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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) 388-4736 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) 388-4736 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.