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Articles Posted in Theft Crimes

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Under the Florida Constitution, somebody arrested for a crime has the right to pretrial release on reasonable conditions like bond, subject to specific exceptions under Article I, section 14. There is an exception that may apply if you’re charged with a capital or life offense, ones that can be punished by life imprisonment or capital punishment, and the prosecutor is able to show that the proof of guilt is evidence or that the presumption is great. If you’re held under this exception, you are supposed to receive an adversarial, evidentiary bond hearing known as an Arthur hearing that looks at the prosecutor’s proof to decide whether it rises to that level of proof, which is a standard stronger than the beyond a reasonable doubt standard. If you have been arrested for a crime, having a knowledgeable Miami criminal defense attorney review your case is crucial. In a recent Florida appellate case related to rights under Article I, section 14, the defendant, confined in Miami-Dade County jail, petitioned for writ of habeas corpus.

The defendant was arrested for armed robbery with a firearm, and the next day, made a first appearance by video from jail. The arresting officer had set forth in the arrest affidavit that the victim of the armed robbery was an overnight security guard. The defendant had come up while she was sitting in a golf cart and put a gun to her head. The victim complied, and at that point, the defendant asked the victim if she was armed, and she said no. He took her bus pass and purse and fled.

When this armed robbery was investigated, his identity was determined from a photographic array, and he was apprehended. No bond was announced at the first appearance, which took two minutes. This meant that bond would be determined at a full Arthur hearing, in accord with standard practice. The defendant was arraigned and charged with armed robbery, a first-degree felony which is punishable with life in prison. He pled not guilty and asked for an Arthur hearing, and he objected to his detention beyond the first appearance without the court initially finding proof evident, presumption great. His objection was overruled.

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Can giving an instruction on abnormal mental conditions be damaging to a Miami defendant’s defense? In a recent case, a Florida court considered standard instruction 3.6(p), which deals with abnormal mental conditions, and found that providing the instruction could be tantamount to a suggestion of mental illness when there was no other competent evidence of mental illness introduced. The instruction states that mental illness, abnormal mental condition and diminished mental capacity aren’t defenses to any crimes and evidence can’t be taken into consideration to show a defendant didn’t have the specific intent or state of mind needed to show he committed a particular crime charged. These complex situations and more can be navigated by a dedicated Miami criminal defense attorney.

The defendant was convicted of seven felonies based on one crime spree. He was sentenced to life, among other things. The defendant had a history of mental illness. However, at trial, there was no expert testimony presented about the defendant’s mental condition. When he was 16, the defendant was placed in a juvenile detention facility and while in isolation, he started to hear voices. He received a schizophrenia diagnosis.

In 2014, he was subject to the Baker Act. Two months after he was released, the crime spree occurred.

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Retail theft is always a concern among department stores and perhaps even more so around Christmas time when the stores are crowded and thieves see even more opportunities. Most stores now affix anti-theft devices to sale items or scanners at exits along with undercover shoppers to observe and either detain or report to police those suspected of shoplifting.

Theft at department stores continue regardless of measures taken by managers. In a recent incident in Miami, a man and his female accomplice were arrested for the alleged theft of an $1800 handbag from a T.J. Maxx store.

The defendant, 34-year old Kyle Fuller of Lake Worth, was apparently seen cutting off the anti-theft device and then cramming the expensive handbag into his sweat pants before leaving the store without paying. Mr. Fuller also had a female companion who drove Mr. Fuller from the store. Both were later arrested at an Office Max that same day. A search of Mr. Fuller’s clothing found a wire cutter and aluminum foil, tools typically used by retail thieves to thwart anti-theft measures.

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Being charged with shoplifting or a retail theft crime in Florida can have serious consequences. If convicted, your criminal record could negatively impact your social, financial, and even professional well-being. With consequences so severe, it’s critical to have a defense attorney on your side, one with the expertise and experience needed to successfully lead you through this complex case.

In the state of Florida, there are many specific types of thefts that you can be charged with. Regardless of which degree you’re charged with, however, the reality is that the consequences are severe and potentially long lasting. Specific types of thefts include:

  • Grand theft. This term distinguishes the severity based on the value stolen. Property stolen that exceeds $300 in value is considered grand theft in Florida, and a conviction of grand theft is a third degree felony that can be punished with up to 5 years in prison.
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Grand theft is not just a fancy name. It is actually quite a serious crime and may result in more serious penalties than you realize. Grand theft, unlike petit theft, involves unlawfully taking property that is valued at more than $300. It can also involve theft of testamentary instruments such as a will, or even a firearm or automobile, but even more serious is the taking of property valued over $20,000 or emergency medical equipment worth more than $300.

Are you facing charges of grand theft? Don’t wait. The first thing you should do is refrain from panicking about the charges, and the second thing to do is contact a highly skilled and well qualified Miami Grand Theft Defense Attorney such as Evan A. Hoffman. An attorney with such a level of expertise can help you out with your accusation of grand theft, so you should definitely make sure that you contact us to learn more about how you can fight these charges.

If you have been accused of grand theft, here are some things you need to know: 

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One of the worst mistakes that people make when charged with shoplifting or Petit Theft is to try to defend themselves. The reason many people attempt to defend themselves in court is that they do not take accusations of shoplifting or Petit Theft seriously, believing it not to be a serious offense. This can have disastrous consequences, as people who are inexperienced in Florida law end up with a permanent criminal record for something minor.

The best thing to do when accused of Petit Theft is to remain calm, not admit to any guilt, and enlist an expert in Florida criminal law. Miami Criminal Attorney Evan A. Hoffman can advise people facing charges of Petit Theft, helping them to find the best way to fight these charges. When you contact us, you may be on your way to lessening your penalties, or even avoiding them entirely.

Petit Theft, often referred to as “shoplifting” or “petty theft,” is one of the most common crimes committed in the nation. This crime involves willfully and unlawfully taking property valued at up to $300. An innocent person could easily be charged with Petit Theft for inadvertently leaving a store with an item that has not been paid for. 

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If you have been charged with robbery or burglary, do not waste any time employing the services of a trusted, experienced lawyer as quickly as possible. Robbery and burglary are serious crimes with stiff, unrelenting penalties. If you are charged with one of these crimes, what do you need to know before your court date? Continue reading to learn more.

If you find yourself in this alarming situation, do not panic. The Hoffman Firm has an expert legal team lead by Miami Criminal Defense Attorney Evan Hoffman, who is a former prosecutor and an experienced criminal lawyer. The Hoffman Firm can help you if you are under investigation for this serious crime; to learn more about us and our services, call (305) 249-0090 or contact us online.

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