Articles Posted in Theft Crimes in Jacksonville

A Jacksonville police officer is facing several criminal charges stemming from separate alleged incidents.  According to a report in the Florida Times Union, the officer of fourteen years is charged with grand theft, petit theft and official misconduct in Duval County.  Those charges are pending after allegations that the officer was paid for time he did not work in off-duty jobs.  Official misconduct and grand theft are both third degree felonies punishable by up to five years in prison each and the petit theft is a first degree misdemeanor.  The State Attorney’s Office has not made a decision about filing those charges.  There is another allegation of sexual battery in Jacksonville that the prosecutor on the case has made a decision on.  The officer was accused of paying prostitutes to have sex with him while on duty.  One woman told police she was forced to have sex with the police officer, which is considered a sexual battery in Florida.  The State Attorney’s Office has decided not to file this charge because there is no reasonable probability of conviction.

When someone is arrested for any crime, the prosecutor’s office in that county has to make a decision on whether or not to file the charge.  In order for the police to make an arrest in Jacksonville, they must have “probable cause”.  This means, more likely than not, the accused committed a crime.  Once the case lands on a prosecutor’s desk, that prosecutor must decide whether or not they can prove the case beyond all reasonable doubt, which is a much higher standard than an arrest.  When someone is arrested for a felony in Duval County, which all sex charges are, the prosecutor’s office has a period of time to make a decision about what to do.  They can file the felony case as charged, drop the case if there is not enough evidence, or file the case as a misdemeanor.  Assistant state attorneys have a lot of discretion when deciding what to do and that is why it is so important to hire an experienced criminal attorney.  The Jacksonville criminal attorney can gather evidence and meet with the prosecutor to present your side prior to any charges being filed.

A sexual battery in Florida is defined as oral, anal or vaginal penetration, or union with, the sexual organ of another person or an object without the victim’s consent.  Consent is defined as knowing and voluntary, not coerced.  There are also different levels of sexual battery in Jacksonville.  If the accused sexually battered a victim without violence or physical force, the crime is considered a second degree felony, punishable by up to fifteen years in prison and a lifetime of being labeled a sex offender.  If the accused used violence or if the victim was physically incapacitated at the time, the sex crime is elevated to a first degree felony.  “Physically incapacitated” can mean asleep or even drunk, which is obviously subject to interpretation.  Often times, rape cases come down to a he said, she said.

St. Johns County police have released surveillance video and are looking for two men accused of stealing flat-screen televisions from a local store  Police said two men entered the Walmart about 1 a.m. and then loaded up a shopping cart with four flat-screen televisions, according to a report on News4Jax. When one of the men was stopped by an employee and asked to provide a receipt, he handed the worker the receipt and kept walking, the television station reported. After the worker realized the receipt was for food and not for the four televisions, she went to the parking lot and saw the men driving off with the televisions in the back of a pick-up truck, the television station reported.

Police issued descriptions of the men and the truck in this St. Johns County Theft Case. If the suspects are eventually caught, they will almost certainly be facing felony charges. In St. Johns County Theft Cases, the severity of the charges – and the potential prison time on the table – is based primarily on the value of the property the person is accused of taking. The key threshold in St. Johns County Theft Cases is $300. If the property is question is valued at less than $300, the charge is a misdemeanor. In St. Johns County Misdemeanor Cases, there is no possibility of state prison – only a maximum of a year in county jail. But, once the value crosses $300, the crime can be charged as a felony. Grand Theft is a third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

One issue that could be of interest if charges are filed is just how many charges are filed. In all likelihood, each of the televisions is worth more than $300. But the act itself was one theft that happened to net four televisions – as opposed to four separate incidents with one television each. That sounds like splitting hairs, but four charges with a maximum of five years on each charge is significantly different from just one charge.

A man accused of stealing items from a Clay County store is now looking at even more serious charges after allegedly beating a man who tried to stop him from shoplifting.  Police and witnesses said the man was running out of the store with items he didn’t pay for when another man tried to tackle him, according to a report on News4Jax. The man who tried to stop him was injured and several other shoppers jumped on the accused shoplifter and held him there until police could arrive, the television station reported. Once police arrived, the man was arrested and charged with grand theft, retail theft, felony battery and resisting arrest.

