Jacksonville police are asking for the public’s help in finding a woman detectives believe is responsible for a series of automobile burglaries in a Westside neighborhood. Police say they believe Bresha Harris either pawned or attempted to sell various items that were stolen from cars and trucks at the end of last year, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. She has not been charged, but would likely be facing at least 20 years in prison if convicted.
She would likely be facing a third-degree felony for a burglary to a motor vehicle and a second-degree felony for dealing in stolen property in this Jacksonville Theft Case. Third-degree felonies are punishable by up to five years in prison while a second-degree felony has a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison. And while the two terms are often used interchangeably in Jacksonville Theft Cases, there is a huge distinction between a burglary and a robbery. A burglary in Duval County is taking something from a structure or place – whether that’s a home, a business, a car, etc. A robbery in Jacksonville is taking something directly from a person, with the real or perceived threat of violence if the victim does not comply. All Jacksonville Theft Crimes are serious, but burglary often carries less time in prison, while someone convicted in an armed robbery could receive up to life in prison.
The thinking is a robbery puts human life in immediate danger. So it also makes sense in burglary cases that the charge, felony degree and, ultimately, length of sentence if a defendant pleads or is found guilty, is determined by whether people are present. For example, if someone is accused of breaking into a vehicle and there happens to be a person inside the vehicle at the time, that third-degree felony becomes a second-degree felony. And, any Jacksonville Theft Case that is a burglary from breaking into a person’s home automatically becomes a second-degree felony. Cases involving people are obviously more serious and burglaries to vehicles are, unfortunately, a dime a dozen in Jacksonville and in every major city across the country. In many cases, suspects are not caught and police typically don’t have the resources to make the cases a top priority.
These Jacksonville Theft Crimes that Harris is a suspect in do seem like small potatoes for police to issue a news release, in hopes that the media will plaster her face on their websites and broadcasts. There are two likely reasons for this move by police. The first is they suspect her of something more serious, but they know they can arrest her in this Jacksonville Theft Case while detectives investigate the more serious case to the point they are ready to bring charges. Second, when people are not used to the criminal justice system, a public plea from police such as this one can often be enough for the person to turn himself or herself in. In a situation like this Jacksonville Theft Case, it’s important to speak with a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney once you know you are a suspect in a case. A Jacksonville Theft Attorney can advise you of your rights, the potential charges against you, and accompany you to turn yourself in and begin defending yourself against the 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 Jacksonville Theft Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.