Breaking and Entering

Breaking and entering may not seem like a serious charge, but Florida law equates it to being the same as burglary, which is a felony offense. In addition to prison time and steep fines, Florida felonies come with sanctions like the loss of the right to vote, ineligibility for government assistance, and mandatory waiting periods for adoption. Fight to protect your rights and your future from a felony breaking and entering burglary charge in Duval County or the surrounding areas by working with a Jacksonville property crime defense lawyer.

DUVAL COUNTY BREAKING AND ENTERING DEFENSE ATTORNEY

There are many factors involved in a Florida breaking and entering burglary charge that a qualified criminal defense attorney could potentially turn into opportunities for reduction or dismissal of the charges. With over 20 years of experience in criminal defense, Bill Roelke of Roelke Law, P.A. has the knowledge and skill it takes to identify these opportunities and use them to your advantage when going against the prosecution.

If you are facing charges of burglary due to breaking and entering in Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fernandina Beach, Callahan, Hilliard, Orange Park, Green Cove Spring, or Middleburg, contact Roelke Law, P.A. to begin your defense immediately. Your first consultation with Roelke Law, P.A. concerning your breaking and entering case is free, so call (904) 354-0333 today to see what Bill Roelke can do for you.


Important Definitions of Florida Breaking and Entering Legal Terms

Conveyance – Any motor vehicle, ship, vessel, railroad vehicle or car, trailer, aircraft, or sleeping car. To enter a conveyance includes both entering into any of these vehicles as well as taking apart any portion of one

Dwelling – A roofed building or conveyance of any kind designed to be occupied by people at night, no matter the mobility, immobility, permanence, or impermanence of the structure. Definition includes the area the structure and any outbuildings occupies and any associated yard

Invitee – A person is an invitee on a property if he or she has been given express or implied consent to enter the property to conduct business. An example of an invitee is a customer of a store

Licensee – A person is a licensee if he or she has been given the express or implied invitation by the owner to enter for social purposes. An example of a licensee is a friend dropping by for a visit, expectedly or unexpectedly

Structure – a roofed building of any kind, temporary or permanent. Includes the area the structure occupies and any associated yard

Prima Facie Evidence of Intent – It is sufficient evidence of intent to commit an offense in a breaking and entering case, attempted burglary case, or burglary case in Florida if the defendant entered a structure, dwelling, or conveyance at any time stealthily and without the consent of the place's owner and/or occupant


Back to top

Breaking and Entering as a Florida Burglary Offense

Breaking and entering is not a separate offense in Florida, but a commonplace term for acts of burglary that don't result in the commission of another offense. Technically, when you are facing a breaking and entering charge in Duval County or elsewhere in Florida, you are facing a burglary charge as defined in Fla. Stat. § 810.02. According to this statute, burglary is when one enters a dwelling, structure, or conveyance to commit an offense, or remains covertly in a dwelling, structure, or conveyance with the intent to commit an offense after permission to remain there has been withdrawn.

It is important to remember that whether or not your actual intent of entering the property was to commit an offense, entering or remaining on the property in what can be considered a stealth or covert manner without the consent of the owner or occupant is evidence enough of intent for Florida courts. Conversely, it is an affirmative defense to breaking and entering and burglary in Florida if the defendant was on the property as an invitee or licensee during the time the offense was allegedly committed, in which case the charge may be reduced for a lesser offense like theft. No matter the circumstances surrounding your Jacksonville burglary charge arising from breaking and entering, it is recommended you work with an experienced property crime defense lawyer serving Duval County to fight for a favorable outcome.


Back to top

Penalties for Breaking and Entering in Duval County

In Florida, all burglary charges are felonies, including those that involve only the act of breaking and entering and no other offense. Most breaking and entering charges in Florida are counts of second-degree burglary and third-degree burglary. A first-degree burglary offense of breaking and entering only occurs if the offender caused more than $1,000 in damages to the structure or dwelling he or she broke into. A first-degree burglary conviction for breaking and entering is punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and 30 years of prison, though a life sentence may be assigned depending on the case.

Third-degree felony burglary charges of breaking and entering are for when an unarmed person enters an unoccupied structure or conveyance and commits burglary without becoming armed with a dangerous weapon or explosive and without committing an offense of assault or battery. A conviction for breaking and entering under third-degree felony burglary charge is punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $5,000. Breaking and entering as a second-degree felony charge of burglary occurs when the offender enters or remains in:

  • Any dwelling, occupied or unoccupied
  • An occupied structure
  • An occupied conveyance
  • An authorized emergency vehicle
  • A structure or conveyance when the offender's intent is to commit theft of a controlled substance, which shall be punished separately from any related drug possession or trafficking crimes

The maximum punishment for a second-degree felony burglary offense of breaking and entering in Florida is $10,000 in fines and 15 years in Florida State Prison. All Florida felonies also come with additional sanctions like the loss of certain civil rights and ineligibility for certain educational and employment opportunities. Working with an experienced Jacksonville property crime defense attorney could be your best chance at achieving a favorable outcome in your Duval County felony breaking and entering case.


Back to top

Roelke Law, P.A. | Defense Lawyer for Jacksonville Breaking and Entering

If you have been charged with breaking and entering or any felony burglary offense in Duval County, St. Johns County, Nassau County, or Clay County, call experienced property crime defense lawyer Bill Roelke of Roelke Law, P.A. in Jacksonville. He will work to protect your rights while constructing a comprehensive, customized defense to fight for your freedom. You first consultation with Roelke Law, P.A. is free, so call (904) 354-0333 today to schedule yours.

Free Consultation
Contact Us