A 37-year-old man was arrested in connection with the January 18 theft of a $6,500 watch from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, CBS News is reporting.
Theft charges in Fort Lauderdale typically aren’t slap-on-the-wrist offenses. In fact, grand theft in Florida is punishable as a felony. Prosecutors can charge someone either with a first-degree, second-degree or third-degree felony.
That means that the possible prison sentence for a conviction can range from up to five years, to up to 15 years or up to 30 years or more. These are serious penalties for a charge of theft without any violence. As Florida Statutes 812.014 points out, grand theft charges depend on many factors.
Our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers realize that police officers will attempt to file the most damaging charge they can against a suspect, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they can prove it. When talking about theft charges, one must consider the value of the product.
According to the law, these charges hinge heavily on what the stolen goods are worth. If the stolen property is worth less, the suspect may face the third-degree felony version of grand theft. If it is high-dollar, the person could be looking at a first-degree felony.
But proving the value is a whole other thing. If the goods stolen are brand new, that’s one thing. But if they are used, in poor shape or have been affected by outside factors that could impact the value, which in turn could impact the charge.
And since determining the value is critical in cases like these, this could be a point of contention. Prosecutors must be able to clearly show how much a piece of stolen property is worth in order to prove the charge they are filing. If they can’t prove it, the person should be acquitted.
In this case, according to the news report, the man was caught on video surveillance at the airport last month. On the video, it shows a man walking through a security checkpoint and putting back on his shoes and other things.
As he’s putting things in his pockets and a laptop back into his bag, he looks down and sees a watch that is in the bin in front of his. He grabs the watch, puts it in his backpack and walks away. Earlier news reports stated that after the man walked away from the checkpoint, authorities were no longer able to capture him on camera.
The CBS News report states that sheriff’s deputies looking through hours of video surveillance attempting to find the man’s image on tape. They said they were able to confirm the man’s identity as a 37-year-old who lives in Sunny Isles. They told the news media the man also lives on Long Island.
Detectives went to several houses the man owns and when he opened the door, he alleged was wearing the watch on his wrist. Detectives arrested him and charged him with grand theft.
Almost everyone accused of a crime in Fort Lauderdale or Broward County must make some sort of appearance at the courthouse building on the downtown riverfront.
This wouldn’t be different from any other city or county in South Florida, except the Broward County courthouse is aging, decrepit and overrun with pests, according to recent reports by the New Broward courthouse still not off the ground, By Brittany Wallman, Sun Sentinel
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West Palm Beach police recently arrested a Lake Worth man and charged him with assaulting an officer during a nightclub brawl, The Palm Beach Post is reporting.
Charges of battery on a law enforcement officer in West Palm Beach are more serious than regular battery simply because of the victim. When an everyday citizen is injured in an attack, the charges are less serious for the defendant.
Lawmakers have attempted to protect law enforcement officers by increasing penalties against people who would consider an attack. West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers understand the motivation behind this move, but it still places law enforcement officers above the citizens they serve. All victims should have the same value in the eyes of the law. But they don’t.
Another issue in cases like these is finding unbiased jurors. When a police officer is introduced as the victim in a case, jurors may not be able to properly do their jobs. While prospective jurors who are related to officers or who have friends who are officers can easily get weeded out of a jury, other people may be more difficult to screen.
Some people just have grown up believing that officers should have more credibility as witnesses, that their words are more powerful and trustworthy. Some citizens believe that law enforcement officers should get extra rights or more protection than other people. And while those are fine beliefs to have, that may not make them good jurors — especially when the alleged victim is a cop.
In this case, according to the news report, the 23-year-old is now facing charges of aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence and aggravated battery. He is accused of beating an officer who was trying to break up a fight at a night club. He allegedly punched the officer with a “tool” from his key chain.
When officers arrived, they allegedly found the man and his fiancee fighting. The suspect struggled with officers and allegedly punched one in the face. Two officers and a bouncer got the man out of the club. Outside, an officer tried to fire a Taser at the man, but missed. Officers then chased him into an alley and arrested him.
Florida Statutes 784.07 defines aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer. It spells out who can be considered a victim under the law and lays out the possible penalties. A person who is convicted faces at least three years in prison. If a weapon is used, penalties could be tougher.
Aggravated battery is knowingly causing great bodily harm, disability or disfigurement to a person. If a person is battered with a weapon, that also qualifies under this law. A person charged with this crime can face a second-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 15 years behind bars.
