In Burglary Case in Florida, State Has To Prove Defendant Did Not Have Permission to Enter

In Florida, burglary is a very serious felony crime. Generally, a burglary is committed by entering some structure with the intent to commit a theft or some other crime inside. A person does not need to actually go all the way into the structure to commit the crime of burglary. Additionally, a person does not need to actually commit a crime inside to commit a burglary. if the evidence establishes that the defendant partially entered the structure and intended to commit a crime inside, then a burglary may be proven.

However, one element of a burglary is that the defendant must not have authorization to enter the structure. In other words, if the defendant had permission to enter the structure, it is unlikely that he/she can be found guilty of burglary. This issue often arises when a person is staying with the victim or perhaps use to stay with the victim and apparently moved out but still comes over to the residence. In those cases, if the defendant can present some evidence that he/she had consent to be in the structure, the state then has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not have permission to enter the structure. It will depend on the circumstances of the case, but the defendant can argue that he/she used to live there, had a key, still had some possessions there, had a relationship with the owner and other factors indicating a right to be there. If the state fails to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not have permission to be there, then the state cannot prove a burglary was committed.

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