If you’ve been arrested for burglary of a structure, you could be facing severe charges and a mark on your criminal record. Because burglary is a felony, if convicted, you could be facing time in jail or prison, too. Our Miami burglary lawyer can help you build your defense if you have been charged with burglary of a structure and are in need of help and representation.
Defining a Structure
In Miami, a burglary takes place when a person enters or remains in a structure, dwelling, or conveyance with the intent to commit a crime therein. In legal terms, a structure is defined as a building that has a roof over it, as well as the surrounding area. It does not have to be a permanent structure, and this definition can include tool and utility sheds, standing buildings, and storage units and the surrounding property. You can be charged with burglary even if it cannot be proven that something was stolen during the event. To prepare an effective defense, you’ll need the services of a competent Miami criminal defense attorney who has experience in dealing with cases just like yours.
Burglary of a Structure Defined
Burglary of a structure is split into two categories when defined by law:
- Burglary of an Unoccupied Structure. This counts as a third-degree felony and can carry a sentence of 5 years in prison.
- Burglary of an Occupied Structure. This is considered a more serious charge, and this second-degree felony can get you a term of 15 years in prison.
Of course, both of these are severe charges and not something anyone wants on their criminal record, especially if they were in the wrong place at the wrong time instead of actively committing a crime. Our Miami burglary of a structure attorney can help you gain a clear view of your case and help you to present your case to the court.
Legal Defenses for Burglary of a Structure
Several legal defenses can be argued to the court when a client has been charged with burglary.
- Consent. Trespassing and burglary take place when consent to be there is expressly withdrawn. This charge will only stand if it can be proven without a doubt in court that consent was revoked before the crime took place.
- Bystander. When several people go out to commit a crime, some innocent people may be associated with those committing the crime. This is most often seen in spontaneous crimes. You may have only been a bystander, yet the police hastily included you with those who committed a burglary.
- Public Area. When areas are open to the public, it is more difficult to accuse someone of the crime of burglary—again, it must be proven in court that consent was withdrawn. Concerning public areas, you are much more likely to be charged with trespassing, and you cannot be charged with theft if it can be proven that you were only seeking shelter.
- Intent to Commit a Criminal Act. Many times, someone might have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. There is thus no intent to commit a crime, and they cannot be charged with burglary; this leads to a much lesser charge of trespassing.
An experienced, knowledgeable defense attorney in Miami can help you to prepare the right defense to state your case. Set up a consultation with a legal professional today; your consultation is free! A skilled lawyer is on call to answer all of your questions. Our experienced criminal lawyer can often get charges of burglary reduced to a lesser charge of trespassing or dismissed entirely.
Implications of a Record
The implications of having burglary of a dwelling or structure charge on your permanent record can be far-reaching and affect you negatively for the rest of your life, as opposed to the lesser charge of trespassing, Burglary is considered a felony crime, and you could be charged with other crimes, so you should take these allegations seriously. The implications of having a mark on your criminal record can include:
- Inability to find long-term employment once employers view your record: If you are convicted of burglary, the mark will be on your criminal record regardless of the circumstances surrounding the event.
- Inability to find housing options once your criminal record is run by your prospective landlords and the burglary charge appears.
- Inability to leave the country for a vacation because you have a mark on your record—to get a visa to enter certain countries, you must have no criminal record at all.
- Having your ability to go to college affected when your school runs your record and finds that you have been convicted of burglary.
- A mark on your criminal record means many people might start to talk about your private affairs, and this can make the situation around work colleagues and friends uncomfortable.
We believe it is unfair for a record or a one-off occurrence to affect you for the rest of your life, especially if your circumstances have changed for the better since. Defend yourself with a top legal team with an experienced Miami criminal lawyer by your side to collect the evidence, examine the witnesses, and prepare the strongest defense for your case.
Hiring a Criminal Attorney
A skilled burglary attorney in Miami can assess your situation and prepare the strongest defense for your individual case. They have seen and represented thousands of cases just like yours, and they can provide you with the best course of action to get the justice you deserve. Set up a consultation with an experienced attorney. He is available on call to answer your questions around the clock, and your consultation with our criminal attorney is free!