Despite their fame and fortune, some celebrities just can’t help themselves when it comes to shoplifting. Perhaps if the belief that their notoriety will shield them from being reported by a store clerk. Maybe it’s that they just can’t be bothered with having to wait to be rung up at the register. Classic examples of this are the infamous video of Britney Spears looking into a camera while stating “I stole something” after pocketing a BIC lighter without paying for it or Winona Ryder’s therapy by theft to combat depression.
For us common folk it’s important to remember how theft charges are prosecuted and how they can stack up to amount to much greater offenses with significantly higher penalties.
First time shoplifting offenders get off easy
If you’re arrested for misdemeanor theft in Florida, any decent criminal defense attorney should be able to get you into a diversion program which upon successful completion will entitle the offender to a complete dismissal of their case. These programs generally last no longer than three months and require the defendant to complete a shoplifters intervention course in addition to staying out of trouble for the length of the program. Once the case is dismissed, the offender can apply to the Florida Department of Law enforcement for what is known as a certificate of eligibility to have their record completely expunged. Expunging a record ensures that it will be destroyed and deleted from government records once the entire process is complete.
A first time misdemeanor theft is prosecuted as a second-degree misdemeanor, the lowest degree of offense under our Florida criminal statutes, a second offense is prosecuted as a first-degree misdemeanor while a third can be filed as a felony. While some first time felony grand theft charges are eligible for a more stringent diversion program, a three strikes felony petit-theft charge is not.
Grand theft three offenders
Repeat offenders who have been charged with grand theft in the past also face enhanced penalties, albeit under a different avenue. In the felony Circuit Court, repeat grand theft charges allow the state attorney’s office to seek that the court declare the defendant a habitual offender. Habitual offenders face maximum penalties that are twice the amount of the standard maximum sentence. For example, the lowest degree felony grand theft is 3rd° punishable by five years in a Florida State prison. If the offender is declared arbitral offender, they face 10 years. Probation offers are rarely if ever conveyed to habitual offenders or prison release three offenders.
questions relating to theft charges in Florida should be directed to William Moore at one financial Plaza, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33394 or by calling 954-523-5333. Attorney William Moore has been defending theft cases in Broward County Florida for 20 years and will answer any questions that you may have in this regard.
Do you know what multiplatinum recording artist had their body dug up by fans who were seeking to confirm or dispel a rumor about what kind of shirt they were buried in? What about the former singer whose body was stolen by their tour manager, driven out to a remote location and burned with gasoline? How about the famous case of a rock icon who woke up next to a dead body?
In this broadcast, criminal defense attorney William Moore discusses these bizarre cases in a humorous fashion. Issues pertaining to Florida criminal law and the handling of corpses is also discussed including the vandalizing of burial monuments and exhuming of remains without authority. See Florida Crimes Involving Corpses
Questions about this broadcast should be directed to The William Moore Criminal Defense Law Firm at: 1 Financial Plaza, Fort Lauderdale Florida 33394 or by calling 954-523-5333.
Our Criminal Defense Team in South Florida are proud to announce that selected clips and episodes of the William R. Moore Criminal Law firm’s broadcast show “State of Arrest” are now available at the iTunes store. Shows aired on November 27, 2015 and later will be available. Materials sought before this date may be obtained by contacting the office directly either by phone or email. Please be as specific as possible about the lecture, video or audio subject you’re looking for.
“State of Arrest” covers changes to our criminal justice system that are of major importance and interest.
If you do not have iTunes installed on your computer, you may listen to episodes of State of Arrest at the iTunes preview website.
Interviews with local criminal defense attorneys.
The show includes interviews with local criminal defense attorneys about uncommon issues specific to trial strategy by lawyers who are considered by their peers to be a leading authority with respect to the specific criminal defense practice area being discussed.
Interviews with people charged with crimes and treated unfairly.
