A University of Georgia student is alleged to have broken into an Athens, Georgia woman’s home in order to check her Facebook account. Not only did she go where she wasn’t wanted, she literally “went” where she wasn’t supposed to by peeing on the homeowner’s couch. When the homeowner returned to her home she found the 18 year old female student sitting on her couch using the homeowner’s computer and chatting with a friend, of whom she gave the address of the home. The brilliant burglar ran away before the homeowner could detain her or get her name but in all the commotion left her facebook profile open and available for both the homeowner and police. According to the original story the homeowner was irritated with the intrusion but was more concerned about the fact that the special visitor took a leak all over her couch before bidding her adieu.
Not the best way to begin your college career Peebody… Though this is a Georgia incident, burglary doesn’t vary much in its elements from State to State. At first blush, a burglary would be the desired charge of the State Attorney’s office, yet a good Tampa criminal lawyer could likely get this charged reduced through some diligence were this set of facts to have occurred in our area. In Florida, burglary of this like would be considered burglary of an occupied dwelling because the homeowner came home in the middle of the act. Because this Dawg entered the home of this woman and was not armed and made no assault or battery she could possibly be charged with a second degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in the clink and a $10,000 fine under Florida Statute 810.02(3)(a). The real bell ringer in this fact pattern is that for a burglary to occur in Florida it must be shown that the burglar intended to enter this dwelling with the intent to commit an offense while in there. Most Tampa criminal lawyers could argue successfully in cases of drunk college kid entry that there was no criminal intent to commit an offense but rather drunken stupidity. If the State tried to argue that her offense was criminal mischief a Tampa criminal attorney could refute that by the fact that when she urinated she did so not only on the couch, but also on herself considering she was sitting in it per the account of the homeowner. It’s highly unlikely she “willfully and maliciously” intended to damage the couch by also soiling herself. Had she squatted in a corner or used a coffee pot, maybe. Not so much when she peed herself. Those are called “accidents” precipitated by booze and bad decisions.
At the end of the day most Tampa criminal attorneys would be able to negotiate this charge down to a misdemeanor count of trespass due to the State’s inability to show criminal intent upon the Drunken Dawg’s entry. Misdemeanors are a hell of a lot easier to deal with than felonies and for a college kid having to compete for a job in three years a felony could be devastating. If you’ve been charged with a crime in Tampa or the Tampa Bay area, contact the criminal attorneys at the Mayberry Law Firm today at 813-444-7435.