Burglary Involving a Firearm

Tampa Attorney Skilled in Fighting Theft Charges

Being charged with a theft crime like burglary involving a firearm may be frightening and unsettling. Many questions may arise in a defendant’s mind, adding to an already confusing situation. What does the State need to prove in order to get a conviction? How many years of imprisonment are possible if I am found guilty? Might I have a viable defense? If you have been arrested, you need a dependable theft crime lawyer who can answer these and the many other questions that you may have about your case. Tampa burglary defense lawyer Will Hanlon has been helping people accused of crimes for more than 20 years, and he welcomes the opportunity to protect your rights.

Generally, burglary is defined as entering a dwelling, structure, or conveyance with the intent to commit a criminal offense therein. The fact that the defendant lawfully entered the premises is not necessarily the decisive issue. A person may legally go onto another party’s property but still be found guilty of burglary if they stayed on the premises after the permission ended, with the intention of committing a crime.

Burglary Involving a Firearm Leads to Harsh Penalties Under Florida Law

While it is possible for a burglary case to result in several differing degrees of felony charges, depending on the circumstances of a particular situation, a defendant faces especially harsh penalties when they are accused of using a firearm during the commission of the crime. Typically, the crime of burglary involving a firearm is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison plus a large fine. Additionally, Florida’s harsh 10-20-Life statute might be triggered by a burglary conviction in which a firearm was involved. Under this statute, certain minimum sentences are imposed in cases in which a firearm was involved. Generally, the 10-year minimum sentence results when the defendant was armed with – but did not fire – a weapon during the commission of certain crimes (including burglary). A 20-year prison term is imposed if the defendant actually fired the weapon, and a 25-to-life sentence is imposed if the defendant killed or seriously injured someone with a firearm during the commission of a covered crime.

Even for burglary cases that are prosecuted as second-degree or third-degree felonies with shorter possible sentences of incarceration, a defendant should take every opportunity to avoid having a criminal record if possible. There are certain negative consequences of a conviction that apply even if the defendant does not actually serve time or is paroled. Convicted felons forfeit certain civil rights, such as the right to own a gun or hold public office, and they may have a lot of trouble finding a job worthy of their talents or a decent place to live. Thus, it is important that a person accused of burglary involving a firearm talk to an attorney about strategies to attack the charges against them as soon as possible after being arrested or learning that an investigation is pending.

Schedule a Conversation with a Tampa Lawyer to Discuss Your Burglary Charge

Florida’s burglary statutes are complex. If you are facing charges, you need an attorney who will work hard to help you understand the full extent of your options and who will help you defend yourself with all of the tools at your disposal. Even if you qualify for a public defender, it is important to think twice before choosing this option when so much is at stake. The caseload of a public defender is usually overwhelming, and any one defendant’s case is less likely to have the attorney’s full attention than if you retain private counsel. Experienced Tampa attorney Will Hanlon is dedicated to representing the criminally accused throughout the Tampa Bay region. Call us at 813-228-7095 or contact us online to set up a time to talk with our burglary defense lawyer about how he can help with your case.