences:

  • Third-degree felony. If convicted, you will be labeled as a felon, a status that goes on your criminal record.
  • Imprisonment. Under Florida law, car burglary conviction may result in up to five years in state prison and possibly longer if the incident involved aggravating factors.
  • Probation. The court may order up to five years of probation, requiring check-ins with a probation officer, community services, and travel restrictions.
  • Fines. You may be ordered to pay up to $5,000 in fines.
  • Enhanced penalties. If you were armed with a firearm or dangerous weapon during the alleged burglary, you may be charged with a second-degree felony and incur the harsher penalties that come with it. If you are a repeat offender or caused damage to the vehicle, you may also face enhanced penalties.

Keep in mind that legal penalties aren’t the only consequences of conviction. You will be classified as a convicted felon, which stays on your permanent criminal record and can affect housing, educational opportunities, and employment; you may also lose certain civil rights, such as the right to vote, own a firearm, or serve on a jury. Lastly, you may be ordered to pay restitution to the victim for damages.

How Can I Fight a Burglary Charge?

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Ultimately, conviction can result in an array of severe, life-altering consequences. Although it is possible to appeal a conviction, it is typically much more difficult than avoiding conviction in the first place. Effectively fighting a burglary charge in Florida requires a strategic, expertly designed approach.

When our criminal defense law firm takes on a new client, we start with a thorough case analysis in which we review all of the evidence, including witness statements, police reports, and other documentation. This analysis helps us identify potential weaknesses and leverage points in the prosecution’s case, assisting us in strategic decision-making.

Next, we will file pre-trial motions to suppress any evidence obtained illegally, as well as to dismiss car burglary charges that were filed on insufficient evidence — both of which are critical to weakening the prosecution’s case. Depending on the case specifics, we may also engage in plea negotiations to reduce the charges or penalties.

Lastly, if it looks like the case will go to trial, we start preparing an aggressive, robust defense on your behalf. We will cross-examine witnesses, challenge the prosecution’s evidence, and take every chance we get to deal a lethal blow to the prosecution’s arguments. We will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the best possible legal defense.

Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense: Orlando Criminal Defense Attorneys

Just because the crime of burglary isn’t a violent does not mean you will be spared from prison, felon-status, severe fines, social stigma, a marred criminal record and more. Simply put, the price of conviction is simply too high to take any risks. Your best bet at avoiding conviction is to contact a reputable criminal defense law firm like Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense for legal advice.

It’s time to start fighting like your future depends on it — because it does. Contact our law offices to speak with a skilled criminal defense lawyer today.

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