Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Beachside Home Burglaries on the Rise in Florida

St. Petersburg Criminal Attorney and Former State Prosecutor Melinda Morris of the Morris Law Firm discusses how law enforcement is increasing enforcement on local burglary and theft crimes.


Florida law enforcement officials reported 22 residential burglaries have occurred in the past six months in various beachside communities in Florida.  The burglars have been targeting homes that have sliding glass doors, and have been committing the burglaries during the day.  In many of the burglary crimes, the sliding doors were left open by the homeowners.  In other cases, the sliding doors were opened with a screwdriver or were lifted or pushed open.

Why This Matters To You:

With the increase in burglaries, Florida law enforcement officers are encouraging residents to put retention bars, channel locks or reverse locks on their sliding doors and make sure the doors are secure when they’re gone.  They are also warning residents of the increased threat of burglary and have distributed fliers with burglary prevention tips.

The increased crackdown on alleged burglary offenders will result in more arrests for burglary and theft crimes.  A conviction for burglary of an unoccupied residence in Florida is a felony of the third degree offense and can result in up to five years in prison.  Additionally, burglary of an occupied home is punishable as a felony of the second degree and can result in a prison sentence up to 15 years.  If a weapon was used during the burglary offense, the alleged offender could be charged with armed robbery, which is punishable as a felony of the first degree and can result in up to 30 years in prison.  Convicted burglars may also be required to pay a fine, repay the victim for the stolen items and/or complete community service hours.

What To Do Next:

If you have been charged with a burglary or theft offense in the Tampa Bay area, contact a St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Lawyer to discuss possible defenses and specific strategies that may exist in your case. Call the Morris Law Firm at 727-388-4736 to discuss your case directly with an attorney, or fill out our Online Form to be contacted for a free initial consultation.  The Morris Law Firm can help.  Attorney Melinda Morris has specific knowledge and experience in representing alleged burglary offenders throughout Pinellas County the entire Tampa Bay, FL area (St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, Hillsborough, Pasco, Manatee, Sarasota, Largo, Dunedin and Bradenton).