» Street Justice Scenario Ended With No Charges, Indicates Lakeland Criminal Defense Attorney

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
Phone: 863.688.4606


View Larger Map

  • Some Sex Crimes, Such as Sexting, Do Not Always Involve Force
    By definition, a sex crime is committed using threat or force to coerce someone into performing an unwanted sexual act. State governments usually prosecute these types of crimes. Should the commission of such an offense occur in two different states, it is usually the federal government that prosecutes. Penalties are more severe if the crime is classified as a felony. Those convicted of a sex crime could face decades in prison. In extreme cases, perpetrators may be chemically castrated. Being charged with a sex crime is a grave matter, one that requires the services of a criminal defense attorney. Sex […]
  • What Does the Crime of Involuntary Manslaughter Involve?
    Involuntary manslaughter can defined in several different ways, depending on the circumstances of a case. While involuntary manslaughter may, of course, be involuntary, it may also include a deliberate act. In some situations resulting in a death, the death was an accident or a caused by a careless individual. However, even in circumstances where a deliberate act caused a death, the charge of involuntary manslaughter may still apply. Involuntary manslaughter may be the end result of a failure to carry out a legal duty specifically required to protect a human life or from the commission of an illegal act that […]
  • Marijuana Possession, Use and Sale Remain Federally Illegal, Though Enforcement Is Spotty
    Each state has its own marijuana laws. If you are arrested, you need to know which laws are applicable to your case. In 2012, Washington and Colorado became the first two states to legalize, regulate and tax recreational possession of cannabis. The laws in those states permit a person 21 years of age to buy up to one ounce of the drug at authorized storefronts. These existing laws are close cousins to laws regulating the use of alcohol and nicotine: smokers may not smoke in public, employees may not work under the influence and states may have blood test limits […]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required