A Neptune Beach police officer has been arrested on the charge of grand theft in Jacksonville. According to a report on jacksonville.com, the officer was stealing money while searching citizen’s cars that he pulled over for traffic infractions. Police began suspecting the thefts after several people complained about missing money. An undercover investigation was conducted and the officer allegedly stole just over eight hundred dollars. During a subsequent interview, the officer allegedly admitted to the thefts. After being arrested, the officer went in front of a judge and a one thousand dollar Jacksonville bond was issued for his release. The case is ongoing.
The crime of theft in Florida occurs when a person knowingly obtains or uses, or tries to obtain or use, the property of another person with the intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the other person of the property or benefit from the property. There are different levels of the crime of theft in Duval County, depending on the value of the property stolen. If the value of the property us under three hundred dollars, the crime is a misdemeanor, punishable by a year or under in jail. If the value of the property stolen is three hundred dollars or over, the theft becomes a felony, punishable by prison time.
If any kind of theft case, restitution is always considered by the State Attorney’s Office. Restitution is the payment of lost value of something that was taken from a victim. When any person is arrested for a theft, the prosecutor assigned to the case makes contact with the alleged victim to find out how much money it will take to make that person whole. Once that amount is determined, paying that amount is always part of a negotiated disposition in the criminal case. Placing a defendant on probation to pay the money is a way to enforce the payment. Prosecutors can also file a restitution order with the court, which is a document that enforces the payment of restitution civilly. In this case with the police officer, restitution to the victims will surely be part of the case.
When a person has been arrested for a theft charge with no criminal history, a diversion program is an option. Diversion programs, for the most part, are at the discretion of the prosecutor assigned to the case and allow a case to be dropped once completed. That is why it is vital to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after the arrest. Before the decision to file the charge(s) is made, a criminal defense lawyer can meet with the prosecutor presenting additional evidence and mitigating information.
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.