According to reports, an Oakland Park woman was inside of her home when a man allegedly entered the home through her back patio and into her kitchen. While in the house, the man allegedly grabbed her purse off the kitchen counter and left the home.
The woman did not even realize that the man was inside of her home until she noticed that her purse was missing. The incident was captured on her home surveillance system.
When the Broward Sheriff's Office locates the suspected burglar, he will be charged with burglary of an occupied dwelling.
Unlike burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, occupied burglary requires that an occupant be inside of the home during the course of the burglary.
Both crimes are second-degree felonies punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison. Under Florida's sentencing guidelines, a dwelling burglary where the offender has no priors scores a minimum of 21 months in prison. That means that the bottom of the offender's guidelines is almost 2 years in prison!
This is a burglary and not a trespass because it is alleged that the intruder took the woman's purse from inside the home. As you may know, burglary of a dwelling requires that there be an unlawful entry with the intent to commit a crime inside of the dwelling.
In this case, the man committed an act of theft by taking the purse. Depending on the value of the purse itself and whatever items or money may have been contained within, the alleged burglar will be charged with grand theft (if the total value exceeded $300) or petit theft (if the total value was less than $300).
The theft charge will be in addition to the burglary charge.
As a criminal defense attorney, I know that prosecutors are tougher on occupied burglaries than they are on unoccupied burglaries. The strength of this case will be determined based on the clarity of the video surveillance (can you accurately tell from the video who the suspect is?) and any physical evidence left behind (did the suspect leave fingerprints on the sliding glass door or kitchen counter?).
If the video is clear and there are fingerprints present, I expect the Broward State Attorney's Office to seek jail or prison time. If the suspect has a prior felony record, he could face statutory sentencing enhancements.
Burglary of an occupied dwelling is a very serious second-degree felony. Prosecutors are always concerned when there are allegations of a burglary occurring with somebody inside of the home. That's because prosecutors believe that the possibility of a violent crime occurring increases when there are occupants inside of the home.
If you or a loved one are facing burglary charges in Miami-Dade or Broward, call me. I am a former Miami-Dade prosecutor who has handled countless burglaries, including at the trial level. In my criminal defense practice I have represented many clients charged with a wide array of burglary offenses.
While past results do not determine how a case will be resolved in the future, I have been successful in getting burglary charges reduced or dismissed altogether. In the event of a negotiation, I have obtained favorable plea agreements.
You may email me using the contact form on my website if you want to know specific burglary case results.
Call today to discuss your case.