Burglary Crimes in Pasco County
The Florida legislature has defined “burglary” to mean, in pertinent part, “[e]ntering a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein.” Fla. Stat. § 810.02(b) (2017). The burglary statute defines “dwelling” to include the home’s curtilage. See Fla. Stat. § 810.011(2).
Local law enforcement agencies in Pasco County have special units that investigate burglary crimes, including:
- the Dade City Police Department
- the New Port Richey Police Department
- the Pasco Sheriff’s Office
- the Port Richey Police Department
- the Zephyrhills Police Department
Accusations of burglary in the Sixth Judicial Circuit in Pasco County, FL, are prosecuted at the courthouse in the New Port Richey or Dade City courthouse.
Attorney for Burglary in Pasco County, FL
Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss the best ways to fight criminal accusations of burglary. Our six attorneys are devoted exclusively to fighting criminal charges in the Sixth Judicial Circuit for Pasco County, FL.
We represent clients charged with felony property crimes in Pasco County, FL, including burglary, robbery, and grand theft.
We help people after an arrest or criminal investigation in New Port Richey, Port Richey, San Antonio, Zephyrhills, Land O’Lakes, Dade City, Trinity, St. Leo, Meadow Pointe, and Concord Station, FL.
Our office is conveniently located at 7509 Little Road, New Port Richey, FL, 34654, directly across from the West Pasco Judicial Center courthouse.
Can a Burglary Occur in the Curtilage in Florida?
The term “curtilage” is not defined by statute. But the Florida Supreme Court has interpreted “curtilage” to include the requirement that it be enclosed. See State v. Hamilton, 660 So. 2d 1038 (Fla. 1995).
Specifically, the Florida Supreme Court held:
We conclude that such a construction here requires us to carry forward the common law requirement of some form of an enclosure in order for the area surrounding a residence to be considered part of the “curtilage” as referred to in the burglary statute.
Id. at 1044.
When determining whether the property is enclosed, the courts might look at the definition in Black’s Law Dictionary 396 (2nd Pocket Ed. 2004), which defines “enclosed land” as “[l]and that is actually enclosed and surrounded with fences.”
In State v. Hamilton, 660 So. 2d 1038, 1046 (Fla. 1995), the court reversed a burglary conviction where the yard “was not enclosed in any manner other than ‘several unevenly spaced trees.’ ”
Florida courts have long stated, “[t]he entry [into a dwelling] may be made by an instrument instead of the body, but in such case, to be an entry, the instrument must be inserted not merely for the purpose of breaking but for the purpose of committing the contemplated felony.” Foster v. State, 220 So. 2d 406, 407 (Fla. 3d DCA 1969).
In Stanley v. State, 626 So. 2d 1004 (Fla. 2d DCA 1993), the court found: “The entry must be made by some part of the body or an instrument used not only for the breaking but for the purpose of committing the felony.”
In State v. Spearman, 366 So. 2d 775, 776 (Fla. 2d DCA 1978), the court concluded: “It is well established that the unqualified use of the word ‘enter’ in a burglary statute does not confine its applicability to intrusion of the whole body but includes insertion of any part of the body or of an instrument designed to effect the contemplated crime.”
This article was last updated Friday, August 11, 2023.