Hollywood, FL asked in Criminal Law for Florida

Q: Burglary, possession of burgl tools with intent, and petty theft?

I found a key to the life guard tower in the sand and then used it to open the tower to sleep in. Nothing was damaged or taken. At 6am an officer openned it and said "your under arrest" for burglary and possession of burgarly tools (my self defense pocket knife) with intent to use. Also petty theft for key. Nothing was burgled (they checked the tower and my bag), they found the key on me so they know my pocket knife wasn't used for breaking in (lock still worked), and the key was dropped by a guard. Will any of this hold up? Thank you for time -Philip

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2 Lawyer Answers

Andrew Lawrence Moses

  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Orlando, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Philip

This sounds more like a trespass than a burglary. You were certainly in a place that you did not have authority to be in, however there was no crime committed in the place. The argument on the key is that it was abandoned property and that you did not steal it. I would imagine that they would not proceed on the burglary tool case either as it was apparent that you entered the life guard stand using the "found" key

Roger P. Foley agrees with this answer

Roger P. Foley

  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • West Palm Beach, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Just because a police officer arrests you does not mean that the state attorney will charge you with the same charge. Technically, you entered a structure but was your intent. If you intent was to commit a crime therein then it is burglary. More tahn likely this willbe changed to a trespass, even in Broward county. I have bpracticed in that jurisdiction my entire career. It will change based on facts given, obviously, police report will read different. Hire an attorney.

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