Computers and the internet have changed the world. As technologies improve, people here in Florida, across the nation and across the world spend more of their lives online. Back when Neil Armstrong famously set foot on the moon, it took a room of computers with less memory and computing power than the smartphone on which you may be reading this article.
If you are facing criminal charges, you may feel comfortable enough handling your own defense. After all, perhaps you have been through the criminal justice system in the past, or you simply enjoy watching reruns of "Law and Order."
Strategies to avoid self-incrimination
The story began with a traffic stop for speeding. It soon escalated to a fleeing fugitive killing a police officer and his dog, as well as the shooting of another officer. It ended with a SWAT team opening fire on the suspect when they saw him with a gun in his hand. In all they fired 110 bullets, with 68 of them hitting the suspect.
The recently released 2016 Medical Examiner report for District 10, which is comprised of Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties, notes drug deaths are on the rise. This mirrors a statewide and national trend. Pain killer abuse has been declared a public health emergency by the president.
The theft of a firearm in Florida is a third degree grand theft felony no matter the value of the weapon. That’s significant when taking into consideration that first degree petit theft, which is only a misdemeanor, is property valued between $100 and $299 and used firearms can sell for under $200.
The state of Florida includes many different crimes under the term “theft”: Larceny, stealing, misappropriation, conversion and other illegal activities. Florida divides charges of theft into two different categories: Petit theft, and grand theft. Of the two charges, petit theft is less serious—it means that the state will prosecute the crime as a misdemeanor. Grand theft, however, is much more serious. In a grand theft, the state has decided to prosecute the theft as a felony.
Juveniles can find themselves in serious trouble for crimes that may seem minor. In Florida, the property value threshold for grand theft, for example, is only $300, which means shoplifting even just a couple clothing items could set your child up for grand theft charges.
Grand theft isn’t just about stealing cars. While automobiles are common property stolen in grand theft cases, grand theft is defined by the value of the property. There are plenty of items worth large amounts of money that could lead to grand theft charges if stolen. And the penalties can be harsh.