In Florida and every other state, burglary is a serious criminal charge that can result in years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. What some people might not know is that there are additional charges that can be brought against defendants charged with burglary that can make the consequences even more serious.
One of these is the third-degree felony charge of possession of burglary tools. This criminalizes the possession of tools used to burglarize homes, structures, and vehicles with the intention to commit crimes whilst inside. When combined with other felonies, such as drug crimes, sex crimes, or grand theft, you could face 15 years to life in prison.
If you were caught entering a home or other structure without permission, you need to contact a lawyer immediately to start defending you against a potential burglary or possession of burglary tools charge. Here at The Law Place, we pride ourselves on knowing that our clients get the best defense possible. We offer a free consultation where we can explain what we can do to help you through this trying time.
Our telephone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, so feel free to contact us at any time.
Call The Law Place today at (941) 444-4444.
What Does Possession of Burglary Tools Mean?
According to Florida Statute 810.06, any individual who has tools, machines, or implements to burglarize or trespass onto properties without permission in their possession can be charged with possession of burglary tools.
This not only criminalizes the action of burglary or trespassing but the attempt or intention to do so. Even if someone failed in their attempt to commit the crime, they could still be charged to the full extent of the law.
For a free legal consultation with a possession of burglary tools lawyer serving Bradenton, call 941-444-4444
What Are the Penalties for Possession of Burglary Tools?
As per Florida Statutes 775.082, 775.083, and 775.04, the penalties for third-degree felony possession of burglary tools are as follows:
- Up to 5 years in prison.
- Up to 5 years of probation.
- Up to $5,000 in fines.
If other crimes, like sex crimes or drug crimes, occurred during the burglary or intended burglary, the charge can be upgraded to a first-degree or second-degree felony. The penalties increase substantially if you are charged with these types of felonies. A second-degree felony can result in 15 years in prison and 15 years of probation. First-degree felonies can result in 30 years in prison.
Also, the penalties for possession of burglary tools can be similarly increased if you are considered a habitual offender or perpetrator of violent crimes. A criminal record will not play well in your defense.
As you can see, the penalties are severe. You need to contact a Florida criminal defense lawyer immediately or as soon as possible if you are charged with possession of burglary tools. You could face years in prison if your defense is inadequate.
Bradenton Possession of Burglary Tools Lawyer Near Me 941-444-4444
What Constitutes a Burglary?
Florida Statute 810.02 defines burglary as entering or remaining in a dwelling, conveyance, or structure with the intent to commit a crime. This typically applies to someone’s home, although any private or public building can be burglarized. However, a person cannot be charged with burglary if the establishment was open to the public, or they had permission or license to enter the home.
For legal purposes, a dwelling is considered to be a permanent or temporary building of any kind with a roof, meant to be occupied by people. A structure is any kind of building, so long as it has a roof. A conveyance is a vehicle, e.g., a car, boat, train, or any other kind of motor vehicle.
If you were charged with burglary, you need to contact a qualified criminal defense lawyer immediately. Strategies for your defense must be started as soon as possible, or you risk showing up to court unprepared or having missed crucial details in your case that could benefit you. Do not speak to the police without an attorney present. Contact us today to discuss your options and get the legal aid you deserve.
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What Is the Legal Definition of Burglary Tools?
Contrary to popular belief, it is not only specific implements that can be classed as burglary tools. Almost anything can be considered a burglary tool. As long as the intention for the possession of the tool was to commit burglary, then the tool can be used as justification for possession of burglary tools charges.
For example, duct tape is a common tool used by most people in everyday life. The act of possessing duct tape is not a crime. However, if the prosecution can prove that you had the intention to use the tape to burglarize or trespass onto a property, it can be classed as a burglary tool. Screwdrivers, crowbars, hammers, and other commonplace items can all be considered burglary tools under specific circumstances.
