Burglary Involving a Firearm
Burglary involving a firearm is taken seriously and punished harshly in Florida. If you are being investigated for burglary involving a firearm, or you have already been charged, you should consult an experienced St. Petersburg burglary defense lawyer. At Hanlon Law, we strongly believe in protecting the rights of the accused.Burglary Involving a Firearm
Florida Statutes section 810.02 defines burglary as occurring when you go into a conveyance, structure, or dwelling that is owned or possessed by somebody else, and when entering, you intended to commit a crime inside. You could also be charged with burglary if you went into a conveyance, structure, or dwelling and stayed inside surreptitiously or after permission to be there was withdrawn, while you intended to perpetrate a crime there. This charge also may involve someone who intended to commit or tried to commit a forcible felony within the structure, dwelling, or conveyance.
You can be charged with first-degree burglary if you are armed inside the dwelling, structure, or conveyance with a dangerous weapon, such as a firearm. For example, if you broke into a car to steal some drugs that you knew were there, and you had a gun with you, you could be charged with a first-degree felony. Similarly, if you intended to meet a minor in someone else's empty warehouse and had a gun with you, you could be charged with burglary involving a firearm. First-degree felony charges are extremely serious, and you can be punished by up to life in prison.
Under Florida Statute section 775.087, you can face mandatory minimum penalties if you are convicted of burglary or attempted burglary, and during the commission of the offense, you actually possessed a firearm. You generally will be sentenced to a minimum of 10 years’ imprisonment for possessing a firearm during a burglary. However, if it is burglary of a conveyance, the mandatory minimum term is three years. If you are convicted of burglary involving a firearm, and the firearm was discharged during the commission of the burglary, you will be sentenced to a minimum imprisonment term of 20 years. If you are convicted of burglary involving a firearm, and as a result of the firearm getting discharged, someone else suffers great bodily harm or death, the minimum imprisonment term that the court can impose is 25 years.
A conviction is not assured. The defenses that a St. Petersburg criminal attorney can raise will depend on the circumstances. Sometimes, it is possible to argue that you were a bystander, simply present with the person who had the intent to commit the burglary. In other cases, it may be possible to defend the case by claiming consent to enter the dwelling, structure, or conveyance. In other cases, it may be appropriate to argue that you did not have the requisite intent to commit a crime. For example, if you were trying to find a place to sleep, and you happened to have a gun when you went into somebody else's car, it would not be appropriate for the court to convict you of burglary involving a firearm. Another possible defense is that the dwelling was open to the public. For example, if you went into an open house and were carrying a firearm, your attorney might be able to argue consent.
In some cases, it is not possible to completely defeat a charge of burglary involving a firearm. However, it may be possible to get the sentence reduced or take the case out of the realm of mandatory minimums. Sometimes burglary involving a firearm is charged alongside other weapon crimes, such as unlicensed carrying of a concealed firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, improper exhibition, possession by a convicted felon, or others. It is important to retain an attorney who can develop an appropriate defense strategy to address all of the charges.Seek Representation from a Knowledgeable St. Petersburg Attorney
If you are looking for an aggressive lawyer to fight charges of burglary involving a firearm, Hanlon Law may be able to represent you. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has been providing dedicated criminal defense representation in the St. Petersburg area since 1994. You can call Hanlon Law at 727.897.5413 or use our online form.