Articles Posted in Theft Crimes

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Brooksville, Florida man, Timothy Carr, was issued a DUI for driving through a Brooksville Walmart on a motorized shopping cart earlier this month. It is reported that Mr. Carr was quite intoxicated while cruising through the store drinking alcohol that he had plucked from the shelf while inside and also knocked several additional items from their shelves. When confronted by police, Mr. Carr told them that he had no money to pay for any of the items he was drinking and carrying in his cart. Police learned during questioning of Mr. Carr that he is homeless and has two prior arrests or convictions (the report was unclear) for theft. Based on police observations and their impression of his criminal history they have recommended that he be formally charged with disorderly intoxication, DUI and felony theft.

Unlike some other states, a person can receive a DUI in Florida so long as they are driving or in actual physical control of a “vehicle” as defined in Florida Statute 316.003(75). The motorized shopping cart driven by Mr. Carr fits the definition of vehicle as it is a “device in or upon by which a person or property may be transported or drawn upon a highway, except for devices travelling on stationary rails or tracks.” In other words, because a motorized shopping cart could be driven on a highway, Mr. Carr could be charged with a DUI. Of course conviction could be another story as field sobriety tests would likely need to be conducted and show impairment along with a chemical test or refusal of that test. If no other signs of impairment are present, a Tampa DUI lawyer could argue that Mr. Carr is simply not of sound mind or suffers from collateral medical issues, thereby preventing a shopping experience without incident. Would it work? Who knows. Tampa DUI charges, like other charges, are fact driven and unique. The short answer… It depends.
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Lindsay Lohan appeared in a Los Angeles courtroom again yesterday to answer to charges that she violated her probation stemming from a jewelry theft in 2011 in addition to the crimes alleged to have been the basis for her probation violation. Lohan currently faces charges for reckless driving, lying to police and obstructing police stemming from her claim that she was not behind the wheel of her car when it crashed into a truck in Santa Monica, California this past June. Lohan, who seemingly has been in and out of trouble since she’s been old enough to say “trouble” was at one time doubtful for attending her mandatory court date. Lohan, who recently fired her long time Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Shawn Holley had a letter submitted by her current attorney Mark Heller indicating that she was in poor health and wasn’t able to attend her hearing. It is thought that because several tabloids published pictures of her shopping over the past weekend and appearing in good health that Lohan changed her mind and elected to attend her hearing for fear of a warrant being issued for her arrest.

All States being a little bit different in their handling of criminal matters, were Lohan’s legal issues in Florida I don’t believe there would be an issue of whether or not she is going to appear in court consistently. In Florida if one is put on probation they are always subject to violating such probation by not complying with the requirements found in Florida Statute 948.03. Generally if they violate that probation through a technical violation a “no bond” warrant will be issued or if they violate by committing new crime amounting to arrest they will go to jail with a bond on their new case but no bond on the violation of probation. Since Lohan is accused of violating her 2011 probation by a new law violation, had this happened in Florida it is doubtful Lohan would have been granted a bond considering her inability to avoid getting in trouble while on probation. As a Tampa criminal attorney I can say that in our area if one had the track record of Ms. Lohan and was in a similar situation as her, I cannot think of any of our local Tampa Bay area criminal judges who would be willing to give her a bond.
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In special remembrance of Elizabeth Macias and her 2011 Black Friday pepper spray incident, we’ll run through the dos and don’ts for the busiest shopping day of the year in the hope that you’ll stay out of a Tampa Bay area jail. As you may recall from last year, Macias was accused of unleashing a hellfire fury of pepper spray on other Black Friday shoppers in Porter Ranch, California. Initially police claimed Macias hosed down her shop mates over discounted X-Box gaming systems. After the “spray” settled Macias faced no felony charges and ultimately threatened to sue Wal Mart for inadequate security. At the end of the day the failure to file charges isn’t overly surprising if there was in fact a scrum around the X-Box’s and there was a risk of injury to her or her children. It would be tough for a prosecutor to show she wasn’t happily hosing others in self defense or defense of her kids. We hope you find the following tips helpful in avoiding Machine Gun Macias’ fate.

Don’t use pepper spray on other people. If you do in Tampa, Florida you will face at minimum, a battery charge and perhaps and aggravated battery if the spray causes permanent injury to another. All that is necessary to show a battery is that you intentionally touched or struck someone else against his or her will, OR intentionally caused bodily harm to someone else. No one I know enjoys being doused with pepper spray so chances are if you break out the water weenie full of pepper juice, you’re guilty of battery. For an excellent explanation of assault and battery check this Jacksonville criminal attorney‘s write up.

Where things could get really serious is if your pepper spray causes permanent harm to a third party. If you hit someone in the eye and said eye is permanently broken, you’re going to face second degree felony charges for a Florida aggravated battery. Aggravated battery charges generally mean prison time. I’ve never been to prison but I’ve been told the selection at commissary isn’t quite as nice as Target. Food for thought.

Don’t threaten someone whether you have pepper spray to back up your threat or not. In Florida, if you threaten someone by word or act and have the immediate ability to do so coupled with an overt act that leads them to believe you’re about to make bad dreams come true, you my friend, have committed an assault. Assault is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. Possibly worse is the fact that your shopping day will be done.
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