Legal Help from a Broward Burglary Attorney
In Florida, burglary is always a felony. However, the charge varies in severity based on the type of structure, whether others were present, and if a firearm was used. People who are charged with any type of burglary might face prison sentences and stiff fines if they are convicted. The sentences can be more severe when people are charged with and convicted of multiple burglaries or when they have previous allegeable felonies on their records. Broward burglary attorney Kenneth Hassett has defended people against burglary and other criminal charges for more than 30 years. Here is some information from a recent case involving a man arrested for multiple burglaries.
Man Believed to Be a Serial Burglar
According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, a man was recently arrested for burglary and is believed to be responsible for 20 or more burglaries of businesses located in Broward County and Palm Beach County. According to law enforcement authorities, detectives started to surveil a vehicle after it had been identified as a suspect’s car. The detectives followed the vehicle during the day and reportedly saw the 26-year-old driver stop and break a North Lauderdale business’s front glass door to enter. The man reportedly then left the building carrying a few cash registers before getting back into his car.
The police then used an immobilization technique to prevent the man from fleeing in his car, and he was arrested and placed into custody. The man was charged with burglary of an unoccupied structure, wearing a mask while committing a felony, using violence to resist arrest, and violating felony probation.
The man was also charged with burglarizing two businesses in Deerfield Beach and one business in Oakland Park. The police stated he is a suspect in at least 20 burglaries of different businesses throughout the counties.
Understanding Burglary Charges
Under § 810.02, Fla. Stat. (2021), burglary charges can range from third-degree felonies to first-degree felonies, depending on the circumstances. A person can be charged with burglary when he or she enters an occupied or unoccupied building or home with the intent to commit a crime inside. When a person enters an unoccupied building without a firearm with the intent to commit a crime as in the man’s case, it is a third-degree felony.
While third-degree felonies normally carry a maximum of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, the man in this case is facing charges for multiple burglaries and is suspected of up to 20. He was also apparently serving a felony probation sentence at the time of this offense. He also could potentially be charged as a habitual felony offender under § 775.084(4)(a), Fla. Stat. (2021). Someone can be charged as a habitual felony offender if they commit two or more felonies, commit a felony while on felony probation for an earlier, qualifying felony, or commit a felony within five years of being released from prison, felony probation, or conditional release. If the man is convicted of burglary as a habitual felony offender, he could face 10 years for each burglary count.
Defending Against Burglary Charges
While burglary charges are serious, it is possible to defend against them. Broward criminal lawyer Kenneth Hassett can carefully review the police reports and other evidence to identify potential issues in the prosecution’s case and then use those issues to build the strongest possible defense. Some examples of potential burglary defenses include the following:
- Lack of intent to commit a crime inside
- Actual innocence
- Alibi defense
- Consent to enter
Attorney Hassett will also work to hold the prosecutor to the required burden of proof.
If you are facing a similar legal situation, or your loved one has been charged, contact Hassett & Associates, P.A. at 954-791-3939.