As our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know, a couple of ostensibly incomprehensible crimes committed recently in South Florida serve as reminders that the actions we take have consequences.
These offenses, which we will discuss in this post, demonstrate what not to do.
While one details a crime perhaps carried-out with no malicious intent, and another indicates a severe lack of control, both should be regarded as warnings that the law often pays little mind to the reasons for which a crime might have been committed.
The first crime we’ll discuss involves a man phoning in a false report to police officers. According to reports, a 19-year-old Hobe Sound man was arrested after he called police on Tuesday night to report a shooting. The problem was, there was no shooting — the man later explained that he had called-in the false report in order to “test” police response time. In Florida, filing a false police report is considered a misdemeanor of the first degree, according to State Statute 817.49, meaning that upon conviction the defendant faces a punishment of up to $1,000 in fines and/or 1 year in prison.
While the police were asking for more information during the phony call, the man hung up. However, the 911 dispatcher was able to pull his name and photograph through the Caller ID function. When he was questioned by police before his arrest, he said he knew he had made a mistake in calling to report the non-existent shooting, and the fact that he hung up the phone mid-way through the call was evidence of his recognition that what he was doing was wrong. While there’s something to be said for the fact that the man realized what he was doing was wrong, that doesn’t negate the fact that he broke the law by calling in a false report. He abused and wasted police resources, even if doing so was purely to satisfy his curiosity regarding police response times.
Our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers understand that because of his lack of judgement, the 19-year-old remains in Martin County Jail, on charges of violation of probation.
The second crime we’ll detail involves, as noted above, a definite lack of self-restraint, and undoubtedly an underlying anger management issue. According to the Sun Sentinel, a Boynton Beach man asked his niece for a ride to the liquor store. When she did not agree, the man got mad. Instead of expressing his displeasure with his words, or even going to his room and punching a pillow, he decided to take his anger out in a far more dangerous way: he set fire to his house.
The man, who our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know has been charged with arson, is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail without bail. As we know, if he is convicted of arson (which can be a felony of the first degree, according to State Statute 806.01), he faces a punishment of up to $10,000 in fines and/or 30 years in prison.
If you have any questions about these crimes, or if you or someone you know has been arrested for or charged with a crime in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County, contact our criminal defense lawyers by calling 1-888-5-DEFEND (1-888-533-3363) to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to assisting you.