A 19-year-old has been charged in connection with a reported burglary in the gated Epping Forest community recently, The Florida Times-Union is reporting.
Charges of burglary in Jacksonville shouldn’t be confused with robbery in Jacksonville. Burglary is the less serious of the two because it’s defined as stealing from a place, whereas robbery is stealing from a person.
Burglary charges can still lead to serious prison time if a person is convicted, depending on several factors, such as whether anyone was in the building at the time of the burglary, whether a weapon was used and the value of what was stolen.
But as an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer knows, when authorities arrest a person for burglary, they try to match the style of that burglary to others in the area. People who face theft charges are typically looked at for a variety of crimes as police try to make arrests for unsolved cases.
In this case, a 19-year-old was arrested, and while he wouldn’t be considered a juvenile by most standards, there are provisions that allow a young person to be sentenced as a “youthful offender” in Florida if they meet certain criteria. In many non-violent cases, if a teen isn’t prosecuted in juvenile court, this can be an opportunity to face a reduced charge or not have the charge come up on their criminal history record.
But youthful offender status isn’t granted in every case and it takes specific circumstances in order to work out. It’s an avenue that an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer may be able to explore for a young client.
The 19-year-old was being held on $35,000 bail, the newspaper reports. Police were called by neighbors after someone spotted a man inside someone’s garage in the 6700 block of Epping Forest Way North. Eventually, more officers and a police dog showed up.
The police dog tracked the man to the front gate of the community and an officer on patrol a few miles away spotted a man that matched the alleged intruder’s description and stopped him. The man was walking with a computer, cellphone, iPod and glasses that police say had been stolen from vehicles in that neighborhood.
The article doesn’t state what charges the teen now faces, but it’s likely that theft or burglary charges could be levied against him. It doesn’t appear from the article that he stole anything from the house, so he may face a less severe charge than burglary for being in the garage.
Theft charges in Jacksonville can range from simply shoplifting something to planning a crime to break into a house and stealing from people. Accordingly, the penalties can range from misdemeanors punishable by jail time or probation to felonies that can land someone in prison for years.
Either way, an experienced lawyer should be hired to help a client in this situation. Theft charges can look bad on a person’s criminal record, especially a young person who is trying to get into college or have a future career. These can make life very difficult. So, fight the charges aggressively.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and is here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one requires a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
More Blog Entries:
Car Break-Ins Lead to Arrests of Two in Jacksonville: November 3, 2011
Arrest made in Epping Forest burglary and auto burglary, by Dan Scanlan, The Florida Times-Union