If you have recently faced a criminal charge for burglary, you may feel immensely surprised by the allegation. Your situation may have simply been one of your being in the wrong place at the wrong time or of someone having the wrong idea about your intentions. Nonetheless, you now face a serious legal predicament that could have immense impacts on your future if a conviction takes place.
Fortunately, you have the opportunity to create and present a criminal defense against the charge. In order to do so effectively, you may first want to fully understand the allegation that has been brought against you.
Burglary vs robbery
First, you may want to understand that a difference does exist between burglary and robbery. Many people tend to lump the two crimes together, but one can take place without the other. When it comes to robbery, force or fear must have been used in order to take property that did not belong to you.
In general, no victim is present at the time of a burglary or at least the alleged burglar does not intend to cause harm. Additionally, you do not need to take items in order for a burglary to have occurred.
Elements involved with a burglary
With a burglary, three main elements are generally present, including:
- Unauthorized breaking and entering
- Entering a building or other occupied structure
- Having the intent to carry out a crime inside the building or structure
In relation to the breaking and entering element, actual or constructive breaking could come into play. Actual breaking would involve you using some type of physical force, like kicking a door or simply pushing it open. Constructive breaking does not involve physical force but uses other means to gain entry, like threats or blackmail.
Additionally, you must have intended to carry out a crime inside the building, and that crime does not have to involve theft. Furthermore, though breaking and entering is a crime itself, the intended crime must have been separate from the break-in.
Depending on the specific details of the incident that lead to the charges you currently face, you may have a variety of defense options. In order to come up with the best tactics for your case, you may wish to consult with a Florida attorney about your options.