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Juvenile Burglary Charges

You may assume that just because you are under 18 that you will not face any serious repercussions for committing a criminal offense such a burglary. But you are wrong. Burglary is considered a serious crime in Florida.

The closer you are to 18, the greater the chances that you will be tried as an adult. If your case is heard in adult court, you could end up being a convicted felon. A felony conviction has the potential to drastically alter your life. Because of this, you will need an experienced attorney to fight the charges against you.

Criminal Defense Attorney in Melbourne, FL for Juvenile Burglary Charges

If you or your child is being investigated for burglary in Florida, it would be in your best interest to contact the Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy right away. The sooner you contact an attorney, the better your chances of a more favorable outcome in court. Take the first step in building your defense and contact the Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy.

Mark Germain and Bryan McCarthy will do everything in their power to ensure the best possible outcome is achieved for your situation. Don’t go through this process alone. The risk of dealing with a juvenile burglary charge on your own outweighs the cost of hiring an attorney.

Schedule a time to speak with us more about your case. Call (321) 253-3447 or submit your information in the online contact form. The Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy represents juveniles in counties that include Brevard County, Volusia County and Indian River County.


Information Center

    • How does Florida Define Burglary?
    • Can a Juvenile go to Jail for Burglary in FL?
    • Florida Juvenile Justice System
    • Additional Resources

How does Florida Define Burglary?

If the court finds that your offense meets the legal definition of burglary, you will be charged with the crime regardless of your age. Burglary is viewed as a serious crime, so if you are an older juvenile between the ages of 14 and 17, you could be tried in adult court.

Burglary is defined in section 810.02 of the Florida Statutes as the entering of a dwelling, structure, or conveyance with the intent to commit an offense unless the premises are open to the public or the defendant is licensed or invited to enter, or remaining inside :

  • Surreptitiously with the intent to commit a crime
  • After permission to remain inside as been withdraw, you remain with the intention to commit a crime.
  • To attempt or to commit a felony offense.

Certain factors can result in your charge being more severe. These factors are called ”aggravated factors,” and they increase the likelihood that your case will be tried in adult court. The Florida Statutes considered the following to be aggravated factors in a burglary case:

  • Assaulting someone or committing battery
  • Being or becoming armed with an explosive or dangerous weapon
  • Entering an occupied or unoccupied dwelling and using a motor vehicle to assist in committing the crime and damaging property in the process
  • Causes more than $1,000 in damages to the dwelling, structure or property within the dwelling or structure
  • There was another person inside the dwelling, structure or conveyance during the time of the offense.

Can a Juvenile go to Jail for Burglary in FL?

To answer this question, yes. There is a chance that you could spend time in jail if you are convicted of burglary. This will depend on your age at the time of the offense and if your case involved any aggravating factors.

Like mentioned earlier, your chance of being charged as an adult is significantly increased if you are between the ages of 14 and 17 or if aggravated factors were present in your case.

A standard burglary charge without any aggravating factors is charged as a third-degree felony in adult court. A third-degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

If the structure that you burglarized was occupied, you could be charged with a second-degree felony in adult court. A second-degree felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

If you assaulted someone, were armed, caused more than $1,000 in property damage or used a vehicle to damage property, you could face a first-degree felony if your case is tried in adult court. A first-degree felony is the second most serious criminal offense in Florida. You could spend up to life in prison and have to pay a $10,000 fines.

Instead of being a “criminal” you will be considered a “delinquent minor” if your case is heard in juvenile court. The punishments given in juvenile court are different than adult court. If the juvenile court convicts you of burglary, you could face the following penalties:

  • Up to 36 months in juvenile prison
  • Probation
  • Fines and restitution payments

A felony offense is not something you want on your criminal record, especially as a minor. Such a mark can make it difficult to get into college, receive loans and find a job. To help reduce the chances of your case being tried in adult court, you should contact an experienced attorney right away.


Florida Juvenile Justice System

Whether you are a parent or a minor, understanding how the juvenile justice system works is important. It makes you a better-informed citizen and gives you an idea of what you or your child could potentially go through.

Once a minor is arrested, police will take them to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). At the DJJ, a counselor will prepare a risk assessment report to determine if the minor will require secure detention. If it isn’t necessary for the child to be admitted to the detention center they can be released to their parent/guardian for non-secure detention.

If the minor is held in a detention center, the court is required to hold a detention hearing within 24 hours of the arrest. If a judge decides not to release the juvenile, they could spend up 21 days in the detention center.

An arraignment is typically held three weeks after the arrest. During the arraignment the minor will be informed of the charges against them and if they wish to enter a plea. By this time in the process, it is imperative that you or your child has legal representation.

One week before the trial a pre-trial will be held. The child is required to attend, and this will be their last chance to enter a plea. If the child pleads guilty or non-contest, there will be no trial and the case will be moved to sentencing. Most of the time, the State Attorney and your defense team will try to find a way to resolve the case without going to trial.

There are no juries in a juvenile court so a judge will decide the case. Once the case is decided, the judge will sentence the minor with penalties that are appropriate for the crime.

To protect your future, it would be in your best interest to contact a juvenile criminal defense attorney who can effectively guide you through the juvenile justice process.


Additional Resources for Juvenile Burglary in Melbourne, FL

Burglary | Florida Statues– Follow this link to read the full text of the state statute that governs burglary in Florida. You can read the precise legal definition of the crime and aggravated factors. The code can be read on Online Sunshine, the official site of the Florida Legislature.

Florida Juvenile Justice Process– Visit the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice to learn more about the process. You can view a chart that provides an in-depth explanation of the process as well as FAQs.


Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer for Burglary in Melbourne, FL

By viewing this page, you already understand the seriousness of the charges facing your child. If the crime is charged in adult criminal court, your child faces the risk of being a convicted felon.

Mark Germain and Bryan McCarthy are experienced with the juvenile justice system. They will listen to your story and find the best legal options available for your child’s case. Take the first step in building a defense. Contact Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy today.

To schedule a free case consultation with the Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, call (321) 248-7742 or submit your information in the online contact form. The Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy represent clients in areas that include Melbourne, Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral, Indian Harbor Beach, Malabar and many more.

Why Hire Germain & McCarthy?

  • Our attorneys have over 20 years of combined experience.
  • We have an exceptional reputation & hundreds of happy clients.
  • Our attorneys have a proven track record in handling cases like yours.
  • We offer free consultations to all of our clients no matter the case.
  • We are available and accessible 24/7 for all of your legal needs.