Articles Posted in Robbery / Theft

Orange Park Criminal Defense AttorneyWednesday a Florida Jury convicted 17-year old Shawn Tyson of two counts of first-degree murder. Now since the innocent/guilt phase of the bifurcated Florida Criminal Trial has concluded with a guilty conviction, the sentencing phase is to follow. During this phase of the Criminal proceeding the judge and jury will hear mitigating factors that can be considered to potentially reduce the time the Defendant will spend in prison. Currently, the Defendant is facing a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

This case stems from the April killings of two British tourists, James Cooper and James Kouzaris, 25 and 24 respectfully. According to reports, the two were staying with family friends near Sarasota when the incident took place. On the evening of April 15, the two tourist set off for dinner and drinks in the downtown area. After becoming intoxicated and enjoying the Sarasota nightlife, they got lost and accidentally arrived in Tyson’s housing project shortly before 3 AM. There Tyson confronted the two lost and drunk British tourists. Tyson then proceeded to shoot the two as they stood before him.

As an Orange Park Criminal Defense Attorney, I have followed this case closely and the Defense team had a hard case to litigate. Ultimately, the State was able to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, the Defendant was found guilty. This case arose as a robbery gone bad, unfortunately, these tough economic times lead some to act out in violent was in order to make ends meet.

Jacksonville Residents and people expect a certain amount of security in their home and neighborhoods, that’s why they chose to live in their current location. But, when Jacksonville Criminals strike, it puts one’s sense of safety into question. That is exactly what is occurring in our local Gentle Woods neighborhood. If these suspects are caught they could be facing multiple charges of Jacksonville Burglary.

In Jacksonville Florida, the crime of Burglary is defined under Florida Statute § 810.02. Under that Statute, Burglary is defined as, “entering a dwelling, structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein, unless the premises are at the time open to the public or the Defendant is licensed or invited to enter.” Furthermore, under this Statute, a vehicle is included within the meaning of conveyance.

In this case, the police have blurry photos and a general description of the vehicle the alleged suspects fled in. In addition according to a local news cast, the police have already pulled over a vehicle that matched the description and was not the alleged suspects. This is a prime example how police can make mistakes, and those mistakes can lead to innocent people being wrongly accused.

Armed-Robbery1As Jacksonville residents and Floridians elsewhere attempt to put our mild winter behind us and look forward to spring; many take to the seas for a quick and easy means of travel away from home. When we choose a cruise, its not just for the ports of call or the onboard activities it is for the excursions that are available once passengers arrive at their destinations. These excursions chosen for their cultural insight, adventure, and a taste of the local lifestyle, not being robbed at gunpoint during a planned excursion with a cruise line.

Unfortunately, that event recently occurred for passengers of Carnival Splendor heading to Mexico. The Cruise ship left Long Beach, California on February 19th headed to Mexico and returned on February 26th. Upon arrival in Mexico, some passengers, 22 to be exact, chose to take an excursion that would take them on a nature hike in the Mexican countryside. However, while returning to the cruise ship, armed bandits boarded their bus and they took all their belongings including, money, jewelry, and cameras. Luckily, no one was injured during this altercation.

This altercation with “armed bandits” in Mexico can be looked from two perspectives; one as a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer and another as a Jacksonville Personal Injury Lawyer. In the criminal perspective, assuming the US could get jurisdiction these bandits would be facing multiple Jacksonville Armed Robbery charges. Each count of Armed Robbery would constitute a first-degree felony and could potentially sentence the person to life imprisonment. In a Jacksonville Personal Injury perspective, the victims could potentially hold the cruise line liable for their losses. However, the cruise line’s liability is dependent upon all contracts and liability waivers the passengers signed before embarking on their journey.

KnifeThe Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) released an alert for Monique Hibbert wanted for alleged Armed Robbery back on January 20, 2012. Well, JSO has located their suspect, booked her, and charged her with Armed Robbery on February 2, 2012. JSO located the suspect when she was pulled over along with four others after allegedly shoplifting from a local department store.

The alleged incident occurred on January 9, 2012 when a woman matching Monique’s description entered Amy’s Beauty Supply brandishing a knife and stole 8 packages of hair weave. She left the store and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Armed Robbery, in this case, would constitute a first-degree felony. A first-degree felony is punishable by up to life imprisonment and/or $10,000 in fines. This is a harsh penalty for such a low reward; 8 packages of hair weave. Under Florida Statute § 812.13, Robbery is defined as the taking of money or other property with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the owner of their interest in the property. However, just because JSO arrests and charges a Jacksonville resident with a Jacksonville Criminal Offense, does not mean a conviction will follow. Witness identification is barely reliable and largely incorrect. Surveillance footage can be grainy and distorted. Furthermore, if the police do not have adequate evidence to prove their case “beyond a reasonable doubt” a conviction cannot stand.

Recently, the First District Court of Appeals heard a case overcharging a defendant. Colbert v. State, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D264a (Fla. 1st DCA 2012). In Colbert, Harley Colbert was charged with burglary to a dwelling. He was accused of stealing a bicycle from the outside of Alejandro Rojas’ home. According to the evidence presented:

“Mr. Rojas resided in a two-story townhouse. Protruding from underneath the townhouse’s front door was a concrete pad that connected to a front walkway. One side of the concrete pad was open to the front yard, while the other side abutted a layer of mulch. On the opposite side of the mulch was the exterior wall of the townhouse’s garage. The concrete pad and mulch were partially covered by the eave of the garage and the townhouse’s second floor balcony, which was not supported by posts. The concrete pad and mulch were both visually and physically open to the street… Rojas’s bicycle was sitting on the mulch between the concrete pad and the wall of the garage. At some point, Rojas saw Colbert walking down his driveway with the bicycle.” Id.

