Charges: Grand Theft
Case Number: 2014CF006320AXX
Facts: Our client previously worked at a car dealership and was allowed to rent a vehicle from them at a lower cost, even after he stopped working there. Our client rented a vehicle and kept it for months longer than he was supposed to. Eventually, his previous employer called the police and reported the vehicle stolen.
Results: We became aware that our client’s contact at the dealership kept telling our client not to worry about returning the car, and that he could continue to drive it for a few more weeks. After doing some research into the facts and law surrounding the case, we were able to convince the state to abandon prosecution and enter a “no file” as to all the charges by validly arguing that our client had apparent authority to continue to drive the vehicle.
Charges: Grand Theft, False Pawn Verification
Case Number: 2011CF000783AXX
Facts: The alleged victim became aware that some of her jewelry was missing and that the last person to be around it was her niece’s boyfriend, our client. Our client allegedly pawned the items and signed documents stating they were his and not stolen. Then, our client allegedly admitted to police he took the jewelry.
Results: We were able to negotiate with the state to allow our client to enter into a pretrial intervention program. After 6 months, a theft class, and some community service hours, the state agreed to “nolle prosse,” or dismiss, all charges.
Charges: Grand Theft
Case Number: 2014MM003659AXX
Facts: Our client was captured on camera allegedly taking the phone of another individual at a local grocery store. The alleged victim left the phone on the counter and turned away for a few minutes. It was at this time that our client allegedly took the phone. He was charged with grand theft.
Results: Before the state could make a filing decision we voiced our concern that they shouldn’t file this as a felony because there was no way to establish the value of used cellphone for the purposes making a prima facie case of felony grand theft. We were successful in this argument and the charges were reduced to misdemeanor petit theft. However, based on our client’s vast criminal record, the state pursued a sentence of 60 days in the Palm Beach County jail. After vigorous negotiations with the state, we managed to reduce the sentence to only five days in the Palm Beach County jail. Instead of being content with this result, we further argued with the state that they could not prove intent, as our client was under the belief that he had grabbed his own phone by accident. This allowed us to solidify our argument so the state gave our client absolutely no jail time.
Charges: Grand Theft, Dealing in Stolen Property, False Ownership Information to Pawn Shop, Grand Theft in Excess of $20,000, Burglary of Unoccupied Dwelling
Case Number: 2015CF004937AXX
Facts: Our client allegedly stole more than $100,000 worth of items while house sitting for his neighbors. As a result, he was facing a maximum of 45 years in prison based on his charges alone.
Results: Before an Information was filed, we were able to convince the state attorney’s office to “no file” the charges of grand theft in excess of $20,000 and burglary of unoccupied dwelling. This brought the maximum down to 25 years. However, the state was still pushing to make an example of our client because of the amount he had allegedly taken. After months of vigorous negotiations, we were able to avoid our client going to jail, in exchange for probation. More importantly, we aggressively argued to the state to offer a withhold of adjudication, meaning that once our client is off probation, he can apply to having the whole case sealed from his record.
Charges: Retail Theft
Case Number: 13020990MM10A
Facts: Our client was shopping at Publix after having simple eye surgery. In a state of confusion, she forgot to pay for some of the items in her cart near the top basket. She did not realize she had started to walk out with the items still in her cart.
Results: Do to our client’s job she could not risk anything to appear on her record and therefore was ready to go to trial. We did an independent investigation of the Publix where these allegations occurred, finding that our client had not cleared all points of sale when she was stopped. There is a location between the outside door and inside door where the shopping carts are located, and there are items for sale located within that part of the store. Thus, we were able to convince the jury that retail theft had not occurred, because a key element of the crime is that the defendant moves past all points of sale.
Jury Verdict: Not guilty
Charges: Retail Theft
Case Number: 14002783MM10A
Facts: Our client was shopping at Kohl’s after having a serious medical procedure. All medical records suggested our client not to drive or operate heavy machinery 24 hours after the procedure. Her sister had driven her and was her caretaker for the weekend. In a state of confusion and drowsiness, she tried on earrings and a bracelet and left the store without paying for the items.
Results: We obtained all medical records in preparation for trial, and took the deposition of the loss prevention officer and arresting officer. We also prepped our client, as we expected her to take the stand and testify. The judge forced our hand to a nonjury trial, which is permitted if the judge guarantees no jail time and a withhold of adjudication even if our client was found guilty. In the end, we convinced the judge to find our client not guilty by way of involuntary intoxication, claiming that she was not aware of the effects of the medicine she was given during her medical procedure.
Verdict: Not guilty