Recently in Theft Crimes in Jacksonville Category

Former St. Johns County office manager charged with theft, accused of stealing from company

December 15, 2014

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.

Jacksonville man arrested, accused in a string of toilet flushing mechanism thefts from public restrooms

November 21, 2014

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.

Pest control employee accused of stealing jewelry from customers' homes, then selling the items for cash

October 20, 2014

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.

Clay County police searching for woman in wallet theft

October 3, 2014

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.

Jacksonville teen arrested, charged with a series of break-ins to homes and vehicles

September 22, 2014

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.

Nassau County deputies conduct drug-related search, find stolen property

August 22, 2014

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.

Man drives stolen van right by Jacksonville police and victim, is arrested after a chase

August 8, 2014

A Jacksonville man was arrested after he drove a stolen van in front of the victim who was talking with three police officers about the vehicle. Police then jumped in their cars after the driver and eventually arrested him, according to a report on News4Jax. The man is charged with several counts of dealing in stolen property and also charged with fleeing from police. The severity of the Jacksonville Theft Charges will be determined by the value of the property he is accused of stealing. Fleeing and eluding police is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in state prison.

Nearly all Jacksonville Theft Charges are based solely on the value of the property the state can prove is stolen. There are certain enhanced charges if the property is taken from inside a home, from law enforcement or an emergency vehicle, but those factors are not in play in this Jacksonville Theft Case. For example, if a person is accused of stealing property with a value of less than $100, the charge is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail. If the value is between $100 and $300, the charge is a first-degree misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail. In Jacksonville Theft Cases, the key number is really 300. Once the value of the property surpasses $300, the state can charge the crime as a third-degree felony. Then, the potential penalty goes up to five years in state prison. State prison comes into the picture only in Jacksonville Felony Cases. People cannot be sent to state prison on misdemeanor charges.

In this Jacksonville Theft Case, media reports have not mentioned any charges related to stealing the vehicle itself. Police could still be trying to determine whether the suspect was the one who took the vehicle or had knowledge that the vehicle was stolen. The way the steering column had been destroyed, it would have been difficult to not think it was stolen, but the van had been missing for weeks when it was discovered. The owner told the television station he was more concerned about the missing lawn equipment he uses for his business, so the state could be looking at a plea bargain for this suspect in exchange for information leading to the missing equipment - if that is possible. Unless this suspect is proven to have the equipment, or to have sold the equipment, it will be unlikely the state is able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he is responsible for stealing the van. Our Jacksonville Theft Crimes Attorney knows the specific elements needed to prove varying degrees of Jacksonville Theft Charges. Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney will thoroughly investigate the charges against you or your loved one and lay out the case so you can 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 Violent Crimes Attorney, Victoria "Tori" Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

St. Johns County man facing felony theft charge, accused of stealing from Girl Scout cookie sales

Police arrested a St. Augustine man accused of stealing more than $400 from a Girl Scout troop that was wrapping up cookie sales outside of a local grocery store. The 22-year-old man was arrested after he was found in a shed behind his home, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. When police found him, the suspect had marijuana and drug paraphernalia on him, the newspaper reported. He is now facing three charges - the most serious of which is grand theft, a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in state prison. He is also charged with possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both charges are first-degree misdemeanors with maximum penalties of up to one year in the county jail.

This St. Johns County Theft Case is a felony because of the amount the man is accused of stealing. The severity of charges in St. Johns County Theft Cases is always based on the value of the property that was allegedly taken. The threshold for a felony charge is $300. Between $100 and $300 would have been a misdemeanor petit theft charge, and the maximum penalty would have been the same as the two drug charges the man is now facing in county court. Police said the suspect was sitting on a bench outside the grocery store when the troop started packing up for the day and put all of the proceeds into one bag, the newspaper reported. The man walked up, took the bag, and left the area on a blue bicycle, the newspaper reported. Police found the bicycle, which belonged to someone else, but learned someone borrowed it at the grocery store, the newspaper reported. The Girl Scout leader identified a picture of the person who borrowed the bike as the person who took the bag of money. Police went to his home, as that's where they say they found him in a shed with marijuana.

