Articles Posted in Theft Crimes in Jacksonville

A Jacksonville police officer is now facing two charges – including one felony – in connection with allegedly lying about how many hours she worked in an off-duty role.  Investigators had been watching the officer for more than a month and found she only worked about 15 of the 24 hours she was reporting for her off-duty role providing security at an apartment complex, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The problem is, the officer filled out paperwork to indicate she worked all of the hours, but instead was leaving early or arriving late, the newspaper reported.

The officer is charged with official misconduct and petit theft. The official misconduct charge is the one to worry about. The charge is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in state prison. More importantly, pleading guilty to or being convicted of a felony can have a crippling effect on her law enforcement career, as many agencies have specific policies against hiring people with a felony on his or her criminal record. The theft charge is a second-degree misdemeanor, which could include some county jail time, but rarely does.

Jacksonville police officers are allowed to use their patrol car and uniform when they work off-duty security jobs, such as the one the defendant was working at a local apartment complex. In exchange for the use of the uniform and car, the sheriff’s office must approve all of the off-duty work and employees must report their time. When Jacksonville Theft Cases like this occur, they are usually the result of a tip from the agency to police, though it is not clear how the investigation began in this case. In this Jacksonville Theft Case, the officer offered to go on unpaid leave until the criminal investigation is complete, the newspaper reported. Once the criminal case is over, police will conduct their own internal investigation to look at discipline for the officer. In many cases, the internal discipline can be more severe and have a greater impact on the employee than the criminal charges.

Jacksonville Theft Cases involving employees likely happen every day and don’t receive headlines. In this case, the amount of money allegedly stolen was less than $300. But in this case, it is a police officer lying about employment – which always earns attention from the media. There are certain balances people must make in handling a criminal case and making sure it is isn’t something that puts their career in even more jeopardy. Our Jacksonville Theft Attorney can help navigate that balance and look for a solution that minimizes both the criminal and employment consequences in your Jacksonville Felony Case.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Theft Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A Jacksonville man was arrested this month after speeding away from police in what appears to have been a stolen car.  Police started looking for the driver after someone called 911 saying the car was speeding and almost hit a motorcycle, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The chase reached speeds of 70 mph and went through multiple stop lights, but finally ended miles later when police ran the vehicle off the road near downtown Jacksonville, the newspaper reported. The man was arrested at gunpoint, the newspaper reported.

The 19-year-old suspect is charged with DUI, possession of marijuana, auto theft and a handful of traffic violations for laws he is accused of breaking during the chase, the newspaper reported. Some of the traffic violations can be criminal, including fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement in a patrol vehicle with lights and siren activated. Media reports did not specify if police were in a patrol vehicle or an unmarked car, but it’s more than likely it was a patrol car. If so, the defendant can be charged with a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in state prison. Theft of a motor vehicle is also a third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of five years in state prison.  Other charges in this Jacksonville Traffic Case are misdemeanors, but the cumulative effect can be an issue for the defendant. Even though DUI and possession of marijuana are misdemeanors, the fact that the driver is accused of being impaired while leading police on a high-speed chase is likely to be a factor in any plea negotiations or in sentencing if the man is convicted of or pleads guilty to the court.

While the felony charges in this Jacksonville DUI Case have prison time attached, misdemeanors do not. A first conviction for DUI is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana has a maximum penalty of one year in county jail.  A DUI on its own, or marijuana possession on its own, would likely be seen differently without the police chase and the stolen car. Prosecutors and judges look at the entire situation when evaluating cases for plea agreements or sentences, respectively, and driving away from police is one way to accumulate a bunch of charges very quickly.  Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney will conduct a full investigation into the charges against you or your loved one and then advise you of the consequences and key elements of the state’s case so you can make an informed decision.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville DUI Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Prosecutors and law enforcement held a big press conference two years ago, announcing what appeared to be the beginning of a major statewide gambling bust – with dozens arrested and more supposedly to follow.  As it turned out, those 57 arrests were the only arrests ever made and only one person was convicted and sentenced to time behind bars, according to analysis by the Florida Times-Union. In fact, only one other person was sentenced to house arrest and the other 55 cut deals with prosecutors that included no jail time at all, the newspaper reported. Many of those 55 had their charges dropped outright, but not before they were paraded in front of the cameras in what prosecutors claimed was a $300 million racketeering and money laundering case.

Many of the key people arrested in the case were from Jacksonville, including the attorney for the alleged gambling centers and police union officials who had a role in some of the centers. The state alleged that the gaming centers were illegal gambling, but accepted plea deals to probation in many of the cases.  This case is a prime example of why there is a balance in the judicial system and people are innocent until proven guilty. At the outset, the public was led to believe that more than four dozen people were involved in this elaborate scheme to rip off millions of dollars. But as the cases came together, the holes must have been apparent to prosecutors as offers for probation were being made – including some that included dropping many of the charges.

