I have discussed the crime of burglary on this blog many times before, but today I want to focus on the crime of armed burglary. In the State of Florida, and particularly in Miami and Broward, armed burglary is taken seriously, and is considered to be a violent crime. Even if no actual violence occurs. The worst part about armed burglary is that if charged, you are facing a life sentence, as well as no bond. Your criminal defense attorney must schedule what is known as an Arthur Hearing in order for you to even be considered for bond. This typically occurs 30-45 days after your arrest.
Posted By Eric Matheny
Armed burglary is defined by Florida law as follows:
1) Defendant entered a structure (building), conveyance (car) owned by or in the possession of (alleged victim).
2) At the time of entering the structure or conveyance, Defendant had the intent to commit a crime (theft, assault, criminal mischief, battery, etc...) in that structure or conveyance.
3) At the time of the burglary, Defendant was armed or armed him or herself during the course of the burglary with explosives or a dangerous weapon.
Now, dangerous weapon usually means firearm. If the dangerous weapon alleged is a firearm, the accused will qualify for sentencing under Florida's 10-20-Life law. That means that the accused will face a mandatory 10-year prison sentence just for being in possession of a firearm during the course of the burglary.
As you read, the statute also says that you can be found guilty of armed burglary for arming yourself during the burglary. That means, if somebody breaks into a home, a building, or a car, and finds a gun and then they steal that gun, they technically "arm" themselves during the burglary and can now be charged with armed burglary.
By defending clients in Miami-Dade and Broward County, I know the seriousness of armed burglary charges. I know the stress an accused person will be under as they wait in jail without a bond. A defense attorney will quickly request an Arthur Hearing. At this hearing, the State of Florida must prove the case in a mini-trial before the judge. If their case is lacking, the judge may find insufficient evidence to hold you without bond. Even if their case is strong, if you are a first-time offender, or otherwise law abiding citizen with ties to the community (school, work, family), the judge may grant you a bond anywhere, permitting you to be released while your criminal attorney fights these charges.
Armed burglary is a serious crime, but it is defensible, just like any other crime. If you are facing life in prison due to armed burglary charges, or a friend or family member is in jail without bond on armed burglary charges, call me today. I represent clients charged with armed burglary in both Miami and Broward. I will give you a consultation either over the phone, or in person, and we can discuss the steps to take. If the issue of bond has not yet been addressed, I will quickly request an Arthur Hearing to improve the chances of your loved one being released on bond.