These are serious charges that are enhanced by the identity of the victim in this case. It is important to be properly represented if you are facing a criminal charge. The more serious the charge, the more important. Every defendant should have their day in court.
A 25-year-old Boca Raton woman now faces a charge of inciting a riot in Pompano Beach after a bawl at a bowling alley, the Sun Sentinel is reporting.
The newspaper states that the woman was jailed after 20 to 30 people began fighting at the bowling alley. Inciting a riot, under Florida Statutes 870.01, can be punished either as a first-degree misdemeanor or third-degree felony.
According to the law, an affray is essentially a fight in a public area. Officers can charge someone with a first-degree misdemeanor in that case. A riot, however, is the more serious charge. That is encouraging or inciting a large-scale fight or disturbance in a public place.
In either situation, the defendant will need an experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer. Any charge, whether misdemeanor or felony, requires legal counsel because they can have serious consequences.
While it’s true that a misdemeanor carries lower penalties, that doesn’t mean a conviction won’t end up hurting a person’s career or ruining relationships. Avoiding a conviction can help a person repair their image and reputation, as well.
Jail or prison time is a possibility any time there is a felony charge, so it’s something all suspects facing these type of charges need to keep in mind.
According to the newspaper, the woman was at a bowling alley on North Federal Highway. Two large groups were bowling, with one of the groups acting more boisterously than the other. Members of the louder group had been drinking and were using obscene gestures in a joking manner.
The other group, however, included children and took offense to the antics. When they asked the other group to stop, an argument started.
The woman who was later arrested allegedly threw two full drink glasses at a woman in the other group and then allegedly threw a punch and chair at the woman. A sheriff’s deputy reported seeing some of the actions when he first arrived at the alley in response to a 911 call.
The woman was arrested and charged with encouraging others to start in the fight. Another person was charged with refusing to leave the scene of the crime.
From what’s printed in the news article, it’s unclear what proof the sheriff’s deputy had to charge the woman with inciting a riot. It’s also not clear what actions the suspect took to try to get other people to join a fight. If the only witnesses who say the woman was trying to get others into a fight were the alleged victims, the state may not have a strong case. Victims are always going to seek the most serious charges and bring up the worst possible allegations.
The testimony of any criminal case witnesses – but especially that of alleged victims — must be looked at with a healthy dose of skepticism. A trained Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney is able to find weaknesses in the state’s case.
A Florida woman is under arrest for child abuse, after allegedly got into a heated argument with police before driving off in her car, causing her 7-year-old son to bang on the window, screaming and crying, according to The Palm Beach Post.
West Palm Beach child abuse charges can lead to jail time, but also can include child custody issues and involvement of the Florida Department of Children & Families.
On the criminal charges, an experienced West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney is needed to ensure that all facets of the case are explored. While police may report their side of the facts, there is always another side and the truth sometimes is in the middle.
While news reports may be negative toward a defendant initially, keep in mind, you’re only hearing one side of the story. Police officers write their reports after only a few hours of investigation and sometimes don’t include vital facts that can show proof of innocence.
In this case, a 32-year-old woman was arrested and charged with child abuse, child neglect, resisting an officer with violence, battery on a law enforcement officer, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident with damage.
According to the news report, the woman’s problems started when a police officer spotted an SUV sitting in a parking spot at a medical center. The officer noticed a boy inside, who told the officer that his mother was inside and would be back soon.
When the officer got the woman’s phone number from the boy, he called it. The woman told officers that there was nothing wrong with leaving her son in the vehicle. The officers and woman got into an argument, causing the boy to start crying.
The woman then told her son to get back into the vehicle and after noticing that a police cruiser had blocked her in, she drove over a curb, through a bush and over a sidewalk, police allege. Police later found the woman at another medical center in Palm Beach Gardens.
There, the woman was allegedly trying to get a nurse to administer a test to prove she wasn’t under the influence of narcotics. But she didn’t get the test after changing her mind. Officers found her there and got into a struggle with the woman while arresting her.
When parents are charged with offenses, they almost instantly will become involved with the state’s child welfare system. Often, allegations of abuse or neglect are overblown by DCF investigators, who aren’t trained as police officers are.
Yet, allegations from these social workers can lead to criminal charges. A person can be forced to endure many headaches throughout the process.
From a criminal perspective, the goals are to try to get the charges dropped, win at trial or come to a successful plea agreement with prosecutors in order to minimize the possible penalties. When child welfare agencies are investigating, though, the effects on a person’s custody must also be taken into consideration.
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