Articles Posted in Robbery / Theft

Jacksonville Criminal Defense LawyerWhether you are a Florida resident or simply visiting the area for summer vacation, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with two of the most commonly charged criminal offenses in the state.

The following article will help you better understand what these crimes entail, the penalties associated with them, and the ramifications of been charged with them.

Drug Offenses

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyJacksonville has a growing population and with this increase of residents also comes an increase in juvenile crime. I am not saying all children are prone to commit criminal activities. But, as a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney I am aware that the theory of probability is when you have more and more people crime is inevitably going to increase. One such incident occurred in Jacksonville last November involving 16-year-old Zachary Lambert.

Lambert was a troubled teen, but generally was a good kid. However, one day in November 2011 he decided to steal a pickup truck and go for a “joy-ride.” When the police located Lambert he fled the police. At the intersection of San Pablo and Beach Blvd. he ran the red light and struck another vehicle. The collision killed the other driver, Christopher Thompson (22) who was on his way to work at the Mayo Clinic. Lambert was subsequently charged with 3rd degree murder, vehicular homicide, aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement office, and grand theft auto.

After many discussions and negotiations between the State and the Jacksonville Criminal Attorney, Lambert decided the best course of action would be to arrange a plea deal with the state instead of proceeding to trial. A fact that many might not know is approximately 90% of criminal cases never make it to trial and are resolved through plea agreements. On Monday, Lambert plea guilty to vehicular homicide, aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement office, and grand theft auto. Although he has not been sentenced, scheduled for August, he could face up to 35 years in prison.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyA 40-year-old Jacksonville man was shot outside a Wells Fargo Bank while attempting to retrieve money from the ATM.

We all have the need for cash instead of credit cards that we are all accustomed to using. However, sometimes the situation calls for cash. Jacksonville Residents do not think twice about going to the local ATM and getting that much needed cash. However, those feelings and desires have changed following Monday night’s incident.

At or about 11:30 PM on Monday evening, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office responded to a call at the Wells Fargo Bank on Baymeadows Road. When the Officers arrived they met with the victim, who had been shot twice; once in the left arm and another shot to the stomach. The victim stated when he drove up to the ATM two masked men approached and shot him twice; one had a sliver gun.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyDuval is a large county, one of the largest for that matter, and with a large population size come an increase of Criminal activity. This does not mean Jacksonville and the surrounding areas are bad areas, its just the large population gives way to more criminal activity than a county with less of a population size. As a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney I am constantly asked one question, What kind of penality/jailtime am I looking at? I hate to say the cliché Attorney, but it really does all depend upon your specific case and circumstances surrounding your criminal offense. However, with that being said, here are the statutorily defined penalties for both Misdemeanors and Felonies in Florida.

2nd Degree Misdemeanor

An offense listed as a 2nd degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and/or fines not to exceed $500.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyLocal Restaurant was destroyed by Fire this morning and the investigation into the cause is still underway. Wasabi Buffet located in Jacksonville’s historic Five Point Area. Besides the damage to Wasabi, three other businesses were also damaged (Firehouse Subs, Hot Wok, and a laundry). The fire was reported at approximately 3:30 this morning and fire marshal’s were able to get the fire under control before it spread too far into surrounding businesses.

In Florida, Arson is defined by Florida Statute § 806.01, which reads “any person who willfully and unlawfully, or while in the commission of any felony, by fire or explosion, damages or causes to be damaged: any dwelling…any structure…any other structure that he or she knew or has reasonable grounds to believe was occupied by a human being.” If convicted for Arson it is a Felony in the first-degree, which holds a penalty of up to 30 years in prison and/or up to a $10000 fine. In contrast, if you commit Arson against property of your own, it is a second degree-felony punishable by 15 years in prison and up to a $10000 fine.

Although this Fire investigation is still in its initial stages, if the homeowners are found to have intentionally set the fire, they could be facing a second-degree felony charge. If on the hand, someone else set the fire, they could potentially face a first-degree felony charge. Or it could just be an accidental fire and no charges will be brought.

Jacksonville Criminal LawyerWe all make mistakes, bad judgment calls, and are influenced by our peers. However, some these not so good decisions can result in Jacksonville Criminal Charges. When this happens you could be facing serious penalties for your actions. However, with the guidance and assistance of a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney they can fight the state and work to get you the best possible outcome of your case. Ultimately, you want the charges dropped but that is not always a viable option when negotiating with the State. However, if you Adjudication Withheld, you are in a position to have your record sealed.

Now that you have moved on from your Withhold of your Jacksonville Criminal Charge, do you have to disclose this information to potential employers? I get asked this question all the time. Clients are applying for a job and want to know how to answer the question, “Have you ever been convicted of felony?” The correct answer for this question is NO. If you received a Withhold for your Jacksonville Criminal Charge, you were never CONVICTED, therefore the correct answer to that question is NO.