The general public is becoming more vocal when it comes to distrust and mistreatment at the hands of law enforcement. Listen to their stories, obstacles that they faced and how they were overcome. Get the criminal defendant’s perspective and draw your own conclusions about the legal and ethical considerations associated with their arrest and prosecution.
Highly publicized criminal justice issues that stir up controversies and debate.
Opposing sides of gun control and the legalization of marijuana are examples of the highly publicized issues faced by both our state and federal courts today. Opposing authorities for each side and the arguments posed on their behalf are discussed and analyzed. Potential long-term effects are discussed and balanced.
What we have learned from the past when it comes to criminalizing activity.
The prohibition as compared to changes in our outlook about illegal drugs is one such example as we attempt to determine whether or not the United States criminal justice system is learning from its mistakes. Violations of constitutional rights and the overall treatment of individuals by the police in general are discussed. Laws enacted by Florida counties that have recently been found to be illegal will also be addressed. Broward County’s recent criminalizing the feeding of homeless individuals is an example of this type of broadcast.
When a star gets arrested for even low-level crimes, the media and public seem to frenzy. What is it about our infatuation with celebrities. More importantly, are they treated with leniency by the attorneys that prosecute them or are they prejudiced by their fame and made an example of. The overzealous policing of and prosecution of Justin Bieber is one example of this type of broadcast.
If you have something that you believe would be of interest to the public and want to make an appearance on “State of Arrest” contact our criminal defense attorneys in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We are located at 110 SE. 6th St., Suite 1700, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301.
Attorney William Moore responds to allegations that Scott Weiland’s illegal activities including but not limited to drug crimes led to not only the breakup of the band Velvet Revolver but his divorce from first wife Wendy Weiland.
“It is well understood that Velvet Revolver dissolved as a result of factors that can best be described as a Yoko Ono like invasion on the part of every one of the artists wives at the time. If anyone was to be faulted it would have to be Slashes ex-wife (former guitarist for Guns & Roses). It is well documented that she attended every band rehearsal with the other bandmates wives. This was apparently very disruptive and ultimately led to a break down of the creative process.
As for factors contributing to the irreconcilable differences that developed between Scott and Mary Weiland, you would be well served to factor it in there somewhere that it was Mary that was arrested and charged with Arson years after her husbands last drug possession arrest. She Burned thousands of dollars worth of clothes belonging to Scotts clothing in the presence of her children.
Even during his roughest years with Stone Temple Pilots, Weiland never racked up a $50,000 bond on such a potentially violent felony offense. This was done after she destroyed her room at the palacious Graciela Hotel and her kids were effectively removed from her custody temporarily… possibly voluntarily.
William Moore is an attorney in Broward County Florida who practices only criminal Defense. He can be reached for comment at 1 Financial Plaza Suite 2500, Fort Lauderdale FL 33394 – 954-523-5333.
As investigations (both public and private) of the Broward Crime Lab continue, local criminal defense attorneys are challenging drug cases in droves.
The first step according to William Moore, a drug possession defense lawyer, is to independently weigh drugs in their respective cases, obviously. While some lawyers are reserving aggressive investigation of drug offenses offenses to those which involved suspected chemist MacDonald, most agree that all drug handling and testing conducted by BSO should be considered suspect. Moore agrees that the latter is the better practice.
Our faith in the Broward Crime Lab has been compromised. According to Attorney William Moore, this is further aggravated by investigations that fall short of those of independent entities such as New Times Magazine. A staple news source that has focused on uncovering local scandals in Broward County for decades.
Recent Investigation of Broward County Crime Lab Conducted by New Times Magazine
Though the broad outlines of the scandal at the Broward crime lab have been made public — two top staff members have resigned, and an internal affairs investigation is underway — New Times has learned it is likely more far-reaching than previously thought. An audit expected later this year is likely to show that drugs are missing in many more cases.
After reviewing hundreds of pages of court documents and police reports, the newspaper has found problems in everything from street-level drug busts to large-scale probes of heavy movers. Among them are Roberts’ case and several others, including:
• The bust of a dealer with 363 pills that were field-tested as positive for MDMA in 2012, only to come up negative in the lab.
