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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

apartments.jpgShould we love one another? Should we try to help our fellow man? This is Orlando after all, a somewhat happier place than, say, Siberia (but they have good Vodka in Siberia, so who knows). Now, you know me, I’m always siding with the defendant, the accused. Right? So mark your calendar, because this time I’m going to spread the blame a little, and it’s going to hurt me as much as it hurts you.

In State v. Herron, 2011 WL 4374511 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011), the defendant Herron did something stupid–he climbed onto the balcony of his ex-girlfriend’s place and asked to be let in because he had no place to stay for the night. Ouch. So, the ex lets him in. Once inside, she changes her mind and tells him to leave, which of course, he doesn’t. Instead, he sees that he’s been replaced by a new boyfriend. And, if you’ve ever watched the Jerry Springer Show, you know what happens next…

Herron was charged and convicted of burglary of a dwelling with a battery therein. The issue on appeal involved a technical analysis of the burglary statute, as burglary requires that one enter a property with the intent to commit a crime. Clearly, Herron did not enter the apartment with any intention other than to sleep. But, eventually the ex asked him to leave. He refused, and suspiciously searched the apartment, discovering another man hiding in the closet–then it all hit the fan. Thus, it was the combination of her demands to leave plus Herron’s search of the apartment that made his burglary charge stick, with the court finding that “there is sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to find that Herron remained within [the girlfriend’s] apartment with the intent to commit a battery.”

So, there’s a few problems here. First, the ex never should have let her old boyfriend into the apartment when she’s got a man hiding in the closet. Duh. But, what possessed Herron to climb a balcony and knock on her slider? More stupidity. Lessons abound here, but please, always leave when asked to leave–it’s just that simple. If you don’t, I know a good criminal defense attorney that can help straighten things out later.