However, just because adjudication was Withheld, does not mean it will not appear on a background check. Therefore, you are in a position in whether to tell an employer first or to wait for the employer to ask; if at all. Unfortunately, there is no correct answer to this question. Sometimes its better to take the proactive step and notify them ahead of time and explain the situation. But, that can lead to quick judgments. In contrast, if you wait, they may look at it as you are trying to hide something. So, one just has to feel their way through the process and determine what is the best plan of action for their individual case.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyA recent case before the 2nd DCA was ruled upon on June 1, 2012. The case, Shawn D. Almond v. State of Florida, reviewed the issue of delayed designation of the Defendant as a “sexual predator.” The Court waited over 12 years before filing the motion to designate the Defendant as a “sexual predator.”

The facts are simple. The Defendant was charged with sexual battery with force and burglary with assault back in 1996. In 1998, he plead out to the two charges and received 12 years incarceration and 5 years of probation. In 2010, Almond was released from State Prison. He was on probation for the following two years when the State filed a motion to designate him as a “sexual predator.” The Defendant was subsequently designated a “sexual predator” following a hearing. The Defendant now appeals that designation.

The issue before the court is whether the State can file such a motion after so much time has passed following the sentencing of the Defendant. Designation as a sexual predator is defined under Florida Statute §775.21 (4)(c)(1)(a). In this case, Almond clearly fits within the statutory confines as a sexual predator. However, Almond contends the delay in designation would therefore bar the state from filing such a motion. However, Florida Statute § 775.21(5)(a)(2) allows the State to bring such a motion when information obtains qualifies an offender as a sexual predator.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyA Jacksonville federal jury wasted no time in convicting the leader of a local gang. Maynard Kenneth Godwin is the leader of a gang called the Guardian. After a long federal trial, Godwin was found guilty of racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering. On each count, Godwin is looking at a maximum of 20 years in prison, a potential 40-year sentence.

Racketeering is a federal charge involving a violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO). RICO was first passed by the federal government in 1970 as part of an effort stop the spread of organized crime in the United States. The purpose of the law is to punish organizations that engage in criminal conduct. If the government can prove that an individual engaged in a pattern of illegal activity to promote the existence of a criminal organization, the defendant can face significant federal charges.

Godwin’s involved a double jury, one for him and one for his co-defendant, Eric Ellis, who was convicted of a home invasion and other offenses. Ellis faces a possible life sentence. The double jury was the first one ever used in the Middle District of Florida. Prosecutors chose to empanel two jurors because both defendants had incriminating evidence against each other, thus preserving each defendant’s constitutional right to confront the witnesses against them. Each jury is charged with determining the guilt or innocence of only one defendant.

BulletsA recent shooting outside Arby’s located on Baymeadows Rd. in Jacksonville, Florida leaves Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) on the manhunt for the suspect. This shooting struck my attention as a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer because I frequent that area and have eaten at that establishment in the past. With the little information provided to the press about the shooting, I am left with concern as to the motive and possible defenses the suspect may have regarding this shooting.

According to reports, JSO responded to a 911 call on Wednesday around 3 PM. When JSO arrived they located the gunshot victim in the parking lot and took him to Orange Park Medical Center for treatment. His injuries are listed as serious, but not life-threatening. JSO investigated the shooting and questions witnesses that were at the restaurant at that time. However, they were not able to get a description or located the suspect at this time. The investigation is ongoing.

As a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer, this incident, without further details, brings many questions to mind. Was there an altercation between the suspect and victim? Was the suspect acting in self-defense? How does the victim portray the events leading up to the shooting? Could the victim actually identify the shooter? All these questions and more will have to be answered before the State can make an arrest or file charges. In addition, eyewitness testimony is notoriously inaccurate and largely incorrect.

Mandarin Criminal Defense LawyerOne of my goals as a Mandarin Criminal Defense Lawyer is to stay up-to-date on relevant news that might interest some Mandarin Criminal Defendants. Well, such news was just released earlier this morning. The Jury for Arthur Martin took just 45 minutes to return a vote in favor of the death sentence.

Arthur Martin, also known as “Shorty Fat,” was convicted last week for the murder of 19 year old Javon Daniels. The murder took place back in 2009 when Martin approached the young man’s vehicle while parked at a local Jacksonville Apartment Complex. Martin then proceeded to fire 12 rounds into the vehicle where Daniels sat. Daniels later died as a result of the injuries he suffered from the altercation.

Martin, however, is not new to the Criminal Justice System. He has been in and out of prison since 1990 and has frequently traveled between Georgia and Florida causing trouble everywhere he went. Most recently be released for burglary, armed robbery, and Murder.

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