A man was arrested recently and charged by Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies with stealing a plane from a Lantana flight school and also stealing a luxury car from a Palm Beach resort, ABC News reports.
According to Florida Statutes 812.014, the value of the property that is stolen determines the degree of the penalty. Theft can range from theft to grand theft to robbery. Grand theft is a first-degree felony and can be punishable by 30 years to life in prison.
So, while some people belief theft is a minor crime, its penalties can be quite severe. And hiring an experienced West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer will help protect a defendant’s rights. Charges of grand theft in Broward County require a lawyer who can look at all the facts and challenge witnesses as well as reports and police findings.
In this case, the man allegedly went to the flight school and asked an instructor about the cost of renting a plane. According to police, he broke into a Cessna and drove it about 50 feet before crashing it into a parked plane at Palm Beach County Park Airport in June.
When deputies released a sketch of the man, Palm Beach police told deputies he resembled a man who had recently been arrested on grand theft auto charges at The Breakers. There, he allegedly took some keys from behind the valet desk and stole an Infinity G37. In that car, police reported they found keys to a different stolen vehicle.
Obviously, this man faces many charges. And if the news reports are accurate, he faces an uphill battle fighting both sets of charges because he was caught in the act. But, there may be mitigating factors that could help his case. It’s unclear why law enforcement needed a sketch of the man to connect him to separate crimes each agency was handling.
In order to successfully defend these cases, an attorney must be hired immediately upon arrest so that as soon as the state has reviewed detectives’ reports and witnesses statements and they decide which charges to file, a defense attorney is able to review the evidence and begin building a defense.
A criminal case is fluid, meaning that as evidence pours in from detectives to prosecutors, the defense also gets copies. So, whether it’s DNA evidence that takes time to be processed at a state-run lab, detectives re-interviewing witnesses, getting surveillance footage that is requested and obtained by police or other pieces of evidence, the case continues developing.
A prepared defense lawyer will aggressively confront witnesses, whether lay witnesses or police, diligently review all the evidence, including reports and statements and seek to ban its entry into the case through filing motions. A good attorney can convince a judge to get enough time to work on the case so that it isn’t rushed to trial.
All of this requires getting involved in the case immediately, so if you face theft charges in Boca Raton or throughout Broward and Palm Beach counties, contact our law firm as soon as possible.
If you are arrested on theft charges in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in South Florida, contact Leifert & Leifert at 954-523-9600 or 561-988-8000 for a free consultation.
More Blog Entries:
Fort Lauderdale Men Charged in Multiple State Burglary Ring: June 9, 2011
Boca Raton Police Arrest Four in Car Theft Bust: June 1, 2011