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Burglary: Dwelling, Structure, and Conveyance

Burglary takes on many forms in the State of Florida. And each form of burglary carries a different penalty and entails different circumstances.

Burglary is a crime that requires proof of intent. Burglary requires the entry into a dwelling (home), conveyance (car), or structure (non-residential building) with the intent to commit a crime inside of that home, car, or building. Simply entering a building or home or car without the intent to commit a crime is simply a trespass.

Burglary of a conveyance means a car burglary. A car burglary can occur whether the car is occupied or unoccupied. If unoccupied, the burglary is a third-degree felony. If occupied, the burglary is a second-degree felony.

Burglary of a dwelling means a home burglary. Whether the home is occupied or unoccupied, the crime is a second-degree felony scoring 21 months at the bottom of the Florida Criminal Punishment Code Sentencing Guidelines, provided the accused has no priors.

Burglary of a structure means a non-residential burglary, like a store or business. If unoccupied, the crime is a third-degree felony. If occupied, the crime is a second-degree felony.

Some forms of burglary can carry life sentences, such as armed burglary and burglary with an assault or battery.

Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney serving Miami-Dade and Broward.

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