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

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.