Burglary of a Conveyance in Florida
Florida Statute §810.02(4)(b) states that a person may be charged with burglary of a conveyance if they are found unlawfully entering any Conveyance or remaining inside any Conveyance, or continuing to remain in a Conveyance even after permission has been refused or withdrawn by the owners. The defendant must also have the intention of committing a criminal act inside the property.
Conveyances include aircraft, trailer, car or railroad vehicle, vessel, ship, or motor vehicle.
The penalties may differ based on whether the relevant conveyance was unoccupied or occupied during the burglary event.
Burglary of an Unoccupied Conveyance
This offense is a Felony of the Third Degree within the state of Florida. The court may impose any of these following penalties in any combination:
Fine not exceeding $5000
Probation period not exceeding 5 years
Imprisonment period not exceeding 5 years
Burglary of an Occupied Conveyance
This offense is a Felony of the Second Degree within the state of Florida. The court may impose any of these following penalties in any combination:
Fine not exceeding $10000
Probation period not exceeding 15 years
Imprisonment period not exceeding 15 years
Apart from trial defenses and pretrial defenses, which may be raised during a criminal case, there are some defenses that are specific to this charge:
If you had the consent to enter the premises, that is a credible defense against the charge and can get the charge dismissed. The defense is obligated to provide evidence regarding consent if it exists. However, if it has been successfully proven that the defendant had consent, the prosecutor must disprove this evidence beyond reasonable doubt or face dismissal of charges.
The question of consent comes into play if they are multiple owners or people who have authority over this property. Even if anyone of them had consented for the defendant to use or enter the premises, the charges against the defendant are to be dismissed. The fact that other owners were not aware of your authorization to use and enter the dwelling is not valid grounds for a person to be convicted of this offense.
Lack of intent
In order to convict a person successfully under this crime, the prosecution must prove that the defendant had the intention of unlawfully entering the property in question for the purposes of committing a crime. It is usually proven by presenting evidence that the defendant entered a property in a stealthy manner.
However, in case the defendant can show that he had only non-criminal motivation for his entry into the premises, like for finding a location to sleep or to escape the rain, he cannot be charged with this offense.
Open to the Public
In case the dwelling had been open to the public, any person who entered the premises has entered with permission and cannot be convicted under this charge, regardless of what the defendant's true intentions were. Therefore, in such a situation, the defendant can stay inside unless the prosecution can produce concrete evidence that this consent had been withdrawn. Therefore, any person who is charged under a crime like a robbery or theft cannot be charged with this offense, as per the provisions of this law.
Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Larry Avallone
If you've been charged or arrested in the Daytona Beach area, contact Larry Avallone, who is an expert Criminal Defense Lawyer in Volusia County. My initial consultation is free. I am ready to provide legal advice regarding the next steps of your case.