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Did Florida Just Make Breaking and Entering Legal?

Florida just passed a law making breaking and entering legal.

Yes, you are reading this right.

But before you go smashing your neighbors door in, be sure to read the next paragraph.

In March, Florida Gov. Rick Scott passed a bill making it legal for concerned citizens to break into vehicles to rescue pets or vulnerable people believe to be in imminent danger of suffocation or other harm. Just north of us, a Georgia father will stand a murder trial for locking his child in a hot car for 7 hours.

As the weather warms here in Florida, it is important to remember not to leave your children or pets in a locked car. While 78 and sunny may not seem dangerous, the inside of a car has the potential to get warm quickly.

This type of good Samaritan law protects people from civil liability, however there are a few things you need to know.

Before breaking into a vehicle to save a person or domesticated animal in danger be sure to do the following:

  • Checked to make sure the vehicle is actually locked
  • Have a reasonable belief, based upon the known circumstance, that entering into the vehicle is necessary because the vulnerable person or domestic animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm
  • Called 911 or law enforcement either before or immediately after breaking into the vehicle
  • Use only the necessary amount of force to break in.
  • Remain with the person, child or animal until first-responders arrive on the scene

Bottom line- don’t leave small children or pets in locked cards!

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