Felony battery is a third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of up to five years in state prison. Battery is not always a felony, it depends on the injuries suffered by the person who was struck. Battery becomes a felony if someone hits or strikes a person against their will, and, causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement. In this Jacksonville Battery Case, witnesses said they could see part of the victim’s bone coming from his leg, so that’s likely why the crime is charged as a felony. There could be an element of self-defense in this Jacksonville Felony Case, though prosecutors will likely argue the defendant put himself in the situation where he could be tackled by running out of a store with things he did not pay for. And while police will never encourage people to take the law into their own hands as the man who was injured did, it is also highly unlikely that he would be charged with a crime. But, by fighting with a man who tried to stop him, the defendant added a felony to his list of charges.

The defendant is looking at another felony in this case for grand theft. In Jacksonville Theft Crimes, the severity of the charge – and thus the corresponding punishment – is based on the value of the property in question. The key number in Jacksonville Theft Cases is $300. If the value alleged to be stolen is less than $300, the case is a misdemeanor and the maximum punishment is one year in the county jail. However, once the $300 threshold is crossed, the case becomes a felony and the maximum punishment increases to five years in state prison.   Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney represents people arrested on all types of charges, from misdemeanors on up to life felonies.

A suspected bank robber was shot in the face by a former police officer who chased him in his car.  The defendant was seen running from a St. Johns County bank and the former officer, who was in the drive-thru lane, started chasing him in his car, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. When the former officer caught up with the suspect, the two struggled in a parking lot, the newspaper reported. A witness said the bank robbery suspect reached for a gun and that’s when the former officer pulled his own gun and shot the suspected robber in the face, the newspaper reported. The suspected robber kept running to where he had parked his car and eventually surrendered to a St. Johns County police officer who had his gun drawn.

Police said they found a large amount of money in the suspect’s possession, along with a gun and a note demanding money that police are inferring was used during the robbery, the newspaper reported. Charges had not yet been filed, but the man is likely facing armed robbery charges, first-degree felonies that are punishable by up to life in prison. He would also likely face other charges, such as fleeing and eluding a police officer, but the armed robbery charge is by far the most serious.  And what about the former police officer who shot the man in the face? He is unlikely to face any charges.

According to Florida law, if a person is in fear for his or her life, the person can respond with deadly force. In this St. Johns County Gun Crimes Case, the two appeared to be engaged in what amounted to a wrestling match when the robbery suspect is said to have reached for a gun. At that point, the other man made a decision his life was in danger and he pulled out his weapon and fired. It could be argued that the former officer should not have even attempted to capture the bank robbery suspect and that he put himself in that situation by following the suspect and trying to apprehend a man who had just robbed a bank. While police don’t recommend that anyone do such a thing, it’s unlikely they would recommend the person be charged with a crime that would likely come with a potential punishment of decades behind bars. Depending on the robbery suspect’s injuries, the former officer’s actions could open him up to a potential civil lawsuit down the road, but criminal charges are not likely in this St. Johns County Robbery Case.

Police arrested a Clay County man minutes after authorities said he tried to rob a bank a few blocks from a police department.  The man is accused of walking into the bank, implying he had a gun and demanding money from a clerk, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The man did not get any money from the bank and was stopped by police shortly after he drove off, the newspaper reported. He was arrested on charges of armed robbery with a firearm or other weapon and is being held in county jail on a $50,000 bond.

According to Florida law, robbery is defined as “the taking of money or other property which may be the subject of larceny from the person or custody of another, with intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the money or other property, when in the course of the taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.” In this Clay County Robbery Case, the key language is “putting in fear.” Although the defendant in this case apparently did not have a gun, he allegedly led the bank teller to believe he did – likely putting her in fear that he could use a gun if things did not go his way.

The exact charges in the case have not been filed, but in Clay County Robbery Cases, the element of a weapon – particularly a firearm – is a huge factor in how the case will be charged. For example, armed robbery with a firearm or other deadly weapon is a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in state prison. Armed robbery with a weapon is also a first-degree felony, but the prison sentence is capped at 30 years. Robbery without a weapon is a second-degree felony with a maximum punishment of up to 15 years in state prison. In this Clay County Robbery Case, the newspaper reported the man “implied” he had a gun. Whether that means he said he had a gun, or put his finger inside his shirt looking like he had a gun is not yet clear – but could be a critical element of this Clay County Theft Case.  Our Clay County Criminal Defense Attorney represents people on all types of theft charges – from misdemeanor petit theft cases on up to armed robbery charges punishable by up to life in state prison. Our Clay County Theft Attorney will thoroughly investigate the case against you or your loved one so you have the best information to make a decision going forward.

