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Potential consequences of burglary charges for teens in Florida

| Feb 15, 2021 | Juvenile Crimes

Florida takes burglary crimes very seriously, and the penalties for teens are often the same as those for adults. If your child faces burglary charges, they could spend years, if not decades, in prison, depending on the circumstances of the crime.

According to the Florida Legislature, burglary means entering a structure, vehicle or home uninvited with the intent to commit an offense.

What is the difference between the juvenile and adult justice system?

Generally speaking, the law sees individuals under the age of 18 as committing delinquent acts, not crimes. Rather than face a jury or public trial, a judge hears the evidence before ruling on whether your child is an adjudicated delinquent. The court’s focus is usually on rehabilitation rather than punishment. However, serious offenses can result in your teen facing charges in the criminal justice system rather than juvenile court.

Can a juvenile go to jail for home invasion-burglary?

Yes, a person under 18 can get a jail sentence when convicted of home invasion-burglary. If your child is between the ages of 14 and 17 or if the situation involved aggravating factors, such as the presence of firearms or other weapons, penalties that involve a prison term are a possibility. A standard burglary charge is a third-degree felony and includes up to a $5,000 fine and potentially five years in prison. If your child burglarized an occupied home or building, charges could increase to a second-degree felony, punishable in penalties up to $10,000 and 15 years in prison.

Burglary crimes involving weapons or assault are a first-degree felony. Teens must go through adult court, and it could result in more than $10,000 in fines and a life sentence. The severity of the charges and details that led to the crime may determine your child’s best options.