WHAT ARE VANDALISM, BURGLARY OR TRESPASSING CRIME PENALTIES IN SOUTH FLORIDA? South Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains
First of all: What is a Property Crime in Florida?
The crimes that fall under this category differ, however, each property crime involves the taking of, or destruction of, someone else’s property without their consent. In Florida, the most common types of property crimes include theft, fraud, criminal mischief, burglary and arson. The severity of the crimes can vary and, in Florida, property crime may be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony - which means property crime penalties vary dramatically in Florida
COMMON PROPERTY CRIMES & PROPERTY CRIMES PENALTIES IN FLORIDA
Property crime consequences in South Florida are serious and can land you in jail or prison, depending on the severity of the offense.
It’s important to note that if a person is only charged with property crime, then the charge will reflect the value of the property that was either taken or damaged as well as taking previous convictions into account. Because some property crimes are classified as misdemeanors, while others are considered felonies, there are a multitude of penalties for property crimes.
- Criminal mischief is the act of a person intentionally injuring or damaging any real or personal property belonging to someone else. This includes acts of vandalism, graffiti, and other destructive behaviors.
Minimum & Maximum Penalty for Criminal Mischief in Florida (Florida Statute 806.13)
A rule of thumb: the penalties associated with Criminal Mischief increase based upon the amount of monetary damage caused to property.
- If there was less than $200 worth of damage caused, then this constitutes a Second-Degree Misdemeanor. If convicted, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties: up to sixty days in jail and up to six months of probation.
- If there was between $200 and $1,000 worth of damage caused, then this constitutes a First-Degree Misdemeanor. If convicted, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties: up to twelve months in jail and up to twelve months of probation.
- If there was more than $1,000 worth in damage caused, then this constitutes a Third-Degree Felony. This is a Level 2 offense severity ranking under Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code (which determines the minimum allowable sentence for all felony crimes). If convicted of Criminal Mischief Causing more than $1,000 in damage, then this constitutes a Third Degree Felony and a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties: up to five years in jail and up to five years of probation.
- This conviction also applies if there is interruption or impairment of a business operation or public communication, transportation, supply of water, gas or power, or other public service which costs $1,000 or more in labor and supplies to restore that which was damaged.
- If a person charged has a previous conviction for criminal mischief on their record, their charge will be upgraded to a Third-Degree Felony regardless of the monetary amount of damage caused.
- If a criminal mischief offense includes graffiti (also known legally as vandalism and criminal mischief), not only will the person convicted face fines, but they may also face community service requirements to be ordered to perform at least 40 hours of community service or, where possible, 100 hours of community service including working to remove graffiti.
- In Florida, burglary occurs when a person enters or remains in a dwelling, structure, or conveyance with the intent to commit a criminal offense in that place, unless the premise is open to the public (at the time) or the individual is licensed or invited to enter.
- Burglary also constitutes remaining in a dwelling, structure, or conveyance without a license or invitation to enter with the intent to commit an offense, after permission to remain has been withdrawn and with the intent to commit an offense therein, or with the attempt to commit a felony.
Minimum & Maximum Penalty for Burglary Crimes in Florida (Florida Statute 810.02)
In Florida, burglary is a felony and the severity of the charge varies depending on the specifics of the crime. Burglary penalties,in increasing order of severity, in Florida:
- Minimum Sentence: If in the course of committing the burglary the offender does not make an assault or battery, and is not - and does not become - armed with a dangerous weapon or explosive, and the offender enters or remains in a structure or conveyance that is unoccupied (there is no one there at the time the offender enters), then that individual faces a Third-Degree Felony.
- Penalty: This leads to penalties in the form up to 5 years in prison or 5 years of probation, and a fine.
- If while committing the burglary offense, the offender does not commit assault or battery, or is not -nor becomes - armed with a dangerous weapon or explosive, then a Second-Degree Felony is committed if the offender enters or remains in a:
- 1) Dwelling, and there is or is not another person in the dwelling at the time the offender enters or remains;
- 2) Structure, and there is another person in the structure at the time;
- 3) Conveyance, and there is another person in the conveyance at the time;
- 4) Authorized emergency vehicle; or
- 5) Structure or conveyance when the offense intended to be committed therein is theft of a controlled substance.
