The future of a 21-year-old man is now in doubt as he has been arrested and charged with accessory after the fact in a string of Jacksonville shootings, First Coast News reports.
It appears the man is charged with participating in a string of shooting at vehicles on Branan Field Road in Jacksonville. The charge of accessory after the fact is a tough crime to assess without more details. According to Florida Statutes 777.03, a person facing that charge can be punished with a first-degree felony to a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances.
Complex criminal cases such as these require an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorney who has the ability to separate the fact from fiction and help a defendant get a fair shot at trial.
According to news reports, police say vehicles were shot at around 4 a.m. one Saturday and again that Sunday. One person was struck in the shoulder was treated by fire and medical personnel at the scene.
Police believe two people were shooting at vehicles from a nearby patch of woods. While the police report charging the 21-year-old offers few details, it states another person is suspected of participating in the shootings. Up to five vehicles and drivers may have been victimized.
The charge of accessory after the fact also indicates that police don’t believe the 21-year-old is the main culprit, but rather his alleged co-defendant may be the most responsible for the crime.
Accessory after the fact can apply to many different charges, according to Florida law. any person who assists an offender, knowing that the person has already committed a crime, can be charged with accessory after the fact. But accessory after the fact is charged based on the charge of the co-defendant.
For instance, if a person kills someone then calls a friend and asks them to help them move the body, accessory after the fact can come into play. But the severity of the charge depends on what charge the initial offender faces. If the person is charged with capital murder, then the accessory after the fact charge would be a first-degree felony, punishable by 30 years to life in prison. If the person is charged with second-degree murder, the person who aided faces a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
The charge is actually twice as difficult to defend because defending the person charged with accessory after the fact largely hinges on the state’s case of proving the co-defendant’s charges. If there are holes in the case against that person, the state may not be able to prove a first-degree felony, but only a second-degree felony. That, in turn, could mean the client charged with accessory after the fact faces a third-degree felony, a much less serious charge.
This is a complex area of criminal law in Jacksonville that requires an experienced and dedicated attorney. The charges can be serious and the penalties severe, so it shouldn’t be left up to just anyone.
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:
Teen Faces Attempted Murder Charge in Westside Shooting: August 18, 2011
One Arrested Shooting at Vehicles on Branan Field Road, by Mike Lyons, First Coast News