The key in these Florida Felony Cases was that people were offered these deals without having to agree to testify against the co-defendants in the case. Typically, how Jacksonville Felony Cases with multiple defendants work is, prosecutors start offering deals to people charged with the less serious crimes – on the condition they testify against some of the ringleaders. This is a common tactic in Jacksonville Drug Crimes Cases, where the state looks to solidify its charges against the drug supplier by flipping people buying drugs or some of the lower-level dealers.  But that didn’t happen in this Florida Felony Crimes Case. Only one case went to trial, that of the attorney for the nonprofit running the internet cafes who was accused of being the mastermind of the gambling operations. He was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to six years in prison, but is out of custody while the case is being appealed.  Not all cases are as airtight as police present them to be when they are announced. The state has the burden of proving all criminal charges beyond a reasonable doubt, and not all cases that are charged meet that standard.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Felony Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A longtime corrections officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office was arrested this month as part of a food stamp fraud investigation. The man is accused of buying food stamps at half price and then using them to buy food in Jacksonville, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. He is now charged with misappropriating food stamp funds, grand theft and participating in a scheme to defraud. All three Jacksonville Theft Charges are third-degree felonies that carry a maximum penalty of up to five years in state prison. The judge can choose to run the sentences concurrently (all at the same time) or consecutively, which stretches the maximum sentence to 15 years in prison.

The Sheriff’s Office received a tip about the scheme over the summer and then began building its case, the newspaper reported. The man is accused of twice buying $80 worth of food stamps for $40 and also twice buying $100 of food stamps for $50, the newspaper reported. There is no indication of whom the man bought the food stamps from, but there’s a strong chance that detectives and prosecutors will be looking to someone, perhaps the defendant, to share information about that person and agree to testify in court as to how it all went down. That is a common tactic in Jacksonville Felony Cases, arresting someone lower down the totem pole in the scheme and using the charges as leverage to persuade the person into testifying. Nothing like the threat of a felony charge to apply pressure – especially for someone in law enforcement who could lose his job and certification to be a police officer if convicted of a felony.

The man, a corrections officer since 2003 according to the newspaper report, has already been placed on leave without pay because of his arrest in this Jacksonville Theft Case. One key question that would need to be answered is if the officer used any of his influence as a corrections officer to start this transaction, or if connections were made through his role at the Sheriff’s Office. That could not only affect his job status, but also any potential sentence or plea deal on the criminal side of this Jacksonville Theft Case. Law enforcement officers are held to a higher standard in the eyes of the public and the judiciary, and when officers use their position for personal gain, the sentencing repercussions can be severe.

Our Jacksonville Theft Attorney has represented thousands of people accused of theft, from misdemeanor charges on up to serious felonies. Charges and potential sentences in Jacksonville Theft Cases are based primarily on the value of the property that is taken, and our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney can outline the potential penalties and provide you or your loved on with information to make the best decision going forward.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Duval County Theft Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A former St. Johns County office manager is now facing decades in prison, charged with two felonies after being accused of stealing more than $100,000 from her employer. The woman worked for a real estate management company and is accused of keeping more than $100,000 in rent that was supposed to be deposited into the company bank account, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. In this St. Johns County Theft Case, the woman is also accused of forging business checks that she made payable to herself and her family, along with using business credit cards for personal use and illegally establishing credit accounts the business did not authorize, the newspaper reported.

She is now charged with two serious felonies in this St. Johns County Theft Case – grand theft with a value of more than $100,000, and an organized scheme to defraud over $50,000. Both are first-degree felonies punishable by up to 30 years in state prison, so she is facing a combined total of 60 years behind bars. The defendant was fired from her job after she was accused of falsifying documents and a four-month investigation led to the eventual charges, the newspaper reported. The defendant has not spoken to investigators in this case and has been released on bail as the case progresses.

The punishment scale in St. Johns County Theft Cases is relatively simple. The more someone is accused of stealing, the more serious the charges. St. Johns County Theft Charges start as second-degree misdemeanors with a maximum sentence of up to 60 days in jail if someone is accused of taking something with a value less than $100. The charges escalate from there, with anything with a value between $100 and $300 remaining a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a year in the county jail. The key threshold in most St. Johns County Theft Cases is $300. Anything higher becomes a felony. Felony degrees increase with value, but cap at $100,000. Anything more than $100,000 is a first-degree felony. In this St. Johns County Theft Case, the woman is accused of stealing more than $141,000 from her employer.

