Frequently, following a traffic stop and/or search of an individual, law enforcement will recover everyday household items such as screwdrivers, ski masks, gloves, etc. from the search. Depending on other circumstances, usually whether a burglary was recently committed in the area and the time of the search, a person possessing these items may get charged with Possession of Burglary Tools, which is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. The Bantner Firm can help you when this happens! Call us at 813.397.3965 to set up your free consultation!
This crime is codified at Fla. Stat. 810.06: Whoever has in his or her possession any tool, machine, or implement with intent to use the same, or allow the same to be used, to commit any burglary or trespass shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree.
To prove the crime of possession of burglary tools, the State is required to prove that the defendant (1) intended to commit a burglary or trespass, (2) had in his possession a tool or implement that he intended to use, or allow to be used, in the commission of the burglary or trespass, and (3) did some overt act toward the commission of a burglary or trespass. Sloan v. State, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D1420a (Fla. 5th DCA 2018).
If the State’s proof fails as to any single element, the charge is not proved and the charge must be dismissed or the jury should find you not guilty.
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