This is a St. Johns County Theft Case where the punishment may be more than normal, simply because of the facts of the case. Rarely do cases of people taking $400 make headlines in the local media. But this one has been news for days because the money was taken from a group of Girl Scouts trying to raise money by selling cookies. If the case can be proven and the man is either convicted or chooses to plead guilty in this St. Johns County Theft Case, this will be an element the defendant will have to answer to. Not all St. Johns County Theft Cases are treated equally and those that victimize vulnerable or sympathetic figures, such as children, seniors or charitable groups, tend to garner stiffer penalties. Our St. Johns County Theft Attorney represents people accused of all levels of theft - from misdemeanor charges 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 St. Johns County Theft Attorney, Victoria "Tori" Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Three teens charged with beating, kidnapping and robbing man getting into his car in Jacksonville Beach

April 23, 2014

Two 14-year-old boys and a 15-year-old girl were arrested this month, accused of beating and carjacking a Jacksonville man and trying to force him to withdraw money from his bank account. The man escaped by running into a Wal-Mart store where the teens planned to use his card inside the store, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The man told police as he was getting into his car, three teens pulled him out of the car and punched him in the face repeatedly, the newspaper reported. The teens then stole his watch, wallet and phone, and threw him in the back off the car, threatening to kill him if he tried to escape, the newspaper reported. After two attempts to get money from the man's bank account failed, the teens drove to the Wal-Mart and the 30-year-old alleged victim took off running into the store, the newspaper reported. The teens took off in the car and the man called police.

Police found the car a couple of days later being towed from a private lot and tracked the teens down using surveillance footage from various Wal-Marts and gas stations where the debit card was used, the newspaper reported. The teens were charged with kidnapping, carjacking, strong-armed robbery and fraudulently using the man's ATM card, the newspaper reported. All four Jacksonville Violent Crime charges are felonies and the total prison time exposure could essentially be a life sentence - even for teens. The key in this case is whether the state will charge any or all of the three as adults, or treat these as Jacksonville Juvenile Crimes Cases. It will be an interesting and closely scrutinized decision. The violent nature of the crimes is exactly where prosecutors in Clay County, Duval County and Nassau County have been choosing to treat the teens as adults and bring the cases through adult court. But, the defendants are particularly young in this case - with two 14-year-old boys and a 15-year-old girl facing serious felony charges in this Jacksonville Violent Crimes Case.

If the state decides to pursue the cases in juvenile court, there are five levels of incarceration, from essentially house arrest on up to what amounts to a prison for teens. The court system in Jacksonville Juvenile Crimes cases is meant to punish teens for their crimes, but also take into consideration that they are not adults and do not have the critical decision-making skills that adults have. Crimes like these would likely lead to something close to a life sentence for an adult, if all charges could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down life sentences for juveniles not convicted of murder, so that would not be an option in this case. But a lengthy prison sentence could be on the table, so it will be interesting to see if these cases end up in adult or juvenile court.

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 Violent Crimes Attorney, Victoria "Tori" Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

St. Johns County police sergeant arrested after being accused of lying on time sheets

April 12, 2014

A St. Johns County police sergeant was fired and arrested, charged with a felony after his supervisors say he was stealing money by claiming to be in two places at the same time. The sergeant was arrested after an internal investigation found he was charging for working for the sheriff's office and for an off-duty job on the same days, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. He was charged with organizing a scheme to defraud of less than $20,000 and with two counts of filing false documents as a public official. All three charges are third-degree felonies in this St. Johns County Theft Case with maximum penalties of five years in state prison on each count. It's unlikely in a case like this, but the now former sergeant could be facing up to 15 years in prison if the judge chose to run the sentences consecutively.

The sergeant had been with the department for 16 years, the newspaper reported. He was accused of patrolling a neighborhood on-duty and also being paid for patrolling at the same time in an off-duty capacity, the newspaper reported. An audit of time sheets confirmed what police called a "classic case of double-dipping," in this St. Johns County Theft Case, the newspaper reported. Not only would the officer be putting his career and his retirement on the line - public officials in Florida convicted of felonies in connection with their employment can have their pension revoked - the sheriff's office could have some problems with potential cases where this officer is a witness.

If a witness in a trial has even been convicted of a crime of dishonestly, you can bet that a St. Johns County Criminal Defense Attorney will bring it up at trial. Those crimes include fraud, theft, filing false documents - pretty much any crime involved with lying or stealing. If a witness has, it seriously damages his or her credibility. That rings even more true if that witness is a former police officer fired for a crime of dishonesty. Chances are, the state would not being calling him as a witness anymore, but you can bet a St. Johns County Criminal Defense Attorney would do so if that former sergeant was in any way, shape or form associated with a case. When police officers are involved in crimes, it does more than just alter their lives. It causes prosecutors and defense attorneys to take a close look at those cases and perhaps reevaluate strategy in terms of pursing or fighting the charges. An experienced St. Johns County Criminal Defense Attorney will thoroughly examine all of the facts or your case, and the witnesses who will be used against you, and use everything at their disposal to defend you or your loved one.

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.

