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You Can Be Guilty of Burglary of a House Without Actually Going Into the House

The Florida crime of burglary of a dwelling or structure is committed when a person enters (or remains) in the dwelling or structure of another with the intent to commit a crime in that dwelling or structure. A common manner in which the crime of burglary is committed in Florida is when a person breaks into a house intending to steal something from that house. The crime seems to require that a person actually enters the house or other structure. However, that is not necessarily the case. If the person crawls under a house to steal something (such as copper wiring) or goes onto the roof to steal something, that is considered “entering” the dwelling or structure and also subjects that person to an arrest and prosecution for burglary. The word “enters” in the burglary criminal law refers to an invisible, vertical plane that surrounds a house. If a person breaks that plane with the intent to commit a crime, even if he never literally enters the house or structure, it is considered a burglary in Florida.