Under Section 810.011(2), a “dwelling” is defined as:

Section 810.02 defines burglary as:

1. Entering a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein, unless the premises are at the time open to the public or the defendant is licensed or invited to enter; or 2. Notwithstanding a licensed or invited entry, remaining in a dwelling, structure, or conveyance:

a. Surreptitiously, with the intent to commit an offense therein;

MercedesJohn Travolta, famous movie star and Florida resident, recently got the news that his 1970 Mercedes 280 SL will not be returned after Police made two arrests in connection with the grand theft. According to the reports, the two men have “chopped” the car and sold the parts. Travolta’s Mercedes was worth approximately $100,000.

The theft occurred last September when Travolta parked it near a Jaguar dealership in Los Angeles. The two men were subsequently arrested in December, but police have just release the news of the car’s “chopped” status. One of the men, D.L. Rayford Jr., pleaded no contest to grand theft and was sentenced to 16 months in prison. The other man, Michael Green, was already on probation for other theft crime when arrested for this incident. Although this crime took place in California, grand theft is also common in Jacksonville. Florida Statutes § 812.014 defines Grand Theft and penalties therein. In applying these facts to Florida law and under this statute this crime would be grand theft in the first-degree, a first-degree felony. The penalties range up to 30 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Grand Theft is a serious felony and has harsh penalties if convicted. Furthermore, taking on the legal system is not an easy task; especially if your unrepresented in Court. This is where the advice and counsel of a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer may prove invaluable. A Criminal Defense Lawyer can review your case, determine which defenses and justifications may apply, and make the proper determination as to the best approach in moving forward. So, if you have been charged with Grand Theft or any other Jacksonville Criminal Offense, contact a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer to discuss your case and to make sure your rights are being protected.

Armed-SuspectOn Tuesday night a pizza delivery woman was allegedly robbed at gunpoint. According to reports, the woman completed a pizza delivery around 8 PM when, on her way to her vehicle, an armed man approached from behind and demanded all her money. The woman proceeded to throw approximately $180 on the ground. As the suspect retrieved the money from the ground, the woman ran back to the apartment and called the police. The identity of the alleged suspect is unknown because he was wearing a ski mask during the alleged incident.

If these facts prove to be true, the Jacksonville suspect could be facing charges of Armed Robbery. In an earlier Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog, I described the nuisances of Robbery and the penalties that could result from being convicted. In this case, the charges of Armed Robbery would constitute a first-degree felony, because a deadly weapon was used during the course of the robbery. The penalty for a conviction of a Jacksonville Armed Robbery could result in 30 years or life imprisonment and/or up to a $10,000 fine.

Armed Robbery is a serious criminal offense and should not be taken lightly. Also, taking on the Criminal Justice system alone is not always advantageous to a Jacksonville Criminal Defendant. That is why the advice and counsel of a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer could prove to be invaluable. With that being said, if you or a loved one are facing a Jacksonville Armed Robbery charge or any type of Jacksonville Criminal Charges, contact a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer to discuss your case and to make sure your rights are being protected.

Robbery-thumb-250x187-4981.jpgCurrently, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is on the hunt for a Jacksonville man wanted for the alleged arm robbery of a cell phone store last Friday. According to the Police reports, the man entered a Metro PCS store located on Soutel Dr. and demanded the money from the register while brandishing a weapon to the employee. No one was hurt during the incident, but the suspect did get away with an undisclosed amount of money. This incident leaves the question what is Armed Robbery and what are the penalties?

Robbery is defined within Florida Statute § 812.13; it reads, “‘Robbery’ means the taking of money or other property which may be the subject of larceny from the person or custody or another, with intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the money or other property, when in the course of taking there is a use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.” Basically, if the property stole was taken in your presence and you were fearful of injury or death from an armed suspect, then an Armed Robbery has been committed.

There are two types of robbery; with or without a weapon. Robbery without a weapon is a second-degree felony, which could have a potential sentence of up to 15 years and/or a $10,000 in fines. In contrast, an Armed Robbery is a first-degree felony, having a penalty of up to 30 years or life imprisonment (as provided for in the Statute) and/or $10,000 in fines. These are harsh penalties and a Jacksonville robbery charge should not be taken lightly.

It seems like a scene from Varsity Blues, but sometimes real life is crazier than fiction. William Blakenship stole a police car in Indiana two days ago and police are still searching for him. The local sheriff’s department found the car and the weapons that were stolen with it, but they are still trying to locate the suspect. They have no clue as to his location at this time.

The Chicago Tribune reports that:

“[Blakenship] stole a Kouts Police Department squad car after a traffic arrest on Tuesday, police allege. Blankenship had been pulled over for speeding, and police reported seeing drug paraphernalia in his car. The suspect was handcuffed and put in the back of the squad car while an officer checked his vehicle. Blankenship then took off with the squad car, which was found in a retention pond Wednesday, police say.”

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