If you steal from someone’s car, this is not just a theft in Jacksonville FL. When you go into someone’s car without his or her permission and take something, this is burglary. A car is known as a conveyance under the Florida Burglary Law. Florida Statute Section 810.011(3) defines a conveyance as “any motor vehicle, ship, vessel, railroad vehicle or car, trailer, aircraft, or sleeping car.” Even if you just steal something worth $20, this is still a burglary. If you burglarize a car, this is a 3rd degree felony. If you were to steal the same thing worth $20 without entering a vehicle, this would likely only be a 2nd degree misdemeanor petty theft in Jacksonville. Florida statute section 810.02(4) states that:
“Burglary is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if, in the course of committing the offense, the offender does not make an assault or battery and is not and does not become armed with a dangerous weapon or explosive, and the offender enters or remains in a:
(a) Structure, and there is not another person in the structure at the time the offender enters or remains; or
(b) Conveyance, and there is not another person in the conveyance at the time the offender enters or remains.”
What if you didn’t break into the car? What if the vehicle was unlocked? Is this still a burglary? Yes. You still entered the car. Channel 4 News reported a Clay County burglary case that describes a burglary without physically breaking into the car. Christopher Tate turned himself in to police in Clay County FL for burglary. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office “said he stole from a car parked near a Redbox kiosk at a Walmart store.”
Deputies were dispatched Oct. 13 to the store on County Road 220 in reference to a car burglary. The News4jax article stated:
“Nichole Marini and her boyfriend, Kenneth Elliot, drove up to the front of the store at 7:30 p.m. to rent a movie from a Redbox unit. Authorities said the vehicle they were driving in was turned off and the keys were removed, but they had left the car unlocked. Marini said she had left her wallet and cellphone in the car, which deputies said were on the floorboard on the passenger side. Marini noticed that the tail lights were turning on and off, which she thought was peculiar while standing at the Redbox. When the doors of the car are opened, deputies said the tail lights will illuminate. Deputies said Marini later discovered that her wallet was missing from inside the car. The estimated value of the property taken, according to Marini, was $600 for the cellphone and $30 in cash. There were also various credit and debit cards stolen, deputies said.”
Because the value of the property stolen was $300 or more, this would have still been a third degree felony, even if Tate did not enter the car. Burglary to a structure or conveyance is a 3rd degree felony, but so is grand theft in Jacksonville. If you have been arrested for burglary or theft, contact a Jacksonville criminal lawyer and Clay County attorney. It helps to have a Jacksonville criminal attorney with experience fighting for you. Call 20 Miles Law at (904) 564-2525.