Articles Posted in Trespass / Wiretapping

What is Mens Rea? 

Mens Rea is the mental element of an individual’s intent to commit a crime.  It can also be expressed as the knowledge that a particular act would result in a crime being committed.

Why is Mens Rea significant if I have been accused of a crime?

The United States Supreme Court handed down a decision that has been historic in a case entitled the Miranda v. Arizona, in 1966Essentially, four cases made it to the United States Supreme Court with similar issues.  All cases involved interrogation by police in a closed room where the putative Defendant was cut off from the outside world.  In three of these cases, the Defendant signed statements that were admitted at trial and one of the cases involved oral statements admitted at trial.  Following the Miranda Case, whenever a person is taken into detention, that individual must be advised of their Fifth Amendment right against making any self-incriminating statements.  When the police question someone in custody, they must advise:

  1. You have the right to remain silent.
  2. Anything that you say can and will be used against you.

When Should You File a Post Conviction Relief Motion in Florida?

A motion for post conviction relief is a motion that is filed after an individual is convicted of a crime where the court is being asked to relieve a person from their conviction.  The following grounds may be used as the reason for filing:

  1. The sentence imposed was illegal or violates the Florida or United States Constitution.

Burglary in Florida is defined as entering a dwelling, 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.

F.S. § 810.02(2) indicates that burglary is a felony of the first degree if the offender assaults or batters another person or becomes armed within the dwelling, structure, or conveyance, with explosives or a dangerous weapon.  It can also be a first-degree felony to use a motor vehicle as an instrument to assist in committing the offense and damaging the dwelling or structure or to cause damage in excess of $1,000.00.

BurglaryF.S. § 810.02(3) indicates that burglary is a felony of the second degree if, during the offense, the offender does not assault or batter a person and is not or does not become armed with a dangerous weapon or explosive.  It will also be a second-degree felony if the offender enters or remains in a dwelling and there is or is not another person in the dwelling and the offender enters or remains.

According to, popular 1990s Rapper Vanilla Ice was arrested for burglary in Florida.  As a child, I was a fan of Vanilla Ice, whose real name is Robert Matthew Van Winkle.  Vanilla Ice is no longer captivating audiences with lyrics; most recently he has been the subject of a home renovation show on DIY Network.  The show chronicles the former rapper’s experiences as he buys and renovates houses.  A house located next to a house being renovated by Vanilla Ice was burglarized, and some of the stolen items was found inside Vanilla Ice’s house.  the items included furniture, a pool heater, and more.  Vanilla Ice claims that this is all just a big misunderstanding and that he will ultimately be cleared. He was arrested and released on bail.  Hiring the right criminal defense attorney can help make sure that things are resolved in the best way the facts of the situation will allow.  As a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney that has represented many defendants charged with burglary, I know that the consequences of being found guilty of a burglary to a dwelling can be very serious.

150223_chain-863724-mFlorida Statute 810.02 states, “For offenses committed on or before July 1, 2001, “burglary” means entering or remaining in 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 remain.”  The offense that a person intends to commit can be just about anything.  At its most basic form, a trespass plus ANY other crime, equals a burglary.  The most common offense that is coupled with a trespass to create a burglary is theft.  A burglary to a dwelling conviction is serious, because it scores a little over twenty (20) months in Florida State Prison.  This is regardless of whether the defendant has a criminal history.  It takes effort on behalf of your criminal lawyer to keep you out of prison.  A good set of facts help too.

Understanding the proof requirements and having the trial experience needed to fight for your rights in court can often lead to a better outcome early on in a case without the need for a trial.  At the Law Office of David M. Goldman, PLLC, our experienced criminal lawyers can help you or a loved one work toward the best outcome in your case and help you make informed decisions.  Initial consultations are free.  Call us today at (904) 685-1200.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyA recent incident has come to my attention involving a couple of young men and it has struck my curiosity. I want to let parents and children alike know that sometimes seemingly trivial acts can have disastrous effects on your future if not handled properly by a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney. This specific case involves two children who decided to go for a swing on school grounds after hours.

The names will be withheld and location as well, the facts are straightforward. Two kids decided one night to go to their school late one night to swing on the swing set. It was after hours and they lacked permission to be on the grounds. They proceeded to maneuver over property line locator structures and swing on the swings. It was shortly after they began to swing and discuss the day’s activities that the local Police arrived and arrest the two young children for Trespass. The children are now facing either a 1st or 2nd degree misdemeanor charge.

In Jacksonville, Florida this offense is defined by Florida Statute § 810.097. This Statute reads, “[a]ny person who: does not have legitimate business on the campus or any other authorization, license, or invitation to enter or remain upon school property…and who enters or remains upon the campus or any other facility owned by any such school commits a trespass upon the ground of a school facility and is guilty…”

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyLocal Restaurant was destroyed by Fire this morning and the investigation into the cause is still underway. Wasabi Buffet located in Jacksonville’s historic Five Point Area. Besides the damage to Wasabi, three other businesses were also damaged (Firehouse Subs, Hot Wok, and a laundry). The fire was reported at approximately 3:30 this morning and fire marshal’s were able to get the fire under control before it spread too far into surrounding businesses.

In Florida, Arson is defined by Florida Statute § 806.01, which reads “any person who willfully and unlawfully, or while in the commission of any felony, by fire or explosion, damages or causes to be damaged: any dwelling…any structure…any other structure that he or she knew or has reasonable grounds to believe was occupied by a human being.” If convicted for Arson it is a Felony in the first-degree, which holds a penalty of up to 30 years in prison and/or up to a $10000 fine. In contrast, if you commit Arson against property of your own, it is a second degree-felony punishable by 15 years in prison and up to a $10000 fine.

Although this Fire investigation is still in its initial stages, if the homeowners are found to have intentionally set the fire, they could be facing a second-degree felony charge. If on the hand, someone else set the fire, they could potentially face a first-degree felony charge. Or it could just be an accidental fire and no charges will be brought.

BinocularsJacksonville residents and people elsewhere have heard of cases of “peeping toms” and those who look into your home from near or a far. But many do not know that videotaping another, or simply walking in on another can constitute a Jacksonville Voyeurism Criminal Offense. Furthermore, a misunderstanding as to the circumstances can lead to false accusations and arrests. In addition, as a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer I have been asked what is Voyeurism and what penalties could be imposed if convicted?

The crime of Voyeurism is defined within Florida Statute § 810.14, which states a person commits Voyeurism when:

  1. With lewd, lascivious, or indecent intent

As a Jacksonville Criminal Lawyer, I was asked by Jacksonville First Coast News to comment on a Mandarin “peeping tom” case. After being informed of the Jacksonville “Peeping Tom” conduct and the Mandarin Families Frightened By the Peeping Tom, I determined that the suspect may be charged with a variety of Jacksonville criminal offenses. Depending on the circumstances surrounding each individual incident, he may be charged with voyeurism, trespass, or stalking.

Jacksonville voyeurism is governed by Florida Statute Section 810.14. Voyeurism occurs when a person:

  1. has a lewd, lascivious, or indecent intent;
  2. secretly observes another person; and 
  3. the person being observed is in a place where he or she has a reasonable expectation of privacy.
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