Statistics On Burglary Crimes In Florida
The basic definition of burglary is entering or remaining in a location with the intent to commit a criminal offense, such as theft, a violent crime, or other illegal act. Burglary is always a felony, so penalties for a conviction may range from five years’ incarceration to life in prison, along with a fine from $5,000 to $10,000. Statistics from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) indicate the police aggressively pursue offenders: There are approximately 13,600 people charged with burglary every year statewide, and more than 3,000 of these arrests take place in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties in South Florida.
However, not all arrests lead to convictions. If you were arrested for burglary, you may be able to leverage defenses or other strategies for resolving the charges. A Fort Lauderdale burglary lawyer can assist with the details, and some additional tips can help if you have been arrested.
Defenses and Strategies for Fighting Burglary Charges
These cases are very specific in terms of what a prosecutor needs to prove, offering opportunities for you to expose weaknesses in the evidence. For instance, if you entered a public place, had the owner’s consent, or lacked the intent to commit a crime once inside, you may disprove the essential elements of a burglary case.
In addition to defenses, it may be possible to reduce the charges and/or punishment through a plea bargain. When the prosecution’s evidence is weak, the government is more willing to consider an agreement rather than losing the case. You may work out an arrangement where you plead guilty to a Third Degree Felony instead of a higher form of the crime – so the penalties are not as harsh.
What to do if You Were Arrested for Burglary
In the midst of the chaos and confusion of an arrest, it can be difficult to know what you can do to protect your interests. A few tips may help you get through the police encounter.
- Exercise Your Rights: You have numerous constitutional rights in the context of criminal laws, and one of the most important is described in the Fifth Amendment. Police cannot force you to incriminate yourself, so exercise your right to remain silent by declining to answer questions. Do not even try to profess your innocence, as you may reveal too much.
- Do Not Resist Arrest: It is never wise to fight police when under arrest for burglary. Not only will you still be charged with a crime and taken into custody, but you could also face additional criminal charges.
- Contact a South Florida Burglary Defense Lawyer
A final and extremely important tip is getting in touch with an attorney right away for assistance with your case. You may be able to leverage the above defenses or other strategies for obtaining a favorable outcome. To learn how our team can help with burglary charges, please contact attorney Kevin J. Kulik right away. We can schedule a consultation at our offices in our Fort Lauderdale office.