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Burglary to a Conveyance (Car)

Posted by John P. Rutkowski | Jun 21, 2017 | 0 Comments

In the case of Fualk v State of Florida, 42 Fla. L. Weekly D1383a, the trial court committed reversible error when it failed to give the defendant's requested jury instruction on his affirmative defense of consent to the crime of burglary.

The prosecution asserted during defendant's trial that the victim was waiting in her vehicle on New Year's Eve outside of a club to pick up a friend when the defendant, uninvited, jumped into the passenger seat of her vehicle, demanded money from her, and proceeded to batter her when she failed to comply with his demands.

Defendant testified in his own defense and stated that the victim invited him into her car because she knew he was a neighborhood drug dealer and wanted to purchase drugs from him. Defendant stated he gave her some cocaine and requested cash in return; when she refused to pay right away as requested, defendant admitted that he did batter her. Thus, appellant's theory of defense was that he could not have committed the crime of burglary because the victim invited him into her vehicle.

Defendant was convicted of burglary with a battery, defendant, on appeal, asserted the trial court's failure to instruct the jury on his affirmative defense of consent to enter the victim's car amounted to fundamental error. The court of appeals agreed and reversed and remanded the case for a new trial.

About the Author

John P. Rutkowski

Mr. Rutkowski has been practicing law for the past twenty-four years. Prior to going to law school Mr. Rutkowski served as a deputy sheriff before retiring to attend law school. Upon graduating law school Mr. Rutkowski served as a prosecutor in Florida before going in to private practice.

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