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Burglary and Theft


West Palm Beach Burglary Defense Attorney David W. Olson

Burglary charges are zealously prosecuted in Florida. A first degree felony conviction can potentially result in a life sentence. If you were charged with burglary, it is advisable to hire a qualified attorney as early as possible after your arrest. Early intervention will allow your attorney to take immediate steps in preparation of your defense. Attorney David W. Olson has more than three decades of experience representing adult and juvenile clients charged with burglary and other serious criminal offenses.

The Florida Burglary Statute

Burglary is detailed in Section 810.02, Florida Statutes:

  1.  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
  2.  Notwithstanding a licensed or invited entry, remaining in a dwelling, structure, or conveyance;
  3.  Surreptitiously, with the intent to commit an offense therein;
  4.  After permission to remain therein has been withdrawn, with the intent to commit an offense therein; or
  5.  To commit or attempt to commit a forcible felony, as defined in s. 776.08

Florida Burglary Law Explained

In order to be convicted of burglary, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that all of the elements of the offense existed at the time of the alleged crime.

Firstly, the accused must have entered one of the following statutorily defined spaces:

  • dwelling – a house, building or conveyance of any kind, with a roof, designed for people to sleep in; or,
  • structure – a building of any kind, temporary or permanent, with a roof, including the enclosed space in the immediate vicinity,
  • conveyance – motor vehicle, ship, vessel, railroad car, trailer, aircraft, sleeping car (note – taking apart any portion of the conveyance will satisfy the “entering” requirement).

Secondly, it must be proven that the accused entered the space without invitation – i.e., without the consent or permission of the property owner – or if the accused was invited but was at some point asked to leave, that he or she did not leave.
Thirdly, and most importantly, it must be proven that the accused entered the premises already intending to commit an offense. Without intent, there can be no burglary.

Burglary May Occur When Permission to Remain on the Premises Has Been Withdrawn

  • “After permission to remain therein has been withdrawn, with the intent to commit an offense therein…” Florida Statute 810.02(1)(b)2b:

The law in Florida is quite clear. As provided by the above statute, even when a person enters the premises legally (by specific or implied consent), once permission is withdrawn, he or she may potentially be convicted of burglary if it can be proven that the accused entered or remained on the premises with the intent to commit a crime.

Defenses to Florida Burglary Charges

It is important to understand that an arrest is not a conviction, no matter how severe the circumstances may appear. As mentioned above, the prosecution must prove all of the elements of the offense for a conviction. A qualified and experienced criminal defense lawyer understands the many legal defenses that may be asserted in both pretrial and court proceedings. Such examples include the following:

  • Consent – the defense can challenge the charges by providing evidence that the accused had the consent of the property owner to be on or within the premises;
  • Intent – this is often an extremely effective defense because intent is an element that exists within the mind and actions of the accused and is subject to the interpretation of the arresting officer, and in many cases, witnesses;
  • Public property – if the property was open to the general public it may be proven that the accused was not illegally on the premises.

Law Offices of Criminal Defense Lawyer David W. Olson

Whether you have been charged with burglary or any other offense, Attorney Olson understands that your case is the most important event in your life right now and that your freedom and future may well depend on its outcome. In Attorney Olson’s words, “Not only should a lawyer take every possible lawful action to achieve the best possible result for a client, he or she should also promptly and fully inform the client as to each and every development in the client’s case.” David Olson represents clients in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties as well as throughout Florida. For a free case review call 561-833-8866.


Florida Statutes  810.02, 810.02(1)(b)2b,

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