Lakeland Real Property crimes Attorneys

If you are charged with a property offense, you need an aggressive attorney to protect your rights.  Property offenses are crimes against real property that include trespass, burglary, and criminal mischief.  These offenses range from misdemeanors to felonies and therefore the penalties range from probation to prison.  Some of the charges can carry enhancements that carry mandatory minimum sentences. 

  • Trespass -  
    • Trespass in Structure or Conveyance- occurs when a person, without consent, willfully enters or remains in any structure, such as a building or dwelling, or conveyance. The offense can also apply to situations where a person, who was once authorized or licensed to enter the structure or conveyance, is warned by the owner or lessee of the premises, to depart, and then the person refuses to leave. 
    • Trespass on Property Other Than a Structure or Conveyance- this type of trespass occurs where a person who, without consent, licensed, or invited, willfully enters upon or remains in any property other than a structure or conveyance.  
    • Trespass is typically charged as a second degree misdemeanor and is punishable by up to sixty days in jail. However, if a person is present in the structure where the trespass occurs, then it is charged as a first degree misdemeanor, and is punishable by up to one year in jail. If the defendant is armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon, then the trespass can be charged as a third degree felony with a five year maximum prison term.
    • There are defenses to trespass.  They include: factual disputes as to the defendant's presence, no actual communication telling the defendant leave, the defendant’s entry on to or remaining on the subject property was not wilful, express or implied invitation to enter or remain on the property, and lack of notice.
  • Criminal Mischief - the willful and and malicious causing of injury or damage, by any means, to any real or personal property belonging to another person.  The term willfully is defined as intentionally, knowingly, and purposely. The term maliciously is defined as wrongfully, intentionally, without legal justification or excuse, and with the knowledge that injury or damage may be caused to another person or the property of another person.  Even though the words willful and malicious are in the definition of criminal mischief, to be found guilty, a defendant does not have to specifically set out to cause damage to property.  If the property is damaged as a result of an intentional act carried out by the defendant knowing that the property could be damaged, this is sufficient evidence for a guilty verdict.  
    • If the property damage is valued at $200 or less, the defendant is charged with a second degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail.
    • If the property damage is greater than $200 but less than $1,000, the defendant is charged with a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail.
    • If the amount of damage to the property exceeds $1,000, the defendant is charged with a third degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment.
  • Burglary of a dwelling, structure, or conveyance -
    • The defendant enters a dwelling, structure, or conveyance owned by or in possession of another person and, at the time of entering, the defendant had the intent to commit an offense in the dwelling, structure, or conveyance; or  
    • The defendant lawfully enters a dwelling, structure, or conveyance, with permission or consent, and remains inside (a) surreptitiously and with the intent to commit an offense therein; or (b) after permission to remain inside had been withdrawn and with the intent to commit an offense therein; or (c) With the intent to commit or attempt to commit a forcible felony inside.
    • A dwelling is defined as a building of any kind, whether such building is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night, together with the enclosed space of ground and outbuildings immediately surrounding it.
    • The penalties for burglary vary widely from a third degree felony to a first degree felony, depending upon the facts of the case and the person's prior criminal history.  There can be enhancements and mandatory sentences as well.  It is vital that you have an experienced attorney beside you for your burglary charge.
  • Possession of burglary tools - it is unlawful for a person have in his or her possession any tool, machine, or implement with intent to use the tools, machines, or implements (or allow others to use them) to commit a burglary or a trespass.  This charge is a third degree felony.  

If you have been charged with a real property crime, you need an aggressive attorney who will defend your rights. Contact Attorney Heather Bryan today for your free and confidential consultation today to discuss your defense, at 863-825-5309.