Street Justice Scenario Ended With No Charges, Indicates Lakeland Criminal Defense Attorney
Lakeland, FL (Law Firm Newswire) November 14 , 2013 - Street justice rarely has a good ending. This case is no exception.
“In this reported case, two people chased a 17-year-old boy, whom they mistook for a burglar, down an alley in Palm Beach. The young man was allegedly threatened with a metal baseball bat, nearly run over with a vehicle, and was told his wallet and keys would be confiscated,” explained Thomas Grajek, a Lakeland criminal defense attorney.
As things turned out, the 17-year-old was innocent, but the two chasing and threatening him did not know that at the time. They were handed felony charges, but ultimately did not face prosecution for several reasons, one of which related to the right, in Florida, to employ non-deadly force to defend property. The couple were operating under that right, even though they had the wrong person in their sights and they did what they did under the good-faith impression that the boy had committed a crime. “No one seems to be able to answer the question of what would have happened if the innocent boy had been seriously harmed or killed,” Grajek added.
This case raises several issues: how far can property crime victims go by taking justice into their own hands and how is the principle of 'innocent until proven guilty' upheld in situations like this? While the police say it is never a good idea to participate in vigilante justice, the law that says people may defend their property seems to be at odds with what may happen in reality.
The idea of a citizen’s arrest is alive and well in all parts of the nation, but it is an action that can spell disaster for the person attempting to make such an arrest. They may well end up being charged with false imprisonment, battery or something else. It should also go without saying that a citizen attempting to determine someone’s guilt is not a good idea either.
“Many crimes scenes are not what they appear to be and the innocence or guilt of a suspect may not be resolved until all the evidence in is and analyzed. The young boy in the Palm Beach incident nearly got beaten for no reason, other than someone thought he was guilty,” said Grajek. State laws dealing with the defense of property are often open to various interpretations, which means prosecutors may treat each case differently, even within the same state. Obvious cases of self-defense are one thing. Other cases, which may fall into a grey area, are another.
Thomas C. Grajek
206 Easton Drive, Suite 102
Lakeland, FL 33803
View Larger Map
- Bradenton couple found guilty by jury of having "sex on the beach". How serious is this crime? VERY!!
Today, a Bradenton couple was found guilty of having sex on a Florida beach. This is a VERY serious crime in Florida because each person was charged with committing a lewd and lascivious act which subjects them both to 15 years in Florida State Prison AND being classified as sexual offenders requiring they register as such and restricts where they can live in the future. The couple was seen by numerous tourists who also claimed a 3 year old child witnessed the man and woman having sex. Despite cries by witnesses to stop the couple did not listen. Obviously, in […]
- What do DUI Field Sobriety Tests look like at the roadside and what is wrong with this DUI video?
Recently, professional boxer Adrian Broner was arrested in Ohio for Driving Under the Influence. There was a dash-cam of the stop and of Broner performing Field Sobriety Exercises (FSE’s). DUI lawyers DO NOT call these Field Sobriety Tests because these unnatural exercises are not a pass/fail test. The video can be seen here: http://www.tmz.com/2015/04/17/adrien-broner-dui-arrest-video-ohio-rich-famous/ What’s wrong with this DUI investigation? This DUI arrest was in Ohio by a member of the Ohio State Patrol so the law may be different than in Florida, but she immediately orders him out of the vehicle. In Florida, this may be a violation of […]
- I am being investigated by the police, should I talk to the police officer BEFORE I get arrested?
Former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez was found guilty of murder today. After days of deliberation the jury returned their guilty verdict. Why did the jury find him guilty? The jurors said it was because Hernandez lied to owner Robert Kraft about the incident! New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft testified that Hernandez told him he was in a club at the time of Lloyd’s death. The problem with this statement was that the prosecution never told the jury exactly when Lloyd was shot. If the prosecution did not know the time of death, how did Hernandez, unless he was […]