Police recently arrested four young adults for allegedly burglarizing cars in Boca Raton city parks after pulling a vehicle over near one of the parks, The Palm Beach Post reports.
In cases of car burglaries, it is often difficult for law enforcement to prove unless the suspect is caught in the act. Fort Lauderdale theft lawyers have years of experience dealing with burglaries and will pull out all the stops in defense of your case.
In this case, police received reports of vehicles being broken into at certain public parks. On patrol, officers pulled over a vehicle occupied by three men and a girl, according to the news report. Officers said they smelled marijuana and found broken glass on the floorboards and a tool used to break windows.
The newspaper reports that two of the suspects told police they were looking for vehicles to burglarize at city parks and at Florida Atlantic University and admitted to breaking into several cars, describing some of the stolen items. They are charged with theft (812.014), burglary (810.02), possession of burglary tools (810.06) and possession of marijuana (893.13).
What this case may come down to is whether police had probable cause to make the traffic stop in the first place. Probable cause is the standard law enforcement must abide by in pulling over vehicles and making arrests. In order for the evidence they found to stand in court, the stop must be lawful.
This is an area where law enforcement officers are often criticized for racial profiling. If they have no reason to pull over a vehicle other than they believe the occupants look “suspicious,” it’s possible they had no reason to pull over the vehicle in the first place.
The obvious flaw for several of the suspects is talking to police. Many times defendants, especially young defendants, try to explain their way out of a crime. While it may make the person feel better to tell what they did, it makes their case much more difficult. And while most people are taught to trust police growing up, that advice can be thrown out the window when someone is being investigated by police. They are legally allowed to lie to suspects to try to get a confession.
The best bet for a suspect is to remain silent and speak with a qualified attorney immediately. Fort Lauderdale burglary charges are serious and if police are able to link a suspect to several cases, the charges can add years to a potential prison sentence. At the minimum, a single burglary conviction can put a person in prison for five years if there is no violence, weapons or past criminal charges. From there, the penalties only increase.
If you need to speak with a burglary defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale, contact Leifert & Leifert at 954-523-9600 or 561-988-8000 for a free consultation.
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Boca Raton Police Arrest Four in Car Theft Bust: June 1, 2011