Section 810.02 defines burglary as:
1. Entering a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein, unless the premises are at the time open to the public or the defendant is licensed or invited to enter; or 2. Notwithstanding a licensed or invited entry, remaining in a dwelling, structure, or conveyance:
a. Surreptitiously, with the intent to commit an offense therein;
b. After permission to remain therein has been withdrawn, with the intent to commit an offense therein; or c. To commit or attempt to commit a forcible felony.
Burglary is usually a 2nd degree felony. It is punishable by up to 15 years in jail. Under Section 810.011(2), a dwelling is defined as :
“a building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether such building or conveyance 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 curtilage thereof.”
A Criminal Defendant can be overcharged with burglary to a dwelling when in actuality, he or she should have been charged with theft. Considering the fact that burglary to a dwelling can result in a 15 year sentence, this is a big deal. However, if the defendant is charged with Grand Theft, he may receive a sentence that ranges from probation to five years in prison.
Also, burglary is a felony, regardless of the value of the property that taken, but theft can be a misdemeanor or felony depending on the value of the property taken. In some cases, this will cause the sentence to be less harsh, since the criminal defendant will only be facing a theft charge.