A Jacksonville man was arrested in Duval County last week, accused of shining a laser light into the window of a police airplane. The man was charged with misuse of a laser pointing device, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Believe it or not, the crime is a third-degree felony in Jacksonville, punishable by up to five years in prison. The pilot said he saw a green light flash into the cockpit four times and was able to pinpoint the house where it was coming from. When police arrived at the house and began talking to the suspect’s wife, they heard him run through the house and eventually found him hiding in a bathtub. He told police he didn’t think the laser extended that far. The Federal Aviation Administration has had several complaints about lasers being pointed at pilots, the newspaper reported, so there is a possibility of more charges on the way. Police have not said whether or not the same man is a suspect in the other Duval County criminal cases, or if the lasers were pointed from the same general area in Jacksonville. Laser lights can be very dangerous for pilots, obstructing their vision and possibly causing a serious accident.
And it certainly doesn’t help the man’s case that it was a police plane that caught him. Police agencies don’t take too kindly to this type of behavior and could be looking to make an example of him. He may have picked the wrong plane to mess with. Is he likely to spend five years in prison for this crime? Probably not. It sounds like a joke, but misuse of a laser pointing device is among a handful of seemingly off-the-wall crimes that can be charged in the state of Florida. There is molesting a crab trap, even molesting a vending machine (both are misdemeanors in Jacksonville). You can be charged with a DUI even if you are driving a riding lawnmower or even a golf cart. The charges are funny until they are yours. Then they become serious, especially when serious prison time is involved. Anytime you are charged with or being investigated for a crime, it is a good idea to speak with a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney right away. You may not have heard of a particular charge, but there’s no doubt our Jacksonville criminal defense attorney has. We understand the severity of a criminal conviction – especially a felony – and will fully investigate any case, whether it’s a murder charge, a drug crime or even misuse of a laser pointing device.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm, PA at (904) 365-5200 for a free consultation. Our Duval County criminal defense lawyer is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.