Crime and Punishment: Defendants Should Not Be Overcharged

As a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney, I get asked, “how can you defend someone when you know he is guilty?”  My answer is, “you must have never committed a crime in your life.”  We have all committed a crime at some point, no matter how minor.  Justice is served when the punishment fits the crime.  However, in some cases, a person is charged with a crime that he did not commit.  For example, imagine that a Jacksonville criminal defendant breaks into a car.  In this case, he should be charged with one count of burglary to a structure or conveyance as defined in Florida Statute Section 810.02.  He should not be charged with every other automobile burglary that occurred in that neighborhood.  In some cases, the prosecutor will charge the burglary criminal defendant with the other automobile burglaries, although the evidence does not support it.  This is unfair and a waste of the State of Florida’s money.  

A Texas Attorney, Walter D. James III, wrote an interesting article addressing this topic titled, “A Wake Up Call For the USDOJ.”  His article address this problem at the federal level.  
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