Jacksonville man convicted of robbing a McDonald's from the drive-thru window

March 22, 2014

A Jacksonville man faces life in prison after a jury found him guilty of armed robbery and several other counts in connection with a robbery of a local fast-food restaurant in 2012. Police said the man approached the closed McDonald's at drive-thru window and asked employees to let him inside, according to a report from News4Jax. When the employee told him no, the man pointed a gun at him and demanded all of the money in the register, the television station reported. The suspect then fired a shot into the window, reached through the glass, took the money and ran away, the television station reported.

Police found him that evening, with the gun used in the robbery and $700 cash in his pocket, the television station reported. The man was charged with several Duval County felonies, the biggest being armed robbery. He was also charged with armed possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana which is also a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison. The same marijuana charge without a gun is a third-degree felony with a maximum sentence of five years in prison. The armed robbery charge, though, is the most severe, and the one for which he could face a life sentence. Often times the two words are used interchangeably, but there is a huge difference between burglary and robbery in Jacksonville Theft Cases. A burglary is taking something from a home or a car without a confrontation. Robbery is taking something directly from a person, with violence or the threat of violence. For example, a Jacksonville Theft Case is a burglary when someone breaks into a car and takes a cell phone, or even just opens an unlocked car door and takes things from the vehicle. Burglary is a third-degree felony - unless the home or vehicle is occupied, even if the suspect doesn't know people are there. Then it becomes a second-degree felony. The basic point in the felony degrees is, the more directly the crime relates to threatening or injuring a person, the more severe the crime and the punishment.

In this Jacksonville Robbery Case, the suspect was convicted of firing a gun, which brings the life sentence into play. The life sentence is not automatic, as it is in a first-degree murder case and in some Jacksonville Sex Crimes Cases, but it's certainly a possibility, given the facts of the case. Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney is experienced in all types of Jacksonville Theft Cases - from misdemeanor petit theft cases on up to burglary and armed robbery.

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.


Jacksonville police officer arrested, accused of stealing supplement from gym

A Jacksonville police officer is now facing charges himself after detectives say he stole a $49 supplement from a local gym. Jacksonville Sheriff's Office officials announced the arrest last month, saying the officer was removed from the street while the investigation was being conducted, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Surveillance video from the gym allegedly shows the officer with a bottle in his hand, ducking behind the counter and then coming back into view with nothing in his hand, the newspaper reported. The officer says he told the clerk to put the cream supplement on his account and was not trying to steal anything, the newspaper reported.

The officer in this Jacksonville Theft Case will likely be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor charge of petit theft, punishable by up to 60 days in the county jail and a $500 fine. The severity of the charge and possible punishment Jacksonville Theft Cases is determined by the value of the property the person is accused of stealing. In this Jacksonville Theft Case, the officer would be facing the least serious charge possible. People accused of theft of less than $100 can be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. When the value is between $100 and $300, the charge is a first-degree misdemeanor and the penalty goes up to a maximum of one year in the county jail and a $1,000 fine.

The $300 threshold is really the key in Jacksonville Theft Cases. Once the value tops $300, the charge becomes a felony. Grand Theft in Jacksonville is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in state prison. There are other caveats that can increase the penalty, including if the property is taken from an emergency vehicle, but the main number to know is $300. Charges in Jacksonville Theft Cases can also increase based on the person's criminal record. If someone has one petit theft conviction on his or her record, the charge is automatically a first-degree misdemeanor - even if the property in the Jacksonville Theft Case is worth less than $100. And if the person has two or more convictions, the case becomes a felony - again, regardless of the amount. In many Jacksonville Theft Cases, first-time offenders may be offered a diversionary program, where if they meet certain conditions and pay back the value of the property, the charges may be dropped. Our Jacksonville Theft Attorney can help negotiate a disposition that is hopefully favorable, and something you or your loved one can live with, complete and move on from.

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.

Former Clay County schools bookkeeper faces multiple felony theft charges

February 25, 2014

A former bookkeeper with Clay County schools was arrested last week, charged with several felonies and accused of stealing $57,000 from the school district. The bookkeeper resigned last year while she was being investigated and said she did not intentionally take any money, instead pointing to poor paperwork and recordkeeping, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Law enforcement sees it differently and the state charged her last week with grand theft, uttering a forged instrument and running a scheme to defraud.

The multiple charges come in because of the manner in which these Clay County Theft Crimes were allegedly committed. For example, police say the woman forged receipts and paperwork that made it look like she paid for school expenses with her own money, though in reality she use a school credit card, the newspaper reported. That likely led to the charge of uttering a forged instrument, a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. In Clay County Theft Cases, the uttering charge that is always a third-degree felony is more the exception than the rule. In most all other Clay County theft cases, the charge and the potential penalty are based on the value of the property the suspect is accused of stealing. Theft itself can be a misdemeanor or run all the way up to a first-degree felony.

