Burglary of a Conveyance
While it may seem less grave than burglary of a dwelling, burglary of a conveyance is taken seriously by prosecutors. If you are charged with this crime, you should retain an experienced St. Petersburg burglary defense attorney to advocate for you. At Hanlon Law, we believe strongly in the rights of the accused. We can look at all of the facts of your case and explore all of your options to develop a comprehensive defense strategy.Burglary of a Conveyance
Under Florida Statutes section 810.02, burglary of a conveyance can be charged if you entered a conveyance that was owned or possessed by somebody else, and at the time of entry, you intended to perpetrate a crime. You could also be charged for going into a conveyance and staying inside surreptitiously or after permission to go inside the conveyance was revoked, intending to commit a crime inside. Or you could be charged if you intended to commit a forcible felony inside. For example, if you broke into a houseboat intending to rape a woman inside, this would be burglary of a conveyance.
Conveyances refer to vehicles, for the most part. The conveyance in question could be a car, railroad vehicle, ship, aircraft, sleeper car, or trailer. You can be charged even if you do not go inside and sit down. Simply putting any part of your body into the vehicle completes the crime of burglary of a conveyance. Moreover, if you try to go into a conveyance stealthily, the jury is entitled to infer that your actions were undertaken with criminal intent.
The kinds of penalties that you face will depend on the degree of the charge. The way in which you committed the offense and any use of a weapon will factor into the nature of the penalty imposed by a court if the prosecutor proves their case. There is an enhancement of charges if you wear a mask or hood to conceal your identity while committing the burglary. You can be charged one higher level of offense through a mask enhancement. For example, a second-degree felony burglary of a conveyance can be converted to a first-degree felony burglary of a conveyance.
Burglary of a conveyance also is a first-degree felony, which carries penalties of up to life in prison, if in the commission of the burglary, you assaulted or battered someone or were armed with a dangerous weapon or explosives.
You can be charged with burglary as a second-degree felony if you did not assault anyone, did not carry a dangerous weapon, and got into or stayed in the conveyance when there was another person there. A second-degree felony could also be charged if the conveyance in question was an authorized emergency vehicle, or if the purpose of your entry was to steal certain types of controlled substances. If you commit burglary intending to steal controlled substances, there may be an additional charge like trafficking, and this would involve separate judgments and sentences. Second-degree felony charges carry potential penalties of 15 years’ imprisonment, 15 years’ probation, and a $10,000 fine.
Burglary of a conveyance is charged as a third-degree felony if you entered or stayed in a conveyance, and nobody was there when you got in or stayed. This carries a penalty of up to five years’ imprisonment, five years’ probation, and a $5,000 fine.
There may be defenses available. You should not assume that a conviction is assured. The prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, and possibly a St. Petersburg criminal lawyer can raise a reasonable doubt as to your intent in going into the conveyance. For example, perhaps you were seeking shelter from the rain in a car, rather than trying to steal it. Sometimes it is appropriate to raise a mistaken identity defense. This could be successful when, for example, the person inside the conveyance did not get a good look at the burglar's face because he only started to enter the car and retreated once he realized that someone was there. Another possible defense is that you had an invitation or permission to be in the car or other conveyance, or that any withdrawal of the invitation was incomplete.Discuss Your Situation with a St. Petersburg Attorney
If you are looking for an aggressive lawyer to fight charges of burglary of a conveyance, Hanlon Law may be able to represent you. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has been providing dedicated criminal defense representation to St. Petersburg residents since 1994. You can call Hanlon Law at 727.289.0222 or complete our online form.