• A $60,000 Fort Lauderdale reverse sting conducted in 2012 in which cocaine was later found to be missing.
• The 2013 seizure, after a SWAT standoff, of marijuana that was listed at a different weight in police reports and lab analysis.
The common factor: All the drugs landed on the desk of forensic chemist Kelli McDonald. She is still employed at the Broward Sheriff’s Office but was recently transferred and could not be reached for comment. Her last known annual salary was $85,800 in 2012.
“There seem to be multiple manners in which she has engaged in misconduct,” says Gordon Weekes, a chief assistant with the Broward Public Defender’s Office. “It creates an issue because it erodes the confidence of the entire criminal justice system.”
The Broward lab hired its first chemist to do drug testing in the late 1960s. During the ’70s, the county established six laboratories that were funded in part by the state. Today, there are five units — chemistry, DNA, evidence intake, latent print, and firearms — and a $4.7 million annual budget. But the workload is considerable for the lab’s 37-person staff, especially considering demographics. According to a 2010 presentation, Broward’s drug unit has one analyst for every 319,925 county residents. In Palm Beach County, each analyst serves 253,290 residents; in Miami Dade, the ratio is one to 238,717.
There is a serious danger in overworking crime lab staff. Recent history has shown that the more law enforcement relies on science for convictions, the more vulnerable the system becomes to bad acts by the folks in lab coats.
The State of Florida is currently reviewing thousands of cases worked by technician Joseph Graves. In February, the former Florida Department of Law Enforcement employee was arrested for allegedly switching out the prescription pain pills he tested at a Pensacola crime laboratory with over-the-counter substitutes. Since he was hired in 2005, Graves had worked more than 2,600 cases for FDLE involving 35 counties across the state.
McDonald was hired at the Broward Sheriff’s lab in 2006 after spending three years as a tech for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. She had earned a bachelor’s degree in forensic science from the University of Central Florida in 2000 and a master’s degree in biomedical science from Florida Atlantic University in 2005. In her first five years in Broward, McDonald received positive marks in her reviews and glowing responses from colleagues. She has analyzed drugs in about 5,900 cases from 2006 to this past February, when she was suspended.
But in February 2012, 0.4 grams of crack cocaine — about the weight of a pencil eraser — went missing from the lab. The material was part of a case McDonald was working, and the tech was the last person to have signed the material out of the property vault. McDonald denied any knowledge of the missing drugs. Lab staff thoroughly searched her workstation and the vault but couldn’t find a trace of the absent evidence.
The case of the missing crack was referred to the Broward Sheriff’s Division of Internal Affairs. Investigators couldn’t turn up an explanation. As the last person to handle the material, McDonald was found to have failed to meet BSO standards. The internal-affairs case was closed in October 2012; McDonald was given the recommended discipline of “counseling and policy review” — neither of which she received, according to her own statements in a later deposition.
But the episode put the Broward Public Defender’s Office on notice. When McDonald’s name came up in a case involving cocaine seized in a Hallandale Beach house raid in 2013, the office hired an outside drug tester. McDonald’s original crime laboratory analysis noted the presence of 16.3 grams of cocaine. The public defender’s expert found 10.98 grams.
The discrepancy was brought to the attention of the lab’s manager, Dr. James Ongley; he ordered a random reweighing of 20 cases McDonald worked in 2012. Nineteen checked out. In one case, McDonald had originally recorded the presence of 1,012.6 grams of cocaine. The reweigh totaled 998.3 grams. Ongley reported the discrepancy to BSO’s Internal Affairs Unit, and a new investigation was opened.
McDonald was reassigned to a desk job in February 2014. A month later, Ongley and McDonald’s former supervisor, Randy Hilliard, resigned.
BSO is currently reviewing all 5,900 cases McDonald worked between 2006 and 2014. And as the paper trail New Times uncovered shows, the weight discrepancies go far beyond a few missing grams of crack.
