Cape Coral Burglary, Theft & Vandalism Lawyers
At Foley & Wilson Law Firm in Cape Coral, Florida, we understand the complexities and seriousness of criminal allegations related to burglary, theft, and vandalism. Our seasoned legal team, with over 45 years of experience in Florida law including prosecutorial backgrounds as well as defense, is dedicated to providing unparalleled legal representation. We approach each case with a high degree of skill, professionalism, and a commitment to treat our clients with dignity and respect. Theft and property crimes are taken very seriously by prosecutors and the courts. Don’t handle these charges alone. Contact Foley & Wilson Law Firm today for a no-cost consultation with our experienced and successful Cape Coral burglary, theft and vandalism criminal defense lawyers.
Understanding Burglary Under Florida Law
Burglary is a serious offense in Florida, governed by Chapter 810 of the Florida Statutes and dealt with in Section 810.02 among others. Burglary involves entering a dwelling, structure, or conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein, unless the premises are open to the public or the defendant is licensed or invited to enter.
To secure a conviction for burglary, the prosecution must prove the following elements:
- Unauthorized Entry: The accused must have entered a dwelling, structure, or vehicle.
- Intent: There must be an intent to commit a crime inside the premises.
- Circumstances of Entry: The entry must be surreptitious, without consent, or after permission has been withdrawn.
Penalties for conviction of burglary vary based on factors such as the type of premises entered, whether a weapon was used, and if assault or battery occurred. These can range from third-degree felonies to life felonies, with sentences including imprisonment, fines, and restitution. Defenses to burglary charges may include challenging the intent to commit a crime, consent to enter the premises, mistaken identity, or alibi, among others.
Theft, Robbery, and Related Crimes in Cape Coral
Chapter 812 of the Florida Statutes covers various offenses related to theft and robbery. Key sections include:
- 812.014 (Theft): Defines theft as knowingly obtaining or using, or endeavoring to obtain or use, the property of another with the intent to deprive the other person of a right to the property or benefit from it.
- 812.015 (Retail Theft/Shoplifting): Retail theft involves taking merchandise from a merchant with the intent to deprive the retailer of possession, use, benefit, or full retail value.
- 812.13 (Robbery): Robbery is the taking of money or property from a person, with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the person or owner of the money or property, when in the course of the taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.
Penalties for theft offenses are most often dependent on the value of the property in question, although many other factors can also influence what charges are brought and the potential consequences. Theft charges can range from misdemeanors (for petit theft or shoplifting) to felonies (for grand theft and robbery), with consequences including imprisonment, fines, and potential restitution orders. Defense strategies might include challenging the intent element of the offense, proving consent to take the property, mistaken identity, or demonstrating lawful ownership.
Addressing Vandalism (Criminal Mischief)
Vandalism in Florida, termed as criminal mischief under Section 806.13, involves willfully and maliciously damaging property belonging to another. This includes graffiti and other acts of defacement. Penalties for criminal mischief are based on the damage amount and can range from second-degree misdemeanors to third-degree felonies. Sentences may include fines, community service, and restitution. Defenses against vandalism charges can include lack of intent, mistaken identity, or that the damage was accidental. Errors made by police in the arrest process can lead to the dismissal of charges when properly identified and raised by a skilled and experienced Cape Coral criminal defense attorney.
Contact Foley & Wilson Law Firm for Smart, Strategic Defense When Charged With Burglary, Theft or Vandalism in Cape Coral
At Foley & Wilson Law Firm, our deep understanding of the Florida criminal justice system, coupled with our extensive experience as both prosecutors and defense attorneys, positions us uniquely to defend clients facing burglary, theft, and vandalism charges in Cape Coral. We employ a thorough, individualized approach to each case, ensuring that our client’s rights are vigorously defended. If you or a loved one are facing such charges, contact us for a free consultation to discuss how we can assist you in navigating these complex legal challenges.