Can You Be Convicted of Burglary if You Didn’t Steal Anything?



When you hear the term burglary, you may envision someone breaking into a home or business and setting off alarms while stealing various items. Or, maybe you have seen movies portraying burglarizing and how individuals are caught and convicted for their crimes. In 2018 alone, Florida had 71,801 UCR burglary offenses reported. Although it may be surprising to hear that burglarizing doesn’t involve physically stealing, people can be convicted of this crime in specific circumstances.

At Fighter Law, our award-winning attorney, Thomas Feiter, has helped thousands of clients facing criminal charges such as burglary and other accusations. Regardless of the evidence the prosecution may present against you, our skilled criminal defense attorney may help protect your rights and argue a strong defense for your case.

How Is Burglary Defined in Florida?

Many people may perceive burglary as just the criminal act of breaking an entry into an unauthorized place and stealing different items. Although, Florida law outlines burglarizing under entering a place with the intent to steal or commit a crime. This means that, regardless of whether items were stolen, the sole intent to commit a crime and the entry into an unauthorized place may result in a burglary conviction.

Under Florida Statute 810.02, burglary is defined as:

“…Entering a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein, unless the premises are at the time open to the public or the defendant is licensed or invited to enter;…with the intent to commit an offense therein;…After permission to remain therein has been withdrawn, with the intent to commit an offense therein; or To commit or attempt to commit a forcible felony.”

Though burglarizing may be complex to understand, if you are facing charges for this crime, an experienced lawyer may review your case, evaluate the events that took place, and gather the legal resources necessary to help you get charges dismissed. In certain cases, penalties may be lessened depending on the circumstances. Don’t face the challenges of a burglary charge alone, as a guilty verdict can damage your record and change your life.

Can I Be Charged With Burglary if I Didn’t Commit a Theft Crime?

Many different situations and circumstances can lead to a burglary arrest, even if no items are stolen or property damaged. Typically, a burglary charge is added to other charges, such as theft or assault. Burglarizing counts as a felony paired with other criminal acts and typically results in jail time and monetary fines. Although the law may outline what is considered burglarizing, it can be considered vague if a perpetrator never enters a home but only steps foot onto the unauthorized property, which may be the case in a misdemeanor trespassing crime.

Situations that may be defined as or that may constitute burglarizing include:

  • Entering a place without permission
  • Entering an unauthorized place with intent to commit criminal acts
  • Entering a building, home, car, boat, and other premises without cause
  • Kidnapping
  • Drug deals and drug-related crimes
  • Vandalism
  • Computer crimes

The prosecution, in any case, may argue that though an individual did not force an entry, they entered a business or home without consent and intended to commit a crime. If there is proof of intent, this alone may constitute a burglarizing charge. The circumstances of facing a burglary charge can vary greatly depending on the specific factors such as where the accused individual was during the crime and how their behavior may easily be perceived. However, as a board-certified Orlando criminal defense attorney that understands the law and has successfully helped many clients facing charges, Thomas Feiter may be the legal support you need to be relieved of burglary charges.

How an Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney Helps You After a Burglary Arrest

If you have been arrested for burglary without other charges or intent to commit a crime, you are likely not guilty of any criminal acts. The prosecution may argue your intent during a crime and showcase unreliable evidence regarding the events that took place. If you attempt to represent yourself or accept a court-appointment attorney, you may fail to put your best foot forward in a Florida burglary case.

Benefits of hiring an Orlando criminal defense attorney include:

  • A knowledgeable lawyer is experienced in criminal law and can answer your questions throughout the process.
  • Your legal team provides the resources regarding research, expert witnesses, sustainable proof, and skilled legal counsel for your case.
  • Lawyers are devoted to their clients and defending their rights.
  • It helps you avoid delays and works to ensure your case is moving along with all the necessary paperwork.

It can be challenging to face a courtroom unprepared or on your own. Especially in a criminal case, it’s beneficial to have an empathetic and understanding lawyer that protects your rights and represents you. Every burglarizing crime in Florida can look unique in its scenario. Don’t accept an accusation or criminal intent, and hire a lawyer that may help you through the challenges of a criminal case.

Speak With Our Board-Certified Criminal Defense Attorney at Fighter Law

Every lawyer helps their client in different ways. At Fighter Law, our Spanish-speaking criminal defense attorney has many years of experience helping locals fight criminal charges in Orlando, Florida. As a reputable and trustworthy legal team, Fighter Law may be the legal aid you need to have the resources for reaching a not guilty verdict. To speak with a knowledgeable attorney, complete a contact form or give us a call at (407) 344-4837 to schedule a free case review.

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