Palm Bay police have arrested Jason Bennet, Aaron Goodwin, and Frederick Clemons on charges of burglary, theft, and drug-related charges. Police recovered thousands of dollars in stolen property including almost 30 guns, following an investigation into a series of residential burglaries. The three suspects allegedly forced their way into homes when no was there and took everything from computers to prescription drugs and firearms. Homeowners contacted police about the robberies and reported a suspicious car in the area, leading to the arrests.
In the case of burglary, one does not have to steal anything to be charged with the crime of burglary. Current Florida statutes define burglary as entering a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein, unless the premises are at the time open to the public or the defendant is licensed or invited to enter, or surreptitiously, with the intent to commit an offense therein; after permission to remain therein has been withdrawn, with the intent to commit an offense therein; or to commit or attempt to commit a forcible felony.
If firearms are involved in a burglary, the penalties may be substantially enhanced under Florida’s 10-20-Life Law. If one is found to have fired a weapon during the burglary, one will be subject to a sentence that depends on many factors including prior criminal history, what kind of weapon was used, prior history of violent offenses, how much the property stolen, if any, was worth and whether or not the victim was injured. One can be certain that the armed robbery charges may be accused of will be taken seriously by the State, resulting in a hard fight to obtain a conviction.
The discharge of the firearm during a burglary may bring a 20-year minimum-mandatory, and if a serious injury results from the use of a firearm, one may be subject to 25 years with a mandatory-minimum up to a life sentence.
Consent is a defense to burglary in Jacksonville. In other words, if the owner of the house or conveyance gave one permission to be there, one did not enter unlawfully. However, if the State can show that consent was withdrawn at any time by the owner, then the initial consent to enter does not matter. Many times, consent withdrawal is the cause for many criminal charges, either because of not leaving, or because of being given something previously that is now being used as the evidence for an alleged theft crime.
For example, a Jacksonville citizen throws a party to celebrate their recent promotion, and to “rub it in” to their co-workers, they invite the entire office. At some point, the owner of the home asks one of those invitees to leave. Consent is withdrawn at that point. If that person remains in the house and commits a crime, such as taking an item, a burglary has occurred, because the consent to enter is withdrawn by the owner. Unless another crime is committed, however, it is not necessarily a burglary yet, merely a trespass, unless there is another independent crime committed.
The evidence may seem like a mountain that one cannot overcome, especially if stolen items are found in a suspect’s house or car. If one is under investigation or has been arrested on robbery charges, one should obtain an experienced Jacksonville theft crimes defense attorney to fight the case, who will be able to find ways around that mountain of evidence, allowing one to move through the legal system, hopefully obtaining a more beneficial outcome for someone accused of burglary.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
Additional Source: Police arrest 3, recover 30 guns in investigation, The Miami-Herald