The state of Florida has made sure to place a strong emphasis on an individual's right to private property. This helps people gain land and property more efficiently and allows them to keep it if they satisfy the requirement of owning said property. This also extends to law enforcement's strict adherence to the current property laws that are in the Florida Statutes. They will aggressively pursue individuals who are suspected of property crimes and will attempt to do everything they can to make sure the transgressor is punished for his crimes.
Due to this outlook on property crimes, such as arson, individuals convicted of these criminal acts will be subject to many serious penalties, including long prison terms, costly fines and a permanent criminal record that anyone can publicly view. Considering the severe sanctions that can arise from a conviction, taking the steps necessary to keep this from happening is vital in finding an acceptable solution to this difficult issue.
Being accused a property crime can hurt your social, professional and financial well-being and needs to be challenged from the very start. The most effective means of doing this is to work with a capable Florida criminal defense attorney who can effectively defend your name and reputation in court by framing a defense strategy that refutes the charges and puts you in a favorable light. A strong argument has the potential to get the charges levied against your reduced or possibly dismissed.
If you have been charged with a property crime in Florida, protect your future by taking advantage of the excellent client service that The Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, LLC offers. The experienced legal team is committed to protecting your rights as a citizen of Florida and will use their legal knowledge to develop the best defense strategy for your particular case.
To schedule a free and confidential consultation with the attorneys at The Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, LLC call (321) 253-3447 or send an online message. In addition to Melbourne, the firm also represents individuals accused of criminal acts in the cities of Viera, Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Lake Buena Vista, Windermere, Deltona, Edgewater, Sanford, Winter Springs, Vero Beach, Kissimmee and Saint Cloud among others.
There are many different types of criminal acts that are considered property crimes in the state of Florida. An important fact to keep in mind is that many property crimes require an element of intent. This means that prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused had the intent to commit the crime itself. Considering intent is a subjective element, it is hard to prove, due to the fact that it pertains to an individual's state of mind, which obviously widely varies between one person and the next.
The most common forms of property crimes include:
Burglary – Found in Fla. Stat. 810.02, burglary is charged if an individual enters a structure, dwelling, building, motor vehicle, ship, railroad car or aircraft that is closed to the public, with the intent to commit a crime, or if they lawfully enter a building and remain there after they are no longer allowed with the intent to commit a crime. Breaking and entering is a common form or burglary.
Criminal Trespass – According to Fla. Stat. 810.08, a person can be charged with criminal trespassing if they willfully enter or remain in any structure, building of any kind or conveyance without being authorized, licensed or invited into the structure.
Criminal Mischief – Fla. Stat. 806.13 states that an individual can be charged with this offense if they willfully and maliciously inure or damage any real or personal property that belongs to someone else. Anyone who commits vandalism or graffiti can be charged with criminal mischief. Vandalism is defined as willfully and maliciously destroying public or private property.
The potential penalties involved in property crimes varies depending on what crimes the individual is convicted of. This ranges from misdemeanors to felonies and includes both prison time and fines. The primary determinate of the charge depends on the amount of damage to the property in the form of cost.
Criminal mischief, graffiti or vandalism to property in an amount of $200 or less, and criminal trespass are misdemeanors of the second degree. This degree of misdemeanor can result in up to 60 days in jail and/or fines up to $500.
Criminal mischief, graffiti, or vandalism to property in an amount of $201 but less than $1,000 are misdemeanors of the first degree. Additionally, anyone who commits criminal trespass while someone else was present in the building or structure can be charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree. This degree of misdemeanor can result in up to one year in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000.
Criminal mischief, graffiti, or vandalism to property in an amount over $1,000 and armed criminal trespass can all result in a conviction for a felony of the third degree. Unarmed, non-violent burglary committed with no other people present is also a felony of the third degree. This degree of felony offense is punishable by a prison sentence up to five years and/or a fine up to $5,000.
If an individual is charged with burglary or arson in the second degree, they can be convicted of a felony of the second degree. A second-degree felony conviction can result in a prison sentence up to 15 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
Armed burglary, aggravated burglary or arson in the first degree can all result in a conviction for a felony of the first degree. A felony of the first-degree conviction can be punishable by a fine up to $10,000 and/or a prison sentence up to 30 years or life.
Additionally, if anyone commits a graffiti offense, they can be required to pay an additional fine of:
Melbourne Police Department – This site offers information on the Melbourne P.D. and their various functions and responsibilities. There are resources on domestic violence, neighborhood watch, community programs, forms and other law enforcement agencies.Melbourne Police Department
Florida Statues – Burglary and Criminal Trespass – This link is to Chapter 810 of the Florida Statutes, which defines burglary, criminal trespass, trespass in a structure or conveyance and breaking and entering offenses and possible penalties for a conviction of any of these property crimes in Florida.
Brevard County Clerk of the Court – This site is the main source of information on the various function of the Brevard County Court and its clerk. There are also resources on public records, legal interests and forms. You can access court cases, arrest records and document images.
With all of the possible consequences that can arise from a property crime conviction in Florida, having proper legal representation is vital in keeping your freedom and moving past this difficult and trying time in your life. If you have been charged with a property crime in Eastern of Central Florida, now is the time to take the steps necessary to clear your name by working with a competent and professional criminal defense attorney.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, LLC have your best interests in mind, and will employ their extensive legal knowledge of Florida criminal procedure to develop the most effective defense argument possible.
Call (321) 253-3447 or send an online message to discuss your case in detail with the legal team at The Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, LLC in the form of a free and confidential consultation. The firm proudly represents individuals accused of criminal acts in Brevard County, Orange County, Volusia County, Seminole County, Indian River County and Osceola County.