Burglary/Breaking & Entering DEFENDERS of Your Rights. Your Life. Your Future.

Breaking and Entering

Breaking and entering/burglary occurs when an individual enters a dwelling, structure, or conveyance, that is private property, or not open to the public at the time, with the intent to commit an offense. There are different elements and varying degrees to this offense, which can make being charged with it a confusing experience. In order to gain clarity, and fight the allegations against you, contact a Pinellas County property crimes defense attorney.

St. Petersburg Breaking and Entering Lawyer

If you are facing breaking and entering or burglary charges in Pinellas County, Clearwater, Pinellas Park, Palm Harbor, St. Petersburg, or the surrounding areas, Morris Law Firm, P.A. can help you. Melinda Morris is a dedicated defense attorney who has the knowledge and resources necessary to defend you against your alleged crime.

As a former prosecutor, Morris understands how the prosecution works. This gives her and her clients an advantage over the prosecution. Call Morris Law Firm, P.A. today at (727) 592-5885 for a free consultation on your breaking and entering charges.

Information on Breaking and Entering in Florida

Understanding Breaking and Entering Charges

In Florida, individuals do not actually have to use forced entry to enter a structure, conveyance, or dwelling in order to be charged with breaking and entering or burglary. If the alleged offender gains entry through an unlocked door, open window, or otherwise enters the property without permission and with the intent to commit a crime, he or she can be charged burglary.

In order to determine intent, law enforcement can use the fact that the defendant entered the premises in a stealthy manner, even if an additional crime was not committed after entering the property.

Penalties for Breaking and Entering

If an individual is arrested for breaking and entering/burglary, he or she can be charged with a first, second, or third degree felony. The charges associated with burglary are based on several factors. These factors include:

  • Third Degree Felony Burglary: The alleged offender is accused of entering a structure or conveyance that was no occupied by anyone else at the time of the offense. A third-degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison, and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

  • Second Degree Felony Burglary: The defendant allegedly entered a dwelling that was either occupied or unoccupied, or entered a structure/ conveyance that was occupied. If the defendant entered an authorized emergency vehicle (fire truck, police car, or ambulance), he or she can also be charged with this offense. A second-degree felony carries up to a 15-year prison sentence, and/or up to a $10,000 fine.

  • First Degree Felony Burglary: If the alleged offender commits assault/battery, or is armed with a dangerous weapon while committing or after committing burglary, he or she can be charged with a first-degree felony. If convicted of a first-degree felony, the defendant can be sentenced to up to 30 years to life in prison, and/or ordered to pay a fine of up to $10,000.

Working with a Dedicated Breaking and Entering Lawyer in Pinellas County

Based in St. Petersburg, Morris Law Firm, P.A. proudly serves clients facing breaking and entering charges throughout Pinellas County, including Clearwater, Pinellas Park, Dunedin, Palm Harbor and Gulf City. Melinda Morris is a qualified burglary defense attorney who will work around the clock to ensure that your defense is adequately prepared.

Contact Melinda Morris today at (727) 592-5885 to schedule a consultation to discuss the breaking and entering charges against you. Your first consultation is free and it is a crucial part of developing your defense strategy.

Why Choose Our Law Firm?

See the Difference Our Service Provides

    Melinda Morris is a former prosecutor and has handled thousands of criminal cases from investigation through sentencing enabling us to identify weaknesses in the State’s case against you.


    We never settle for the easiest outcome or the typical result. We know how to negotiate with the State Attorney and we will work to get you the best possible outcome.


    Melinda Morris has practiced criminal law for over 20 years. Our clients trust advice that comes from experience in nearly every type of criminal case.


    We will know every client’s story because we will take the time to listen and understand. You will work with your attorney one-on-one at every stage of the process.


    You will have the cell phone number of your attorney. Your attorney will directly return your call, email, or text to answer your pressing questions.


    The government is wasting no time in trying to prove your guilt, a proactive defense is imperative. Prompt and decisive action from your defense attorney is of critical importance.

Meet the Attorneys

Melinda Morris & Seth Shapiro

Client Testimonials

Hear From Real People We've Helped
    Very knowledgeable, personable, and gets back to you with in the same day.

    “Seth is an amazing lawyer and did exactly what he told me he was going to do. He is very knowledgeable, personable, and gets back to you with in the same day. Unfortunately I had to hire Seth two ...”

    - Darren D. on Google
    Ultimately she was able to get the charges dropped without trial, or plea.

    “I think everyone's biggest concern when hiring a lawyer is will the lawyer be responsive, and will they put your best interests first. Melinda represented me in two cases in which my wife was trying ...”

    - Avvo User
    I researched other lawyers in the area, and none of them compared.

    “Seth Shapiro, and Morris Law Firm in general, are consummate professionals. I researched other lawyers in the area, and none of them compared, both in price and assistance. Seth always made himself ...”

    - Bill P. on Google
    Go with Seth. You'll be glad you did.

    “Seth's dedication, knowledge of the law, and real world experience make all the difference. Expert help on important, life-altering issues aren't the place to cut corners. Go with Seth. You'll be glad ...”

    - Peter W. on Google
    Goes above and beyond

    “Melinda has represented me on numerous cases and the outcome has always been great. Melinda goes above and beyond to defend your rights and get you the best possible outcome. I highly recommend hiring ...”

    - Shasta on Google