- Penalty: This leads to penalties in the form of up to 15 years in prison or 15 years of probation and a significant fine.
- Maximum Sentence: If in the course of committing the burglary, an individual makes an assault or battery upon any person, is (or becomes) armed within the dwelling they enter, or enters an occupied or unoccupied dwelling or structure and uses a vehicle to commit the offense or causes more than $1,000 in damage, then that individual faces a First-Degree Felony.
- Penalty: This leads to penalties in the form of up to life imprisonment and a significant fine.
- Trespass occurs when a person willfully enters upon or remains in any property other than a structure or conveyance without permission or when notice against entering or remaining is provided.
- A person who trespasses in a structure or conveyance commits a Second-Degree Misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 60 days in jail, up to six months of probation and a fine.
- If there is someone in the property at the time the offender trespassed, attempted to trespass, or was in the structure or conveyance, then the charge constitutes a First-Degree Misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail, up to one year of probation and a fine.
- If the individual who trespasses is armed with a firearm or other deadly weapon, or arms themself with such while inside a structure or conveyance, then they commit a Third-Degree Felony punishable by up to five years in jail, up to five years of probation and a fine.
- Possession of burglary tools involves having tools intended for the use of trespassing or burglary in your possession.
Minimum & Maximum Penalty for Possession of Burglary Tools (Florida Statute 810.06)
- A person is in possession of a tool, machine, or implement with intent to use the same, or allow the same to be used, to commit any burglary or trespass commits a Third-Degree Felony which is punishable by: up to five years in jail and up to five years of
FINES & FEES ASSOCIATED WITH PROPERTY CRIME CONVICTIONS IN FLORIDA
- If charged with criminal mischief, the fines associated may differ in accordance to the value of the damage committed.
- If there was less than $200 in damage the person may face up to $500 in fines.
- If there was between $200 and $1,000 in damage the person may face up to $1,000 in fines.
- If there was more than $1,000 in damage the person may face up to $5,000 in fines.
- A person charged with criminal mischief who is found to have a previous conviction for criminal mischief on their record, will be upgraded to a Third-Degree Felony and will face up to $5,000 in fines.
- If a criminal mischief offense includes graffiti, the person charged will pay a mandatory minimum fine of: $250 for their first conviction, $500 for their second conviction, or $1,000 for their third conviction.
- The following fines apply to the various charges of burglary:
- Third-Degree Felony Fine: Up to $5,000.
- Second-Degree Felony Fine: A $10,000 fine.
- First-Degree Felony Fine: Up to $10,000.
- The following fines apply to the various charges of trespassing:
- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor Fines: Up to $500.
- 1st Degree Misdemeanor Fines: Up to $1,000.
- 3rd Degree Felony Fines: Up to $5,000.
Possession of Burglary Tools fines & fees if convicted in Florida
- Under Florida Law, Possession of Burglary Tools constitutes a third-degree felony with penalties including a fine of $5,000
CONCLUSION: Property Crimes have Serious Criminal Consequences in Florida
Property crimes include different charges such as theft, fraud, criminal mischief, burglary, and arson. Depending on the severity of the crime, the value of property damage caused, and the state of an individual's previous criminal record, a person who commits property crimes may face serious charges ranging from first-degree misdemeanor (for trespassing) up to felony charges. Not only will a person face jail time and/or probation, but they may also be looking at hefty fines. Penalties can range all the way to up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, depending on the situation.
If you, or someone you know, is facing a property crime charge - you’ve come to the right place. You, or someone you know, may have made a mistake and faced serious charges because of it, so make the right choice and choose a law firm with a proven track record and extensive experience providing a compassionate and expert defense to criminal mischief charges. Call Rossen Law Firm today. We’ll listen to your story and discuss the best course of action for you.
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