Criminal Defense Attorney in Fort Lauderdale: Evaluating Common Burglary Defenses

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27th Aug 2019

If you are charged with burglary, the first thing a criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale will do is discuss the elements of this charge with you. The elements are the factual components that the prosecutor must be able to prove to secure a conviction. There may be challenges that you can make to these elements to establish a strong defense. Then, your criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale can discuss other possible defenses with you, such as:

Bystander Defense

In some situations, a person may be charged for the crime of burglary simply for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. For example, the person may be by an abandoned house or closed business at night. A law enforcement officer may mistakenly believe that the person entered the property when he or she did not. Alternatively, the defendant may have been with another person who alone decided to enter the structure. The law enforcement officer may accuse the defendant of being the lookout when he or she simply refused to go into the property.

Consent to Enter the Property

Another possible defense to burglary is consent. A necessary element of the offense of burglary is that the defendant entered the property without the express or implied permission of the owner. If the defendant had permission to enter the property, then the crime of burglary was not committed. One of the tenants may have given this permission or the defendant may have believed a person had the authority to give permission to enter the property even though that person did not.

No Intent to Commit a Crime

A person may have entered a building without permission without having committed the crime of burglary. This is because the crime of burglary requires the offender to have the intent to commit a crime once inside the property. If he or she simply wanted to be in an abandoned building without taking part in any criminal activity, this lack of intent can be a viable defense to the charge of burglary.