The same escalating scale applies in the scheme to defraud charge the woman is also facing in this Clay County Theft Case. 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." Because she is accused of taking $57,000, she can be charged with a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in state prison. She narrowly exceeded the threshold - anything from $20,000 to $50,000 is a second-degree felony with a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison. A scheme to defraud that the state says netted less than $20,000 is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

The scheme to defraud charge in a Clay County Theft Case is often used to bring several charges under one umbrella. Similar charges were filed earlier this year against a Clay County Clerk of Courts employee accused of stealing and pawning computer equipment. Our Clay County Theft Attorney is experienced in all types of theft cases and has represented people facing a variety of theft charges.

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.

State files new charges against former Clay County employee accused of stealing electronics

January 27, 2014

After his initial dismissal and arrest on theft charges, police implied there may be more charges filed against a former Clay County information technology director accused of stealing and pawning county property. Those charges came this month in his Clay County Theft Case, with prosecutors filing an all-compassing charge with major ramifications, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The charge brings at least 80 confirmed cases against Michael Hamilton under one umbrella, the newspaper reported. Hamilton was arrested in December on three felony charges.

This time, Hamilton is charged with running a scheme to defraud. As with all Clay County Theft Cases, the felony degree and, subsequently, the maximum prison time, is determined by the value of the property involved in the alleged scheme. In this Clay County Theft Case, Hamilton comes in at the very top of the scale. He is charged with a scheme to defraud more than $50,000, a first-degree felony that carries a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in state prison. According to state statutes, 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."

Police say dozens of computers and other electronic equipment were stolen, pawned and then traced back to Hamilton, the newspaper reported. Police have tracked down about 60 percent of the items and about $15,000 in equipment is still unaccounted for, the newspaper reported. There are two tracks the state can take in a Clay County Theft Case such as this. Prosecutors can stack all of the cases up together and charge Hamilton with dozens of theft and dealing in stolen property charges, the most serious of which is a second-degree felony. Second-degree felonies have a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, so if Hamilton was found guilty of several of them, his maximum sentence could be well into the triple digits. But judges are often more likely to let defendants serve sentences concurrently, meaning if he received 15 years on 20 different counts, he would likely just serve the 15 years and be done. Now, the maximum will be 30 years and the state will have laid out its entire case, showing the sheer volume it alleges Hamilton stole. The state often holds back a couple of theft charges it can try individually, a sort of insurance policy if something happens with the larger case. Our Clay County Theft Attorneys represent people accused of all levels of theft - from misdemeanors with something worth less than $100 to first-degree felonies that Hamilton is now facing.

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.

Former Clay County information technology director accused of stealing county property

December 23, 2013

A former director with the Clay County Clerk of Courts is now facing charges, accused of stealing county equipment and selling it a local pawns shop. Michael Hamilton was arrested this month on three felony charges, shortly after he was fired for suspicion of misconduct, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. More charges could be coming, as he is a suspect in the disappearance of dozens of computers and other electronic equipment over the past few months, the newspaper reported.

For now in this Clay County Theft Case, Hamilton is charged with grand theft, dealing in stolen property and false verification of ownership. Grand theft is a third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of five years in state prison; dealing in stolen property is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison; and false verification of ownership will also be a second-degree felony in this Clay County theft case. The punishment and felony degree in Clay County Theft Cases is mostly determined by the value of the property that the defendant is accused of stealing. This Clay County Theft Case falls between might seem to be thresholds on the false verification of ownership. It's a third-degree felony if the property is values at less than $300, but at more than $300 it crosses into a second-degree felony. The firewall system Hamilton is accused of stealing in this Clay County Theft Case is valued at $2,000, but he only received $200 for it at the pawn shop, the newspaper reported. The pawnbroker value does not determine the actual value when it comes to criminal charges.

There are often two paths police can take when they think someone is a part of a larger crime scheme, as Hamilton is suspected of in this Clay County Theft Case. They can wait until they have all of the pieces lined up and then make the arrest, or they can pounce on the first thing they find and try to piece the rest together before the case resolves. It appears they have gone for the latter in this Clay County Theft Case. Police may be telling him they will recommend leniency with the court if he confesses to all he took and they wrap up the investigation. If Hamilton chooses not to talk to police, which is his right, the case may be in the system longer, and could result in several more charges if police can prove it was Hamilton behind the rest of the stolen property in this Clay County Theft Case. In a case like this when a defendant knows there is a bigger investigation ongoing, a Clay County Theft Attorney can help sort through the case - and be there when the suspect speaks to police, if he or she decides to do so.

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.