However, Florida law forbids the classification of clothing apparel as burglary tools. This includes gloves, balaclavas, and other clothing items commonly associated with criminals. This is because these do not fall under the legal definition of being a “tool, machine, or implement.”
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How Can a Bradenton Criminal Defense Lawyer Fight My Charges?
There are multiple avenues your lawyer can take to defend your case. These include but are not limited to:
- You did not have the burglary tools in your possession – If you didn’t have the alleged burglary tools on your person, a lawyer could argue that you did not have any intention to use them.
- Lack of evidence of intent to commit a crime – The prosecution must have evidence that you committed a burglary or planned to. For example, photos, recordings, written plans, and other hard proof. If there is none, the prosecutor’s case will fall apart.
- No proof that the burglary tools were used or intended to be used – If there is no proof that you had ever used the tools to burglarize or trespass, then it is very difficult for the prosecution to prove that you had the intent to do so. Police must typically witness the defendant using the tools in a criminal manner for charges of possession of burglary tools to be brought forward.
- You did not take any overt action to commit burglary or trespass – The prosecution must prove that obvious action was taken to commit burglary or trespass to then bring charges of possession of burglary tools. Talking or thinking about a crime is not permissible evidence of intent.
- The prosecution’s case is based on circumstantial evidence – When there is no hard evidence that a crime was committed or intended to be committed, the prosecution will often make inferences into the course of events and the defendant’s thought process. It can be argued that these inferences are not based on facts but speculation.
- You had permission or license to enter the home, structure, or conveyance – If you have permission to enter a home or establishment, you cannot be charged with burglary even if a crime was committed inside. The prosecution can charge you with other crimes like grand theft but must rescind the burglary charge.
These are just a few of the ways a lawyer from The Law Place will defend you. Contact us if you’ve been charged with burglary or possession of burglary tools today. A qualified attorney will guide you through the booking process and prepare you for trial.
If you don’t have a lawyer present, remember to remain silent when police question you. Anything you say can and will be used against you. Police are trained to extract information from unwitting suspects, so it’s best to say nothing at all.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Possession of Burglary Tools?
The state must bring cases against individuals suspected of possession of burglary tools within a certain amount of time, known as the statute of limitations. According to the Cornell Legal Information Institute, the time starts running from the date that the incident occurred.
Florida Statute 775.15 lists the statute of limitations for third-degree felony charges such as possession of burglary tools as three years. The time limit is the same for felonies in the second-degree. This increases to 4 years for felonies in the first-degree. Life-sentence felonies do not have a statute of limitations.
If the statute of limitations for the crime has passed, you cannot be arrested and charged for the crime. However, these limits can be extended in certain circumstances, especially when children and violent crimes are involved.
Can a Possession of Burglary Tools Charge Be Expunged?
Unfortunately, all felony convictions in Florida cannot be expunged. This means that if you were tried and found guilty of possession of burglary tools, this record will follow you for life. There is no period in which a felony can be removed from your criminal record.
However, if you were found not guilty of the charges or the case was dismissed, you can have the arrest record expunged. This is a complex legal process, especially for a serious felony arrest such as this.
Contact us today to see if we can help get your arrest record expunged. This will undoubtedly help you if you are ever subjected to a criminal background check. Many employers will not hire anyone arrested for a felony, even if you were not convicted. They will not be able to see an arrest record if it is expunged.
Contact The Law Place Bradenton Criminal Defense Attorneys Today!
Have you been charged with possession of burglary tools in Bradenton, Florida? Are you or a loved one in police custody and in need of legal representation?
Contact The Law Place to get help immediately. Our lawyers have a combined 75 years of experience fighting burglary cases across the State of Florida, so rest assured that we’ve seen it all. We offer a free consultation with one of our qualified attorneys who will explain our fee structure and how we can help you through the booking process and inevitable trial.
Don’t hesitate to contact us at any time, day or night. Our operators are waiting for your call, and our lawyers are available all across the State of Florida.
Call The Law Place now at (941) 444-4444.
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