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The Florida Bar

The Morning of Release Palm Beach County Jail

The Florida Sun Sentinel recently followed a former Broward County jail inmate on his first morning after being released. Gerry Lanz is originally from Venezuela, but is now a lawful permanent resident who calls south Florida home. He was released before 6:00 a.m. on October 9 with a few belongings, including a diamond earring and papers from his criminal lawyer. Lanz did not have transportation, since the guards ran out of the bus passes they distribute to departing inmates. Lanz had served five months in jail for stealing a motorcycle; it was his third conviction with jail time in a year and a half. Lanz has five kids, and says he is close to three of them, but has never met the other two. He went to school until he was 16, then dropped out of his local Broward County high school. Since then, he has been in and out of the criminal justice system.

After getting out, Lanz walked to a friend’s house. To his bitter disappointment, the personal items he left with his friend – his cell phone, gold grill, clothing, and cash – were apparently stolen during the time Lanz was incarcerated. Frustrated and angry, Lanz moved on to his next friend’s home.

Lanz met up with Alyssa Fezatte, a long-time family friend. She was thrilled to see Lanz and he had a shot of vodka before she fixed him French toast for breakfast. Fezatte smoked with Lanz and asked if he planned to keep out of prison. Lanz indicated that, this time, he was serious about staying out and never returning. Lanz said he hoped to move to Galveston, Texas, in order to find work with a friend. Despite his family ties, Lanz believed remaining in the Broward area while unemployed and with a suspended driver’s license would lead him back on the path to crime.

Two months later, the newspaper checked in with Lanz again. While he has not yet made it to Texas, he has found work as a mechanic. He lives with his friends near Lake Worth. After his string of 12 arrests in Broward County in as many years, he is still trying to stay out of trouble. Broward County jail records indicate that close to eighty percent of current inmates have served time in that jail previously. Lanz was arrested in the past for crimes relating to drug use, fleeing police, and driving offenses.

Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer William Moore has experience in a wide range of criminal defense situations and a great trial record. An arrest can damage all aspects of your life, including your employment prospects and custody and visitation of your children. If you have been charged with a crime in Florida, contact William Moore, P.A., which is an experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal law firm with offices in Fort Lauderdale-Dade, Broward, and Fort Lauderdale Counties.

This article should be used for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.

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