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.