Jacksonville police took to Facebook to help identify a pregnant woman accused of stealing glasses from a local store.  Detectives had tips within 30 minutes and, eight hours later, had arrested a woman and charged her with grand theft, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The woman, whom police said was nine months pregnant, was also charged with possession of a controlled substance because she had Xanax on her but did not have a prescription for the medication, the newspaper reported. Both charges are third-degree felonies, punishable by up to five years in state prison.

In Jacksonville Theft Cases, the key number is 300. If the property in question is valued at less than $300, the charge is a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors can only lead to time in the county jail. However, if the value of the property is more than $300, the charge can be grand theft, which brings state prison time into the picture. Charges and potential penalties in Jacksonville Theft Cases are dictated by the value of the property that is stolen, as one might expect.

For example, if the property is valued at less than $100, the charge is a second-degree misdemeanor. The maximum punishment is 60 days in county jail and a $500 fine. If the value is between $100 and $300, the charge bumps up to a first-degree misdemeanor, which can bring up to one year in the county jail and a $1,000 fine. Misdemeanor theft charges are called petit thefts. There are other factors that can be considered, including the defendant’s criminal record – specifically as it relates to theft charges. For example, a person who is charged with theft and has also previously pleaded guilty to or been convicted of petit theft is automatically charged with a first-degree misdemeanor – even if the value is under $100. Along the same lines, if a person is arrested for petit theft and has two or more prior theft convictions, he or she can be charged with felony grand theft – regardless of the value of the property in question.  Our Jacksonville Theft Attorney represents people accused of all levels of theft and knows all of the various factors that can affect the severity of the charges. Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney will thoroughly investigate the case against you or your loved one and provide you with the information you need to make a decision on how to proceed with the case.

A Jacksonville man was sentenced this month to more than 20 years in prison on a second-degree murder charge, even though he was not the one that pulled the trigger.  In fact, the man and his 27-year-old cousin were armed and in bulletproof vests when they went to a Southside apartment complex to commit a robbery, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. But, while the man’s cousin was inside the apartment, a fight broke out and the cousin was shot in the head, the newspaper reported. The defendant was then charged with second-degree felony murder and conspiracy to commit armed robbery, the newspaper reported. Both charges are first-degree felonies.

In Florida, a person can be charged with felony murder if someone dies during the commission of a felony. So the act of the original felony can allow someone to be charged with murder. In this case, the defendant was not even in the apartment at the time his cousin was killed. But it was the act of planning the robbery, to the point of becoming armed and wearing a bulletproof vest, which was a felony on its own and allowed for the felony murder charge to be filed. So in proving this case beyond a reasonable doubt, the state must only prove two things: That the defendant was committing a felony and that someone was killed. A jury convicted the defendant this summer on the felony murder and the conspiracy to commit armed robbery charges. He was sentenced to 22 years on the murder charge and 15 years on the armed robbery. The judge chose to run the sentences concurrently, meaning he will serve them both at the same time and only serve the 22 years. If the judge chose to run the sentences consecutively, then he would have to serve both sentences and be in prison for 37 years. Concurrent sentences are far more common, but there are certain Jacksonville Gun Crimes that require judges to issue consecutive sentences when guns are fired and minimum mandatory sentences apply.

The man who shot the cousin was not charged at all in the case. Prosecutors ruled the shooting was in self-defense. State law allows people to respond with deadly force if someone enters their home, or if they feel they are in danger of great bodily harm or death.  Our Jacksonville Robbery Crimes Attorney will fully investigate the charges against you or your loved and sit down to go over a range of options so you can make the best decision going forward in the case.

A St. Johns County contractor was arrested this month on a felony charge, accused of not delivering on work after he had been paid deposits.  Police said they started investigating the contractor in 2013 and found more than 10 people who had contracts with the man for home renovations, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Permits were never issued for any of the work and the man required customers to provide at least 75 percent of the money up front, the newspaper reported. The contractor was not licensed to do the work and homeowners reported a total loss of about $150,000, the newspaper reported.

