Burglary of a Conveyance in Florida
If accused of Burglary of a Conveyance in Florida, you need to know the:
- Definition of Burglary of a Conveyance
- Penalties for Burglary of a Conveyance
- Defenses to Burglary of a Conveyance
Definition of Burglary of a Conveyance
The crime of Burglary of a Conveyance can be committed in one of two ways:
- Unlawfully entering a conveyance with the intent to commit a crime inside; or
- Lawfully entering a conveyance, but then remaining inside the conveyance either:
- Surreptitiously, with the intent to commit a crime;
- After permission to remain has been withdrawn, with the intent to commit a crime inside; or
- With the intent to commit a forcible felony.
A conveyance is defined as any motor vehicle, ship, vessel, railroad vehicle or car, trailer, aircraft, or sleeping car.
Penalties for Burglary of a Conveyance
The crime of Burglary of a Conveyance in Florida is classified as a Third Degree Felony and is assigned a Level 4 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.
If convicted of Burglary of a Conveyance, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties:
- Up to five (5) years in prison.
- Up to five (5) years of probation.
- Up to $5,000 in fines.
Defenses to Burglary of a Conveyance
In addition to the pretrial and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case, specific defenses to the crime of Burglary of a Conveyance include:
Consent to enter is not an element of Burglary of a Conveyance, but is an affirmative defense to the crime. A defendant has the burden to offer evidence of consent. But once evidence of consent is presented, the prosecutor must disprove the consent to enter the conveyance beyond a reasonable doubt. 
Consent is usually raised when there are multiple people who use the conveyance, one of whom gave you consent to enter or use the conveyance. Under such circumstances a defendant cannot be convicted of burglary of a conveyance just because the other people were unaware you were authorizes to enter or use the conveyance.
Open to the Public
A subset of the consent defense, if a conveyance is "open to the public" a person by definition has consensually entered, no matter what the subjective intentions for entering are. As a result, the right to "remain inside" is implied unless the State has proof that the implied consent to "remain inside" was withdrawn. So if you commit a crime inside (such as theft or robbery) you cannot also be convicted of Burglary of a Conveyance. 
Off Limits or Employee Only Area
The "Open to the Public" defense does not apply to an off limits or employee only area of a conveyance and a Burglary of a Conveyance conviction will be upheld if such an area is entered. 
Lack of Intent to Commit a Crime
One of the elements necessary to support a conviction for Burglary of a Conveyance is the intent to commit a crime inside. Usually this is proven by showing that a person entered the conveyance stealthily. 
However, if a person shows non-criminal reasons for entering the conveyance, such as to get out of the rain or to find a place to sleep, a person cannot be convicted of burglary of a conveyance (although a conviction for Trespass to a Conveyance may be proper).
Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby
If you have been arrested or charged with the crime of Burglary of a Conveyance in Central Florida or the greater Orlando area, please contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby today.
The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.