In Bartow and throughout Florida, anyone who is accused of theft should be aware of the potential consequences they may face if they are arrested and convicted. Even those whose job it is to enforce the law could find themselves accused of crimes. This can not only cost them their freedom, but it can be detrimental to their employment and severely damage their future. When accused of stealing, misappropriation or other property crimes, it is imperative to know the available options.
Deputies charged with stealing money from suspect
Law enforcement officers are trusted to serve the public and adhere to the law themselves. However, there are times when officers are said to have violated their oath and broken the law. Three deputies with the sheriff’s office were arrested after a woman they had arrested said they stole her money. They subsequently resigned from their jobs, but still say they did not steal her money. The male deputies, ages 29, 26 and 24, are said to have stolen more than $700.
The 24-year-old was listed as the deputy who made the arrest. The others backed him up. The money was said to be linked to selling drugs. It was logged as part of an affidavit, but was never put into property and evidence. She recently asked the sheriff’s office to give her back her money and phone. The money was put into evidence the day after she made her request. When asked about it, the deputies said they were initially unaware that the money was gone and were going to replace it out of pocket. They face charges for conspiracy and more.
Criminal charges can severely hinder a person’s future
Just like anyone else, law enforcement officers can face arrest, conviction and the penalties including jail and fines. In addition, there is a negative perception of deputies who might have been penalized and lost their jobs because of stealing while on the job. Even after the case is complete, there can be a litany of problems in seeking other employment, enrolling in a school and achieving other goals. It is wise to know the difference between petit theft, grand theft and the other potential charges.
An experienced defense is crucial to combat criminal charges
If a person is accused of theft and property crimes – regardless of what they do for a living – there are avenues of defense that should be explored. Those arrested should be cognizant of the level of charges, how harsh the outcome might be for a conviction and what alternatives there are to formulate a defense. Before saying or doing anything, having professional representation is a useful first step.