The man was charged with an organized scheme to defraud of more than $50,000. This St. Johns County Theft Charge is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in state prison. According to Florida law a scheme to defraud is “a systematic, ongoing course of conduct with intent to defraud one or more persons, or with intent to obtain property from one or more persons by false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises or willful misrepresentations of a future act.” In order to prove this type of case, the state needs to prove this was an ongoing, intentional scheme where the contractor had no intent of every doing the work that he had been paid for.  As in all St. Johns County Theft Cases, the potential punishment is based on the value of the property or alleged theft in question. For example, an organized scheme to defraud of less than $20,000 is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in state prison. When the value jumps to between $20,000 and $50,000, the charge becomes a second-degree felony with a maximum penalty of 15 years in state prison. Once the crime crosses the $50,000 threshold, as it did in this St. Johns County Theft Case, the charge can become a first-degree felony.

In many St. County Theft Cases such as this one, other potential victims may tend to come forward once they know the allegations are made public. Because this investigation is already pushing two years, that may not be the case. Although it would not change the charges in this St. Johns County Theft Case because it is already a first-degree felony, an increase in the number of alleged victims in the case would be adding more people who could likely testify should the case go to trial.  Our St. Johns County Theft Attorney represents people in all types of theft cases, from misdemeanor theft charges on up to felony schemes to defraud.

What started with a theft from a store snowballed into serious felonies that now have two Clay County woman facing decades behind bars.  The women were accused of stealing clothes from a Clay County store and then speeding off and throwing price tags out the window when a police car was chasing them, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The car hit a curb and blew a tire, and the driver drove through a parking lot where police lost sight of it, the newspaper reported. The women then got out, walked into traffic and forced their way into a stranger’s vehicle, who eventually pulled over with police behind her, the newspaper reported.

Instead of facing a third-degree felony for the theft, the chase and subsequent carjacking has both women now facing a total of 55 years in state prison for these Clay County Felony Cases. That would be if the judge chose to issue the maximum sentence on each charge and run the sentences consecutively – not likely, but it does show the seriousness of the case and how the penalties escalated.  Both women are charged with carjacking and false imprisonment of an adult on the second part of the crime.

Carjacking, even without a weapon, is a first-degree felony with a maximum penalty of up to 30 years in state prison. False imprisonment of an adult is a third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of five years in state prison. On the theft side of this Clay County Felony Case, they are charged with fleeing and eluding a police officer with disregard for safety to persons or property; grand theft; and resisting a retail merchant. The fleeing charge is the most serious of these charges and is a second-degree felony that could result in up to 15 years in state prison. The grand theft charge is another third-degree felony with a maximum sentence of five years and the resisting a retail merchant charge is a misdemeanor that is only punishable by up to a year in the county jail.

A Clay County man accused of driving a stolen car into a pedestrian and leaving the scene of the accident has been arrested and is now facing several charges.  An 18-year-old man was in a crosswalk when a man drove into him, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The pedestrian was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, the newspaper reported. Witnesses said the driver immediately drove off and the car was found abandoned in a nearby parking lot, the newspaper reported. The car had been reported stolen two hours before the accident, though it is not clear how police connected the dots between the car and the suspect.

The driver is in this Clay County Traffic Case charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing serious bodily injury, grand theft of a vehicle and driving without a license. Two of the three charges are felonies: leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in state prison, while grand theft is a third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of five years in state prison. The driving with a suspended license charge is a misdemeanor. While the charge does not carry any prison time, only a year in the county jail, it could play a major role in the offer from prosecutors and the potential sentence from the judge.

In Clay County Traffic Cases, judges know that accidents happen and the overwhelming majority occur without criminal intent. However, when a person has a suspended license because of numerous traffic tickets, drives anyway, causes an accident and then leaves the scene of the accident to avoid getting caught, judges can tend to lean away from a lenient sentence. If the driver has past convictions for driving on a suspended license, as appears to be the case in this Clay County Traffic Case, prosecutors and judges will be even less inclined to give the defendant the benefit of the doubt. The fact that the crash happened in what is alleged to be a stolen car certainly doesn’t help the driver’s case either.  Even when felony charges are not in play, Clay County Traffic Cases can have serious consequences for drivers. As tickets and point accumulate, they can result having a driver’s license suspended and lead to skyrocketing car insurance rates. Our Clay County Traffic Attorney represents people charged with all types of traffic charges – from speeding tickets on up to serious felonies such as this Clay County Traffic Case.