In July 2010, after Roberts was handcuffed at her friend’s condo in North Lauderdale, BSO deputies tore into the UPS box. Inside they found “approximately 38 lbs of marijuana” wrapped in green cellophane, records show.
Later, Roberts admitted that she had planned to hide the pot in a hollowed-out space under the hood of her silver 2006 Land Rover. She was going to deliver the drugs to a third party, whom she refused to name.
But as the defendant was being charged with trafficking, the amount of marijuana changed. In a supplemental report prepared on July 19, a detective wrote that BSO had found “approximately 31 pounds (14.06 kilograms) of suspect marijuana” in the UPS box. Nine days later, when McDonald weighed the drugs at the crime laboratory, she recorded only 28.1 pounds.
Although Roberts was originally charged with felony trafficking, prosecutors were forced to retreat, and she pleaded no contest to a possession charge this past June. She got a single day of probation.
A second controversial case began on June 28, 2012, when Fort Lauderdale Police detectives fitted out a criminal informant for a sting on a suspected drug dealer named Andres Reyes at SW Fifth Street and 18th Avenue. As officers monitored the scene, an informant gave Reyes money for a black leather pouch containing pills.
Police then arrested Reyes and field-tested the 363 pills found in the pouch. They came back positive for MDMA.
But on July 18, the same drugs were tested by McDonald at the crime laboratory. She found “no controlled substance.” In a deposition with the public defender, the Fort Lauderdale detective who conducted the field-test reported he was “100 percent” sure the test at the scene showed MDMA. He also recalled — but couldn’t say for sure — that the drugs taken from Reyes were compressed tablets, like aspirin. According to pictures taken by the public defender, the pills in the lab’s vault under Reyes’ case number are capsules.
Prosecutors dropped the MDMA charge against Reyes, but a possession charge is pending for a joint he had in his pocket.
A third case was initiated a month later, on August 15, when undercover Fort Lauderdale Police detectives brought two kilos of real cocaine to a meeting with Juan Alberto Rodriguez, Frank Osme, Patrick Duplessy, and Luciana Parham. The buyers brought $60,000.
After the four paid the cops and were arrested, the two kilos of bait were submitted to the crime lab, where McDonald tested and weighed one of the bricks, noting 930.7 grams. As the case ground through the legal system, the public defender hired an outside analyst to reweigh the cocaine. This time, there were 924.78 grams.
Rodriguez and one of his codefendants pleaded no contest to cocaine trafficking and conspiracy in late July. Their sentencing date is scheduled for September. Two additional defendants pleaded guilty in 2012 but have yet to be sentenced.
Perhaps most interesting, though, is the case of Yellow Cab driver Wilner Telcius, who was trying to collect a $6 fare from drunk passenger Joel Troxell on August 4, 2013, when things got weird. Troxell declined to pay, then waved around a .357 magnum, and Telcius called the cops. After a standoff including a SWAT team, cops found “76.2 grams of… cannabis in (2) plastic bags.”
After Troxell was charged (the case is ongoing), McDonald tested the drugs on August 8 and found only 55.6 grams.
BSO is still investigating McDonald and declined to comment on these cases.
Prosecutor Jeff Marcus says his office has retested drugs in cases as they go to trial. “We haven’t been dismissing cases,” he says. “[But] the crime lab is down a chemist, and they’ve been swamped with all their work.”
At the Public Defender’s Office, however, attorneys continue to comb through cases McDonald worked. Says chief assistant Weekes: “When you have a chemist that is engaging in chronic misconduct, it becomes an issue of confidence in a fair trial.”
For updates on the ongoing criminal investigation and projected costs to the State of Florida may be obtained by contacting Attorney William Moore in Broward County.
The South Florida rapper Trick Daddy has chosen to maintain a low profile since we last reported on his arrest occurring in Broward County. The arrest was carried out by the Broward County Drug Task Force which is a specialized unit.
