The Miami Herald reports that three people including two juveniles were arrested on charges of beating and holding at gunpoint postal carriers who were delivering mail.
Charges of armed robbery in Fort Lauderdale refer to someone taking money or property from another person by force and when using a weapon, not necessarily a firearm. In order to prove the crime, the state must show that a weapon was used. How the weapon was used is an important distinction, however.
Under Florida law, armed robbery with a firearm or other deadly weapon is a first-degree felony if the weapon was used during the crime. It can still be a first-degree felony if the defendant was simply carrying a weapon during the crime. The crime only becomes a second-degree felony of robbery if there was no firearm involved.
Witness identification can sometimes be shaky, so it’s important that a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer be able to dig in from the start to begin putting together a strong defense for the suspect. Not all charges are accurate and not all those who are accused are guilty. Witnesses make mistakes and so do police officers. It’s the job of an experienced lawyer to point out those mistakes.
In this case, The Herald reports, postal carriers were beaten or held at gunpoint and master keys to mailboxes throughout the area were stolen. In a few weeks, three letter carriers became victims of the crime and police began investigating.
A 19-year-old and a juvenile, whose name wasn’t released, were charged with theft and robbery with a weapon. Police say the cases are not related, however. In one, a female letter carrier was beaten but not severely injured while delivering mail. Within two weeks, a juvenile held up a letter carrier at gunpoint while she delivered mail.
Police are still seeking a suspect from another incident. Nationwide, the U.S. Postal Service averages 75 to 100 robberies in any given year, so three in a matter of two weeks in one area is rare, the newspaper reports.
In the case of a daytime theft or robbery in Fort Lauderdale, as mentioned above, witnesses sometimes get it wrong. They may be too far away to get a clear view, but they want to help, so they tell police some facts, but some inaccuracies may exist.
Sometimes people fear that getting involved in cases where violence is alleged can get them in trouble with the suspects, so they back off and leave out important details that can actually lead to an acquittal. In other cases, they report to police third-hand information that is not their own. It’s not until months into the case that this incorrect information comes out.
The criminal justice system in our country is great, but it does have its flaws. As Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers, we hope to reveal the truth in every criminal case in order to provide the best possible criminal defense for clients.
If you are arrested in West Palm Beach 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 Armed Robbery Suspect Arrested After Standoff: October 25, 2011
Eyewitness ID in Boca Raton Criminal Cases Must Be Challenged: September 23, 2011
3 arrests made in postal-carrier robberies, by Carli Teproff, The Miami Herald