The scheme to defraud charge is a little different. Charges are more serious with lower amounts, likely because of the intent and organized nature of such a crime. In this case, though, the maximum threshold of $50,000 was met by almost threefold, based on how the case has been charged. Our St. Johns County Theft Attorney represents people facing all levels of theft charges, from misdemeanors on up to first-degree felonies seen in this case. Our St. Johns County Criminal Defense Attorney will investigate your case and help you make an informed decision going forward.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our St. Johns County Theft Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A Jacksonville man is facing several felony charges – and potentially even more – as police investigate the thefts of expensive mechanical equipment taken from local restrooms. Police had several reports of the thefts and then identified a suspect from surveillance video taken from a local McDonald’s, showing a man walking in and out of the restroom at the time of the theft, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The suspect was arrested two days later when he was trying to sell the part at a metal recycling facility, the newspaper reported.

The man is facing multiple counts of several felonies, including:

1. Dealing in stolen property, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in state prison.

2. False verification of ownership to a secondary metals recycler for property under $300. The charge is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in state prison.

3. Grand theft of property valued between $300 and $5,000, a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

4. Criminal mischief causing more than $1,000 in damages to a business. The charge is also a third-degree felony, with a maximum penalty of five years in state prison.

More Jacksonville Theft Charges could be on the way. Police said they were investigating 17 of these thefts, and there have also been reports of similar incidents in neighboring Clay County, though no charges have been filed. While Duval County and Clay County have some separate court systems, for felony cases they fall under the same judicial circuit and under the same State Attorney’s Office. In many cases, the attorneys involved will work together so if there is a plea negotiated, it tries to take into consideration all of the charges involved.

Most of the flushing mechanisms are valued between $300 and $800, which is an important threshold in Jacksonville Theft Cases. When property valued at less than $300 is stolen, the charge is a misdemeanor. It becomes a felony when the value is more than $300, which applies in this Jacksonville Theft Case. Value is an interesting piece of this case. The equipment has a value of more than $300 when it is stolen, but if you look closely at the charges, the man is charged with falsifying ownership for property less than $300. Pawn shops, recyclers and other similar businesses typically pay a fraction of the true value of the property, and the defendant must have been accepting payment that was less than $300. In terms of plea negotiations, it will be interesting to see if the defendant decides to work with police on the unsolved thefts. It would appear that more charges are coming one way or the other and the defendant could help limit prison time in this Jacksonville Theft Case if he helped solve the remaining cases.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Duval County Theft Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Police arrested a Clay County pest control employee after an investigation pointed to him as the person pawning items that customers said came up missing from their homes. The man is now facing five felony charges and more could be coming, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. In announcing the arrest, police asked people who had this company in their home to do an inventory of valuables and check to see the name of the technician that was in their home. The man is now charged with three counts of grand theft and one count each of dealing in stolen property and providing false information to a second-hand property dealer. Each of the grand theft cases are third-degree felonies with a maximum penalty of five years in state prison, while the remaining two counts in this Clay County Theft Case are second-degree felonies, each with potential sentences of 15 years in state prison.

That’s a significant jump in severity and shows the priority lawmakers place on punishing people proven to profit off of theft. Each of the two second-degree felonies involve selling stolen property and, when a person is selling an item at a pawn shop, he or she must attest that the property does indeed belong to them. If that turns out to be false, it opens up both second-degree felonies charged in this Clay County Theft Case, because the person is accused of selling stolen property and lying about it being stolen. So, in reality, one move opens up the exposure to up to 30 years in prison in this Clay County Theft Case. In most Clay County Theft Cases, though, it’s the sale of the stolen items that triggers the arrest. By choosing a pawn shop, the suspect does create a paper trial that police can follow down the road.

If indeed more cases are discovered, similar charges would apply. The felony or misdemeanor degree, and potential jail or prison sentence, in Clay County Theft Cases is based on the value of the property that is reported missing. If the property stolen is less than $100 in value, the charge is a second-degree misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of six months in the county jail. That bumps up to a maximum penalty of a year and a first-degree misdemeanor if the value is between $100 and $300. That makes $300 a critical number in Clay County Theft Cases, because that makes the charge a felony and puts state prison time on the table. Grand theft stays a third-degree felony in most cases until the value exceeds $10,000. Our Clay County Theft Attorney represents people arrested on a range of theft charges – from misdemeanor theft on up to dealing in stolen property. Our Clay County Criminal Defense Attorney will thoroughly investigate you case and talk with you or your loved one about the best options going forward.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Clay County Theft Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Police are looking for a woman accused of stealing a wallet from another woman in a store. Clay County deputies are asking for the public’s help identifying the woman by using surveillance photographs taken from inside the store, according to a report on News4Jax. Police said the wallet was stolen from inside a purse and the woman’s credit card was used at several locations to buy more than $1,000 worth of merchandise, the television station reported.

