16th Dec 2015
A South Florida criminal defense attorney will begin a case by reviewing the legal elements of burglary with his or her client. Then, the South Florida criminal defense attorney will assess the viability of particular defenses. Some such defenses are described below.
Many burglary charges involve more than one person. In some instances, one person may be with another who is suddenly enticed to commit burglary, such as by seeing an empty building with no security and deciding to commit illegal activity. In this type of case, the innocent bystander may suddenly find himself or herself defending against accomplice charges. A criminal defense lawyer can argue that the innocent bystander did not engage in any illegal activity.
Lack of Intent
Similarly, a person cannot be convicted of burglary in Florida unless he or she had the actual intent to commit a crime. If the individual entered the property for more innocent reasons, such as escaping a bad storm, and no intent to commit a crime once inside, he or she should not be convicted because the requisite intent is not present in the case.
Another potential defense is that the defendant had the right to enter the shelter or dwelling by virtue of having the property owner’s or an occupant’s permission to do so. Similarly, a person may raise the defense of consent if the dwelling is open to the public. If this is the case, it does not matter if the individual has the intent to commit a crime because he or she has implied consent to enter the dwelling.
Other defenses may apply based on the particular circumstances involved in your case. Contact a South Florida criminal defense lawyer for information specific to your case.