Burglary With Assault or Battery
Burglary is one of the more serious property crimes that is commonly charged in Florida. While most people think of burglary as “breaking and entering” and imagine a masked cat-burglar sneaking into a home in the night, the legal definition of burglary creates a more complicated criminal charge. Burglary actually encompasses a wide range of criminal conduct, and you may find yourself charged with a burglary after and incident that had nothing to do with breaking into someone’s home. If you have been charged with any type of burglary, it is imperative that you consult a skilled St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer immediately.
The criminal charge of burglary is further complicated by several types of enhancers. Burglary on its own is defined as entering or remaining in a home or structure without permission with the intent to commit a crime within. Typically, that crime is a theft, as most burglars enter into buildings in order to steal the valuables inside. However, the crime committed that makes the entrance into the home a burglary can be anything: battery, assault, sex crimes or murder.
If an assault or battery is committed while a burglary is happening, the perpetrator may be charged with burglary with a battery. Burglary is a second degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. When burglary with a battery is alleged, the offense is upgraded to a first degree felony that is potentially punishable by life imprisonment. The Life-Felony enhancement that applies to a burglary with a battery charge makes it an extremely serious criminal offense that you must take seriously.Elements of Burglary With Assault or Battery
In order to prove someone guilty of burglary with assault or battery, the state must prove that two crimes occurred, and that they were connected by some nexus. First, they must prove the burglary; that you entered or remained in a home without permission and with the intent to commit a crime. Second, they must prove that you committed a battery; the unlawful touching or striking of another person. There is no need for the state to prove that there were any injuries, only that a simple battery occurred.
Our legislature defined the offense of burglary with a battery in this way with certain offenses in mind. They wanted to set out to severely punish burglars who broke into the dwellings of unsuspecting homeowners who then committed violent acts within the home. While our legislators’ ideas might have been admirable, the execution of these laws is usually applied far too broadly.
Burglary with a battery can technically occur if a fight breaks out within someone’s home. For example if a verbal altercation results in a homeowner demanding that a person leave, the person refuses and a fight breaks out, the visitor could potentially be charged with burglary with a battery because their permission to remain in the home was revoked.
Similarly, if a fight happens outside of a home or business, and spills from outside to inside the business, a burglary with a battery may be charged, turning an otherwise minor battery case into a serious life felony. Like many criminal statutes, the elements of burglary with a battery can be interpreted in different ways. Police and prosecutors like to interpret statutes in a way that allows them to more easily charge people with serious offenses. The more serious offense that they charge, the more leverage they can hold over the accused and the more likely they are to secure a conviction. If you have been charged with burglary with an assault or battery, contact a dedicated St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer today to help prepare your defense.Speak to the Dedicated St. Petersburg Criminal Lawyers at Hanlon Law
The criminal defense lawyers at Hanlon law have the experience and reputation to achieve the best results for your case. If you are charged with a serious offense, don’t wait because every minute counts. Call us today at 727.897.5413.