In this Clay County Theft Case, police have the benefit of photos that can be used to identify the suspect, assuming she is eventually identified and charged with a crime. The woman could be facing a variety of different charges. In Clay County Theft Cases, the charges and potential penalties are based on the value of the property the suspect is accused of stealing. In this Clay County Theft Case, the woman could be charged with the initial theft of the purse, and could face additional penalties because the person she is accused of stealing from is older than 65. In Florida, when a person is accused of theft from the elderly, there is an additional provision that requires the defendant, if convicted, to pay the victim the value of what was stolen and perform up to 500 hours of community service. That is on top of any potential penalties for the theft, which if the value is less than $10,000, is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in state prison.

When it comes to the use of the fraudulent card, the rules are slightly different. It is a third-degree felony to use a credit card that a person knows is stolen. In this Clay County Theft Case, the woman is accused of using the card at several different stores. Typically in these cases, it is one charge for the fraudulent use of the card if it is one spree, as appears to be the case here. The penalties are different than if a person is accused of simply taking the merchandise from the store. If the property is values at less than $100, the charge is a second degree misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of six months in jail. If the value is between $100 and $300, the charge bumps up to a first-degree misdemeanor and the maximum penalty is one year in the county jail. When the value gets to be more than $300, that’s when the charge becomes a felony. Our Clay County Theft Attorney has experience representing people on a range of theft charges, from petit theft on up to serious felonies.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Clay County Theft Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A Jacksonville teen who led police on a high-speed chase was arrested in Nassau County following a string of burglaries over two weekends. A neighbor spotted two teens backing into a driveway with their lights out, yelled at the suspects and called police, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The two drove off, but ended up in a ditch by nearby railroad tracks, the newspaper reported. The suspects ran on foot – one was caught and the other was still at large, the newspaper reported. The teen who was arrested faces more than a dozen serious charges in this Nassau County Theft Case.

One of the major issues in this Nassau County Juvenile Crimes Case is whether or not the state chooses to charge the 17-year-old boy as an adult. Among the charges are six counts of burglary to a dwelling – each of which is a second-degree felony with a possible 15-year prison sentence. Other charges include five counts of grand theft (a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in state prison) and misdemeanor fleeing and eluding charges for running from the police. Prosecutors do have the option to file the charges in traditional court and treat the boy as an adult. Typically, that is reserved for Nassau County Juvenile Crimes Cases involving violence or guns, but the option is there.

While burglary charges are undoubtedly serious, it can also be argued they are the types of crimes that teens commit more than adults and are not necessarily indicative of a life of crime that will follow. There are specific sets of penalties and restrictions for juveniles who commit crimes, with the idea being they are punished but also given the chance to recover and move on, provided they meet certain criteria and show they are staying out of trouble. There are several varieties of incarceration in Nassau County Juvenile Crimes Cases, ranging from house arrest on up to what amounts to prison for teens. A teen’s prior record is often a major factor in whether the charges are in juvenile or traditional court. If a person has not learned his or her lesson after having chances to do so, judges may run out of sympathy. Our Nassau County Juvenile Crimes Attorney will fully investigate the charges against you or your loved one and work for the best resolution that can allow a teen to learn from his or her mistake and move on down the path of being a productive citizen.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Nassau County Juvenile Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Police in Nassau County started an investigation after spotting marijuana plants in the yard, and then found several stolen vehicles behind the home. Three trailers, a truck, a boat, a jet ski and construction equipment were all found in the backyard of the Hilliard home, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Police said the items were reported stolen from Jacksonville over the past few months and the total value is about $77,000, the newspaper reported. Police removed all of the vehicles and also took drug paraphernalia from inside the home, the newspaper reported.

No charges have been filed, but police appear to have plenty of options in this Nassau County Felony Case. In terms of Nassau County Drug Crimes charges, cultivation of marijuana is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in state prison. The charge could be elevated to drug trafficking – a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison. That would only apply if the defendant has more than 300 plants, which does not appear to be the case from this brief mention in the newspaper. Possession of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in the county jail. It could be possible to have marijuana growing in a rural area without knowledge of the property owner, but when it is found growing with paraphernalia and other growing materials present, that’s a tougher sell.

As for the theft charges, the theme is similar to the Nassau County Drug Crimes charges with the marijuana plants. Instead of the physical amount that makes the difference in the drug cases, it’s the dollar value that plays the biggest role in the type of charge and the potential punishment in Nassau County Theft Cases. There are other factors, including if the property was stolen from law enforcement, but the main factor is the amount. In this Nassau County Theft Case, it’s unclear now if police have evidence that the person who owns the property is the person who stole the property. If not, there are still elements in the statutes that make a person liable if they knew or should have known the property was stolen when then buy or sell it. The threshold for a theft charge to be a felony is $300. If property is valued at more than $300, the defendant can be charged with a third-degree felony that has a maximum penalty of five years in state prison. Because there are several stolen goods, all valued at more than $300, the state could charge several counts of grand theft, which could be stacked to expose the person to decades in state prison.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Nassau County Drug Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.