Police have arrested a 49-year-old Jacksonville man and accused him of molesting a 14-year-old runaway, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.
Sex crimes in Jacksonville typically require the testimony of a willing victim and can require DNA evidence, witness testimony and perhaps the testimony of a doctor who examined the victim afterwards.
In many cases where children are the alleged victim, the prosecution may be reluctant to go to trial, fearing that exposing a child victim to the witness stand would be emotionally scarring years after having been allegedly physically abused at the hands of the defendant.
As an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer knows, some 95 percent of criminal cases end in a plea deal offered by the state. There’s no way that with the caseloads that prosecutors have — typically 100 to 200 cases — they could go to trial on all of them. So, they must offer plea deals.
This can be advantageous to defendants in cases where the evidence may be overwhelming against them. They know the prosecutor doesn’t want to haul a child into court, but they also don’t want the defendant to get a light sentence.
In cases like this, an experienced Jacksonville defense lawyer will still prepare for trial, perhaps knowing that the more doubt he can create through witness depositions and inconsistencies in police reports and other information can lead to a better plea deal for his client.
The first plea deal rarely should be taken. As the case progresses, witnesses change stories and new facts come out, the tables can turn in the defendant’s favor. In some cases, a plea deal that seemed good at the beginning can seem like a bad offer in light of favorable evidence coming out. Perhaps a defendant will want to exercise the right to go to trial instead of settling for a plea offer.
In this case, The Daytona Beach News-Journal is reporting, the Jacksonville man was driving through Flagler County and was pulled over on Interstate 95 because of a broken headlight. When the deputy approached the car, he saw the driver put a jacket on to cover his bare upper body.
In the front seat, the deputy saw a young teenage girl whose bra was at the floor near her feet. When the deputy spoke with the man, he allegedly gave false information about who he was and the girl said she was 19, but wasn’t able to provide a date of birth that would make her 19.
The news story goes on to say that the deputy was given permission to search the vehicle and found proper identification. The girl eventually gave her correct date of birth and it was discovered that she was a runaway from Orlando. She told the deputy the man had fondled her breasts.
The man now faces charges of lewd and lascivious molestation, obstructing justice, interference with custody and habitual driving with a suspended license. He was being held in jail on $100,000 bail.
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:
Minor Jacksonville Flashing Cases Can Have Major Long-Term Consequences: November 2, 2011
Jacksonville Sex Crimes Carry Steep Penalties as Shown in Hamilton v. State: October 26, 2011
Man charged with molesting 14-year-old in Flagler County, by Julie Murphy, The Daytona Beach News-Journal