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In Florida, Burglary of a Conveyance is defined as the entering of a transportation vehicle with the intent to commit a crime therein.
 
The Florida definition of a “conveyance” is any motor vehicle, ship, vessel, railroad vehicle or car, trailer, aircraft, or sleeping car.

Penalties for a Burglary of a Conveyance Charge

Florida Burglary of a Conveyance penalties are classified depending on various factors including whether the conveyance was occupied at the time you entered as well as your conduct once inside.

If the conveyance is occupied during at the time the Burglary of Conveyance is committed, it is punishable as a second degree felony. If the conveyance is not occupied, it is punishable as a third degree felony.

However, if during the course of the burglary, you:
  1. Make and Assault of Battery upon any person; or
  2. Are or become armed with a dangerous weapon;
Florida law reclassifies the Burglary of a Conveyance as a first degree felony and makes it punishable by up to life in prison.

Defenses to a Burglary of a Conveyance Charge

In addition to factual defenses that would be raised at trial to show reasonable doubt as to the crime alleged, some common defenses to a Burglary of a Conveyance charge in Florida include:

You were invited in
A defense to a Florida Burglary of a Conveyance charge is that you were invited into the conveyance. If you were invited in by a person authorized to do so, you will have done nothing wrong and this will serve as a complete defense to the charge.

However, it is important to remember that an invitation can be revoked at any time and should you remain in the dwelling surreptitiously with the intent to commit a crime therein, after you invitation or permission has been revoked, you will still be charged with Burglary of a Conveyance under Florida law.

The conveyance is open to the public
Businesses or other venues that hold themselves open to the general public allow people to enter without getting pre-approved permission. If you’ve merely entered a conveyance that is open to the public you will not have committed the crime of Burglary of a Conveyance under Florida law. However, it is important to remember that most businesses and other venues have areas that are restricted from the public and deemed “employee” only areas. Should you enter a restricted area or enter when the premises is not open to the public, you could find yourself charged with Burglary of a Conveyance.

Lack of physical evidence to prove Burglary of a Conveyance
One issue that should always be explored is whether there is even sufficient evidence to indicate that you were ever at or near the conveyance. A lack of fingerprints, witnesses, and surveillance can be used to raise reasonable doubt that you ever committed a crime.

The premises was not a "conveyance" as defined under Florida law
Remember, a “conveyance” can be broadly defined as almost any transportation vehicle. If there is insufficient evidence to suggest that the premises allegedly entered was indeed a conveyance, the State may not be able to prove the crime of Burglary of a Conveyance.

Contact Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney Chris Kaigle if you’ve been charged with Burglary of a Conveyance in Florida!
(407) 545-6416