Burglary With Assault or Battery

St. Petersburg Criminal Lawyers Defending the Accused

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.

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As a practicing attorney, I was shocked to hear that a family member of mine was alleged to have committed a sex crime. Knowing full well the consequences this type of allegation can have on anyone and their future, I immediately reached out to William Hanlon for help. I had every confidence that Mr. Hanlon had the knowledge, expertise, and experience to handle this problem. Approximately 4 weeks from an initial conference with Mr. Hanlon, we received a call with the news that a letter of release was being issued and the case was being dropped. Now my family member can finally exhale, take a deep breath, and go on with his life. Thank you, William! Jerry
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I was facing a charge that if convicted would carry two years in prison minimally. Not only was he empathetic and listening to what I had to say but he arranged with the prosecutor for my charges not to be filed under terms of a pre trial investigation. Would highly recommend. Alec
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Mr. Hanlon did what no other lawyer could do. Not only did he turn my criminal history into a thing of the past so I could move on, he was a loyal associate. No matter how bad the situation is, he has miraculously cleared me on every charge since he became my lawyer 5 years ago. I have the best lawyer that the legal system has to offer. I have had other really good lawyers try to get my business, but I know that no one can do a better job than William Hanlon. Jesse