Burglary of a Conveyance

Theft Crime Lawyer Representing Defendants in Tampa

Most people associate burglaries with home invasion, but burglary of a conveyance is also taken seriously by courts. Conveyances include any sort of motor vehicle, whether it is a car, a truck, a boat, a vessel, a trailer, or an airplane. If you are charged with burglary of a conveyance, you should retain an experienced Tampa burglary defense lawyer. At Hanlon Law, we have experience defending our clients against a wide range of felony charges. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of the accused and work hard to find strong defense strategies for our clients.

Burglary of a Conveyance

Burglaries can occur in connection with structures, dwellings, and conveyances owned by someone else. They involve a breaking and entering when the defendant has the intent to commit a crime inside the structure, dwelling, or conveyance. To be considered an entry into a conveyance, a defendant's body need not have been entirely inside the vehicle. The crime is considered complete if you have the requisite intent and put any part of your body into the vehicle. Moreover if you try to get into someone else's car, boat, or other conveyance stealthily, the jury is allowed to infer that you were doing this with criminal intent.

Under Florida Statute section 810.02, burglary of a conveyance can be shown by the prosecutor if they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you entered or stayed in a conveyance with the intent to commit a criminal offense inside it, except when the conveyance was open to the public or you were licensed or invited to enter the conveyance. Even if you originally had an invitation or license, you can be charged with burglary if you stayed inside the conveyance surreptitiously in order to commit a crime, after the owner withdrew permission so that you could commit a crime, or to perpetrate or try to perpetrate a forcible felony.

You can be charged with first-degree felony burglary if, while breaking into the conveyance and intending to commit a crime, you also assault someone or commit battery against someone or are armed with explosives or a dangerous weapon or become so armed. You can be charged with a second-degree felony if there was someone else in the conveyance at the time that you entered or stayed, or the offense that you intended to commit when you broke into the conveyance or stayed in the conveyance was stealing a controlled substance.

You can be charged with third-degree felony burglary of a conveyance if you do not commit any of the acts associated with first- or second-degree offenses, and there is nobody else in the conveyance. For example, if you broke into a parked car one night in order to steal a stereo system, and there was nobody inside, you could be charged with third-degree felony burglary. On the other hand, if you got into a car while someone was sitting at a stoplight in order to steal the stereo system, you would be charged with a second-degree felony. If you had a gun in this scenario, you would be charged with a first-degree felony.

There is an exception for burglary of a conveyance when there is a state of emergency. There are also other defenses that may be available, such as implied permission, mistake of fact, mistaken belief as to permission from the conveyance owner, mistaken identity, consent, invitation, insufficient proof about your identity, or a lack of criminal intent. For example, if you entered a boat as a prank, but not with the intent to commit a crime inside it, you might be able to successfully raise a defense that there was a lack of the requisite intent.

Retain an Experienced Burglary Attorney in the Tampa Bay Region

If you are accused of burglary of a conveyance, it is important to seek experienced legal counsel right away. Burglary is a serious charge, and a conviction can carry a long term of imprisonment. Our founder, Tampa attorney Will Hanlon, has provided a strong, aggressive defense to people accused of crimes such as burglary since 1994. He understands how frightening it can be to be accused of a crime, and he provides his clients with responsive and personalized representation. Call Hanlon Law at 813-228-7095 or use our online form to set up a consultation with a theft crime lawyer.