According to Criminal Defense Lawyer William Moore, Broward Sheriff’s deputies had obtained a warrant based upon less than sufficient evidence. Specifically, questionable indicators or cues from a service dog. The warrant from which all of the states evidence regarding the firearm and cocaine possession will most definitely be challenged by way of an appropriate motion to suppress in the up-and-coming weeks.
Moore had stated on Crime-Talk that all evidence would be deemed in admissible once it is established that the obtaining of any warrant was not founded upon necessary facts and allegations that meet the threshold which would otherwise want an intrusion on Trick Daddy’s rights.
Since the arrest, which occurred in early April of this year, the rapper has maintained a low profile refusing to divulge any information about the allegations whatsoever. The rapper’s record company Slip N Slide Records has also declined to take advantage of any publicity that the Drug/Firearm arrest may have otherwise bestowed upon them.
The potential for severe and strict punishment is significant considering not only the charges filed by the Broward County State Attorney’s Office but also due to the county itself. Broward County is considered one of the toughest jurisdictions in Florida from a prosecutorial standpoint. Both elected officials and law enforcement credit the no-nonsense approach to criminal justice as being the reason for record low crime statistics. See Sun Sentinel Article on Broward’s Record Low Crime Statistics. The crime rate in Broward County started to drastically decline sometime in 2011.
Apparently, the crime rate is lower now than it has been in 43 years. Somehow, I don’t think that fact means much to Trick, however.
Trick Daddy is best known for his 2001 single ‘I’m a thug’ – throughout his career Trick has released eight records and has worked with artists by the likes of Pit Bull, Young Jeezy, Rick Ross, C Lo Green and Ludacris.
Keep in touch for more details about Trick Daddy’s Criminal Case in Broward County, Florida.
The Huffington Post reported back in April of 2012 that Brandon Johnson, had accused Broward County Sherriff’s Deputy Andrea Penoyer Tianga of shooting him several times while he was sleeping in his automobile.
Officer Penoyer claims that Johnson was not sleeping at all, but instead driving straight toward her and other Broward Sheriff’s Deputies when they decided to open fire.
Apparently Penoyer and the other officers involved caught significant heat for the shooting as Johnson was shot several times according to Criminal Defense Attorneys from our firm. In response, the gun slinging police officers claim that ‘they feared for their lives because Brandon Johnson, 21, of Pompano Beach, Fla., drove his borrowed Toyota Echo straight at them’
This was primarily due to a report to a local Broward County newspaper. Johnson, who said he was sleeping in his car because of a conflict with a housemate, lost three teeth when a deputy’s bullet entered his mouth and exited through the bottom of his chin. His Uncle reported the the officers were trying to kill his nephew and that he wouldn’t have broken the law according to the Sun-Sentinel.
You may remember the name Andrea Penoyer from the reality show Police Women of Broward County. Penoyer was the most notable officer on the program according to one viewer poll.
What Became of Accusations?
This report stirred up some local controversy. A report was filed and some criticism was endured by the officers, however, the report did not amount to criminal charges being filed or even disciplinary action for that matter. Ultimately,criminal charges were filed against Brandon Johnson in Broward County, Fl.
The Sun-Sentinel reports that the well-known and liked comedian Tracy Morgan was severely injured in a car accident taking place on the New Jersey Turnpike at approximately 1 AM this morning. A limousine bus carrying Morgan and 3 others overturned killing one of the occupants.
Whether an impaired driver was involved in the accident is unknown at this time according to DUI attorney William Moore. DUI related traffic fatalities in New Jersey account for almost 40% of all accidents annually according to one study.
One thing we can be certain of is that Morgan was not responsible as he was a passenger in a limousine van, which separated him from the driver cockpit.
It is been just over one week since a similar accident in the same general location occurred killing one and injuring three others. In that case there was an arrest made for drunk driving.
William Moore is an attorney with the law firm William Moore Criminal Defense in Broward County, FL.