Burglary

About half of all Pensacola crimes are property crimes –approximately 1 in 21 people will become a victim. Burglary is a serious property offense that involves "breaking" into a dwelling or structure that an alleged offender is not authorized to be in.

While burglary is very similar to trespass, they are two distinct crimes with burglary being the more serious offense. It is important to understand that a person does not actually need to commit the allegedly intended crime in order to be charged with burglary.

Chapter 13.1 of the Florida Standard Jury Instructions states that even when an alleged trespass is proven, the alleged offender must be found "not guilty" of burglary if the evidence does not establish that the burglary was done with the intent to commit a crime other than burglary or trespass.

Attorney for Burglary Arrests in Pensacola, FL

If you were arrested for an alleged burglary in the Florida Panhandle, it is in your best interest to seek experienced and knowledgeable legal representation. The Law Office of James M. Burns aggressively defends clients in Perdido Key, Fort Walton Beach, Pace, Milton, Navarre, and several other surrounding areas of Escambia County.

As a former certified police officer with experience handling theft investigations, James M. Burns is a skilled criminal defense lawyer in Pensacola who can fight to possibly get your criminal charges minimized or completely eliminated.

Call (850) 457-6002 right now to have our attorney review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free initial consultation.


Escambia County Burglary Information Center


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Florida Burglary Definitions

Under Florida Statute § 810.02, burglary is defined as entering a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance 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, or notwithstanding a licensed or invited entry, remaining in a dwelling, structure, or conveyance:

  • Surreptitiously, with the intent to commit an offense therein;
  • After permission to remain therein has been withdrawn, with the intent to commit an offense therein; or
  • To commit or attempt to commit a forcible felony, as defined in Florida Statute § 776.08.

The type of residential or commercial property allegedly involved directly impacts the nature of the criminal charges. Florida Statute § 810.011 provides the following definitions:

  • Structure — A building of any kind, either temporary or permanent, which has a roof over it, together with the curtilage thereof. During the time of a state of emergency declared by executive order or proclamation of the Governor under chapter 252 of the Florida Statutes and within the area covered by such executive order or proclamation and for purposes of Florida Statutes §§ 810.02 and 810.08 only, the term means a building of any kind or such portions or remnants thereof as existing at the original site, regardless of absence of a wall or roof.
  • Dwelling — A building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether such building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night, together with the curtilage thereof. However, during the time of a state of emergency declared by executive order or proclamation of the Governor under chapter 252 of the Florida Statutes and within the area covered by such executive order or proclamation and for purposes of Florida Statutes §§ 810.02 and 810.08 only, the term includes such portions or remnants thereof as exist at the original site, regardless of absence of a wall or roof.
  • Conveyance — Any motor vehicle, ship, vessel, railroad vehicle or car, trailer, aircraft, or sleeping car; and “to enter a conveyance” includes taking apart any portion of the conveyance. However, during the time of a state of emergency declared by executive order or proclamation of the Governor under chapter 252 of the Florida Statutes and within the area covered by such executive order or proclamation and for purposes of Florida Statutes §§ 810.02 and 810.08 only, the term “conveyance” means a motor vehicle, ship, vessel, railroad vehicle or car, trailer, aircraft, or sleeping car or such portions thereof as exist.

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Burglary Penalties in Pensacola

Florida Statute § 810.02(4) establishes that burglary is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 if, in the course of committing the alleged offense, the alleged offender does not make an assault or battery and is not and does not become armed with a dangerous weapon or explosive, and the offender enters or remains in a:

  • Structure and there is not another person in the structure at the time the alleged offender enters or remains; or
  • Conveyance, and there is not another person in the conveyance at the time the alleged offender enters or remains.

If a third-degree felony burglary is committed within a county that is subject to a state of emergency declared by the Governor under chapter 252 of the Florida Statutes after the declaration of emergency is made and the perpetration of the burglary is facilitated by conditions arising from the emergency, then the alleged offense is a second-degree felon. A second-degree felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Under Florida Statute § 810.02(3), burglary is also a second-degree felony if, in the course of committing the alleged offense, the alleged offender does not make an assault or battery and is not and does not become armed with a dangerous weapon or explosive, and the offender enters or remains in a:

  • Dwelling and there is another person in the dwelling at the time the alleged offender enters or remains;
  • Dwelling and there is not another person in the dwelling at the time the alleged offender enters or remains;
  • Structure, and there is another person in the structure at the time the alleged offender enters or remains;
  • Conveyance and there is another person in the conveyance at the time the alleged offender enters or remains;
  • Authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in Florida Statute § 316.003; or
  • Structure or conveyance when the alleged offense intended to be committed therein is theft of a controlled substance.

Any of the second-degree felony burglary offenses listed above becomes a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if the alleged offense is committed within a county that is subject to a state of emergency after the declaration of emergency is made and the perpetration of the burglary is facilitated by conditions arising from the emergency.

Florida Statute § 810.02(2) also establishes that burglary is a first-degree felony if in the course of committing the alleged offense, the alleged offender:

  • Makes an assault or battery upon any person;
  • Is or becomes armed within the dwelling, structure, or conveyance, with explosives or a dangerous weapon; or
  • Enters an occupied or unoccupied dwelling or structure, and uses a motor vehicle as an instrumentality, other than merely as a getaway vehicle, to assist in committing the alleged offense, and thereby damages the dwelling or structure; or causes damage to the dwelling or structure, or to property within the dwelling or structure in excess of $1,000.

An alleged offender can also be charged with the third-degree felony offense of possession of burglary tools under Florida Statute § 810.06 if he or she has in his or her possession any tool, machine, or implement with intent to use the same, or allow the same to be used, to commit any burglary or trespass.

Additionally, a person could also face third-degree felony charges for impairing or impeding telephone or power to a dwelling or facilitating or furthering a burglary if he or she, for the purpose of facilitating or furthering the commission or attempted commission of a burglary of a dwelling by any person, damages a wire or line that transmits or conveys telephone or power to that dwelling, impairs any other equipment necessary for telephone or power transmission or conveyance, or otherwise impairs or impedes such telephone or power transmission or conveyance.


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Burglary Resources in Escambia County

Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) | Data & Statistics — The FDLE provides services "in partnership with local, state, and federal criminal justice agencies to prevent, investigate, and solve crimes while protecting Florida’s citizens and visitors." On this section of the FDLE website, you can find Crime in Florida reports from 2000 through the most recently released report as well as viewable and downloadable UCR Offense data and UCR Arrest data by county and jurisdiction. You can also find crime trend data for violent and property crimes in addition to county profiles for each of Florida's 67 counties.


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The Law Office of James M. Burns | Escambia County Burglary Defense Lawyer

Do you think that you might be under investigation or were you already arrested in Santa Rosa County or Escambia County for an alleged burglary? You will want to avoid speaking to authorities until you have had the chance to contact The Law Office of James M. Burns.

Pensacola criminal defense attorney James M. Burns represents individuals in numerous communities throughout Pensacola Florida, such as Navarre, Pace, Fort Walton Beach, Milton, Perdido Key, and many others.

Call (850) 457-6002 or fill out an online contact form to receive a free, confidential consultation that will let our lawyer provide a complete evaluation of your case.

This article was last updated on Decebmer 21, 2017.