Today the First District Court of Appeal ruled in favor of a criminal defendant that was convicted of burglary for taking a bicycle from a mulched area in the front of a townhouse. In Colbert v. State, the Court helped to define the meaning of confusing terms like "curtilage" and "attached porch" under Florida's burglary laws.
Most people tend to think of burglary as breaking or entering into another's home. The question then becomes: when has someone entered another's home? Stepping on the back patio of an apartment complex covered by an upstairs deck has been considered entry for purposes of a burglary. However, in this well-reasoned opinion, the court distinguished the area in dispute and concluded that the area should not be considered part of the "dwelling".
However, people should understand that the specific facts and circumstances of each case determine whether a defendant is properly charged with burglary of a dwelling.
If you, a friend, or a loved one has questions about burglary or other theft crime, call an experienced criminal lawyer in St. Johns County.