Burglary Attorney in Pensacola, Florida
A burglary conviction can land you in prison for years. Yet, prosecutors often file burglary charges on facts they cannot prove. The "weak point" in every prosecution for burglary is where the prosecutor has to prove that the defendant had "the intent" to commit a crime when he or she entered the structure.
A good example of this issue was a Not Guilty verdict in 2022 that Attorney McGuire received for a client found inside a stranger's home eating the food. In this case, the defendant was so drunk that he went into the wrong house and started eating the food. The defendant testified at trial and explained that he had just moved back into the area and was stayng at a friend's house. That he had just returned from the the liquor store with more adult beverages and had simpply entered the wrong home. Therefore, upon entering the home, the defendant had no intent to commit a crime. The prosecutor tried to discredit this claim by referencing the defendant's bad record and that the homes were so different that no one in their right mind would confuse the homes. The prosecutor was trying to put the defendant in prison for 15 years because the defendant had just been released from prison and qualified for punishment under the Prison Release Re-Offender law. If the defendnt were convicted as a PRR, the only legal sentence was the maximum sentence- 15 years. Instead, McGuire established that the defendant was not in his right mind- he was drunk- and legitamately confused the homes. The defendant went home to his family that night.
In another Burglary of a Dwelling case, the prosecutor finally dismissed the charge against a woman after Attorney McGuire tracked down witnesses and established that the defendant did not have the intent to commit a crime when she entered the vacant home. Rather, the defendant was seeking shelter during a horrendous rain storm. In order to exhonerate the defendant, the defense team found a Greyhound Bus clerk who established that the defendant had a ticket to South Florida but had arrived to the bus station late and missed her bus. A church deacon then established that the defendant had come to their evening church service looking for a place to stay the night because she had missed her bus to South Florida. Then the arresting officer established that when he was responding to the defendant's burglary call, it was raining so hard that he could not see and had to pull off on the side of the road. These witnesses established that the prosecutor could not prove that the defendant had the intent to steal when she entered the home. Burglary charged dropped.
When you walk through the doors of the Panhandle Defense Firm, the defense team will give you the best possible defense because you will treated as a member of his family.
What Needs to Be Proven to Be Convicted of Burglary
Burglary is the act of unlawfully entering premises with the intent to commit a crime, such as assault, murder, or most commonly, theft. With accusations as intense as these, the prosecution needs to prove the elements of your case beyond a reasonable doubt for you to be convicted of burglary. The prosecution must prove that you entered a residential or commercial building without consent and had intentions to commit a crime. This is not an easy task to accomplish, but their job can be more difficult when you are being represented by an experienced and detail-oriented burglary attorney. Contact Attorney Tom McGuire today in Pensacola, Florida, and discuss your case.
Penalties for Burglary Convictions
Depending on the circumstances of your case, the penalties that you face will vary. Here is an overview of punishments that you will receive if convicted of felony burglary in the state of Florida:
First-Degree Conviction – You can be charged with a first-degree burglary charge if a weapon was used during the crime or someone was assaulted, among other things. In Florida, you can face anywhere from one year to 30 years in prison if convicted. You can also be placed with paying fines of up to $10,000.
Second-Degree Conviction – You can be found guilty of burglary in the second degree if it is believed that you broke and/or entered a premise that was either inhabited or uninhabited. This type of conviction can land you a prison sentence of up to 15 years and fines of up to $10,000.
Third-Degree Conviction – A burglary in the third degree can result in a prison sentence of up to five years and fines costing no more than $5,000.
If you have been arrested and charged with burglary in Santa Rosa County, Escambia County, Pensacola, Milton, Crestview, and Fort Walton Beach, Florida, schedule a free consultation with criminal defense Attorney Tom McGuire today.
Possible Defenses for Burglary
The most basic defense is the mistaken identity defense or that you did, in fact, have permission to do the acts that you are accused of. However, every person and every case is different. The most difficult task for the prosecution is to prove that you were planning on committing a felony when you entered the premises. Let’s say that a person entered a house with no intent but to sit there. Then, that person notices a diamond ring that he could slip away with. Since that person did not enter the house with the intent of stealing the ring, he did not commit a crime up to the standards of burglary. When Attorney Tom McGuire learns about the details surrounding your case, he will be able to provide you with insightful and trustworthy guidance. Get in contact with him today and let him know how he can help you.
Fight Your Burglary Charges Today
The state of Florida considers every burglary charge a felony. You will need a serious and committed criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights and seek the best solution possible. If you are facing burglary charges in Santa Rosa County, Escambia County, Pensacola, Milton, Crestview, or Fort Walton Beach, Florida, contact Tom McGuire at Panhandle Defense Firm, and schedule a free case consultation.
Burglary Attorney Serving Pensacola, Florida
A burglary charge can alter your way of life forever. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney at your side can increase your chances of receiving a better outcome for your case. Attorney Tom McGuire provides trustworthy insight, dedicated service, and a friendly counselor. Do not settle for anything less. Contact him today at Panhandle Defense Firm in Pensacola, Florida today, and schedule your free consultation.