A review of 5 top Q&As MUST Know by ➪ Boca Raton ➪
West Palm Beach Burglary Attorney Josh LeRoy on:

Burglary & Related Charges

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An experienced West Palm Beach Burglary Attorney can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your final sentence – potentially years. A few of the most important topics on burglary are detailed below.

Before hiring a Burglary Attorney in West Palm Beach, what should I know about F.S. 810.02(1)(A)?

Florida law defines burglary as “the means entering or remaining in… a structure 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…”

In simpler terms, burglary, commonly referred to as “breaking and entering,” occurs when a person enters the property of another with the intent to commit a crime therein.

The law does not require the State to prove that someone committed a crime within the property but rather that the person intended to do so at the time of entry.

So, if a person enters someone’s house planning to steal a television, but for whatever reason, he does not go through with the theft, he has still committed the burglary, according to the law.

Are there different Types of Burglary?

Burglary, F.S. 810.02(1)(A) is a serious crime. You'll need an experience West Palm Beach Burglary Attorney on your side.
What is Burglary, F.S. 810.02(1)(A)

Florida law differentiates between three types of burglary according to the nature of the property entered:

  • “Burglary of a dwelling” prohibits unlawful entry into a home or the fenced yard surrounding a house.
  • In contrast, “burglary of a structure” prohibits unlawful entry into any building not used as a home or the fenced yard surrounding such a building.
  • Finally, “burglary of a conveyance” prohibits unauthorized entry into a vehicle.

What are the penalties for burglary in Palm Beach County?

  • The law classifies Burglary of a Dwelling, regardless of occupation at the time of the offense, as a second-degree felony, punishable by penalties ranging from a term of probation up to 15 years in state prison.
  • Burglary of structure and burglary of a conveyance, if the property is unoccupied, are both third-degree felonies, punishable by penalties ranging from probation up to 5 years in state prison.
  • If someone occupies the structure or conveyance when entered, the law classifies both forms of burglary as second-degree felonies, with a resulting maximum penalty of 15 years.
  • If the State proves the accused either (a) committed an assault or battery on a person occupying the property, (b) carried, used, or became armed with a dangerous weapon, or (c) caused over one-thousand dollars in damage, the law classifies the offense as a first-degree felony, punishable by up to life in prison.

How would a burglary attorney prevent the State from proving a defendant’s intent?

When trying to prove a defendant’s intent in a burglary case, a seasoned burglary attorney can present the State with a difficult challenge. Because intent concerns a person’s State of mind, something unseen, the State must try to prove criminal intent by the circumstances.

For example, the broken back window of a home, the disappearance of valuables, and the discovery of the missing goods in the defendant’s home might serve as circumstantial evidence that the accused committed the crime.

But the same circumstances, at least as described here, are equally consistent with events that do not constitute burglary: the accused having unknowingly, or even knowingly, purchased the stolen goods from someone else or having received them as a gift.

In those cases where the State finds it too difficult to prove the defendant’s intent to commit a crime, the State may reduce the charge to misdemeanor trespassing to resolve the case.

Do I have a good chance of winning the case if I have permission to be on the property?

Consent is a complete defense to burglary charges. However, keep in mind that a property owner can withdraw their consent by asking a formerly invited person to leave the house or building.

If the door was open and there was no actual “breaking,” just an entry, is a person still subject to prosecution for burglary?

In a burglary prosecution, whether the door was locked or unlocked and whether an actual breaking occurred are matters of no moment. If a person enters the property of another without consent and possesses the intent to commit a crime therein, the State can prosecute him for burglary.

Related Cases


  • The Incident: A rash of local burglaries.
  • The Accused: As an experienced burglary attorney, the client’s family hired me to represent him.
  • The Evidence: The State had a weak case. They knew it. Regardless, they decided to press the case against my client. They often do this knowing someone is innocent, knowing many accused without proper defense succumb to their fear and accept pleas they shouldn’t.
  • The Charges: The client was charged twice with Burglary of a Dwelling. The State had offered the client prison.
  • My Counsel & Defense: I advised my client to refuse the plea and filed a Motion to Dismiss that disputed all charges.
  • The VERDICT: Shortly after that, all attempts to pursue my client were dropped by the State resulting in the final verdict of Nolle Prosse (complete dismissal) of all charges.

Related laws:


This home burglary case involved:

  • The Incident: Burglary of a woman’s home while she was at work.
  • The Accused: He was a Prison Releasee Reoffender (PRR). He was facing a mandatory 15-year prison sentence if convicted.
  • The Charges: Burglary of a Dwelling (PRR mandatory 15-year prison sentence) and Grand Theft
  • The Evidence: The police responded to the neighbor’s apartment as the evidence pointed out that someone therein committed the crime. After speaking with the client’s nephew, the police obtained a large amount of the victim’s property inside the apartment where the client was staying. The client later confessed to the crime.
  • My Counsel & Defense: I drafted and filed a Motion to Suppress, challenging the legality of the police recovery of the evidence from inside the apartment where he was staying.
  • The VERDICT: Plead to Burglary of a Structure and Grand Theft and 24 months in the Palm Beach County Jail. The State agreed to allow the client to plead to lesser charges and a Palm Beach County jail sentence. My client, who had 16 months of jail credit already, needless to say, was very, very relieved and gladly accepted the plea.

Related laws:
Burglary of a Dwelling (PRR mandatory 15-year prison sentence)
Grand Theft


This Car Burglary case involved:

  • The Incident: Late night burglarizing of a car.
  • The Accused: He and his friends were stopped by police walking through a neighborhood he did not live in at 3 in the morning. They could not explain their presence in the area.
  • The Charges: Burglary of a Conveyance
  • The Evidence: They found my client in possession of property stolen from the car around the corner.
  • My Counsel & Defense: He scored significant prison time. I drafted and filed a Motion to Suppress, and the client chose to accept the State’s offer of time Served instead of waiting for the Motion hearing.
  • The VERDICT: The client accepted the State’s offer of time Served instead of waiting for the Motion hearing. The co-defendant’s counsel adopted the Motion to Suppress I filed, and the Judge subsequently granted the Motion for the co-defendant.

Related laws:
Burglary of a Conveyance

Arrested? Call West Palm Beach Burglary Attorney Josh LeRoy Because Experience Wins. Can You Afford to Lose?

If you, or someone you know, find yourself in need of a burglary attorney in West Palm Beach (Palm Beach County from Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, and up to Jupiter), or any of the surrounding areas, use the form below to drop me a note.

Tell me about yourself, what’s happened, and when would be a good time to contact you.

-Joshua LeRoy, Esq.

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