According to research conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the leading criminal arrests in Florida include theft, fraud, burglary, vandalism, drug crimes, assault or aggravated assault, and robbery. Criminal offenses have severe consequences, including prison sentences, probations, and hefty fines. If you are arrested for any of the mentioned criminal offenses, it is advisable to seek legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The law defines theft as the unlawful use or taking another person’s property. You can face theft charges if you knowingly take or use another person’s property to temporarily or permanently deprive the person of the property. Theft may include acts like larceny, stealing, conversion, and misappropriation.
There are two categories of theft under Florida law; petty theft and grand theft. Whether the prosecutor charges you with petty theft or grand theft will depend on the value of the property obtained. After an arrest for theft crimes in Florida, you can use various legal defenses to fight the charges. Common legal defenses are a good faith belief of ownership of the property and consent.
Florida law defines fraud as the purposeful or intentional falsification of information, false representation of facts, and perversion of the truth. You could be guilty of fraud if you conceal information that should not be concealed or when you lie on purpose.
The common types of fraud arrests in Florida include:
A prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
Under Florida law, burglary involves entering a dwelling, conveyance, or structure with the intention to commit a criminal offense. A dwelling often refers to a house, apartments or other place of residence, while structure refers to a building of any kind which may be temporary or permanent. On the other hand, a conveyance refers to a vessel, ship, railroad vehicle, trailer, aircraft, or car.
Depending on your case, burglary can be classified as a first degree, second degree, or third-degree felony. The consequences of burglary are imprisonment, probation, or fine.
After an arrest for burglary, you can fight the charges by stating that you had the owner’s consent to access the structure. You could also state that you had no criminal intent while accessing the building. Other defenses include mistaken identity, legitimate presence, and implied permission.
Under Florida law, vandalism can also be referred to as criminal mischief. You could be guilty of vandalism if you willfully or maliciously destroy property belonging to another person. The penalties for vandalism vary depending on the extent of the damage.
Under certain circumstances, vandalism attracts severe penalties, especially if it leads to interruption of public services like utilities, phone lines, and communications networks. These acts may attract third-degree felony charges that are punishable by five years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000. Similar charges may apply if vandalism entails defacing a mosque, church, synagogue, or place of worship.
Assault charges apply when a defendant makes a threat of harm and the victim experiences fear of imminent harm. The crime of assault does not involve physical contact between the victim and the defendant. All the prosecutor needs to prove is that the defendant intended to threaten the victim or evoke fear.
Simple assault is a second-degree misdemeanor whose punishment includes imprisonment not exceeding 60 days. A conviction for simple assault may also attract a fine not exceeding $500. Aggravated assault is a third-degree felony. Penalties can include imprisonment of up to 5 years and fine not exceeding $5,000.
Other common criminal arrests in Florida include sex crimes and drug crimes. If you have been arrested for any criminal activity in Florida, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Shrader Law, PLLC, provides the best criminal defense services in Florida.
Posted in Criminal Defense
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