A 31-year-old Florida man is in serious trouble for his theft of a local shuttle bus. If convicted, he faces a hefty fine, jail time and a lengthy period of probation. He will need the services of a Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney, the type of assistance that is available from the law firm of Hassett & Associates.
Stealing a Bus
The incident involving the shuttle bus occurred during a recent Saturday afternoon. The suspect took the vehicle after its driver had momentarily stopped to use a nearby restroom. Police located and arrested the suspect less than an hour later in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Coconut Creek. According to the local police, he was taken into custody without incident and charged with grand theft auto.
Understanding Grand Theft
In Florida, the stealing of a vehicle is considered grand theft and can thus be prosecuted as a felony offense. Depending upon the value of the vehicle, the case could be handled as a third, second of first degree felony, with those convicted facing fines and prison sentences of up to 30 years. It is in any case a serious crime and warrants intervention by a Fort Lauderdale grand theft auto attorney.
Defenses to Auto Theft
In the case of the theft of the shuttle bus, the suspect may have difficulty defending his actions. However, defenses to auto theft are available and can in many cases save a defendant from serious criminal sanctions. In cases that go to trial, the prosecutor must prove that the suspect knowingly and illegally took the property, thus depriving the owner of its use. A Fort Lauderdale grand theft auto attorney understands the workings of the legal system and may be able to challenge the original charges or even the manner by which the suspect was arrested.
The Rights of Criminal Defendants
Those charged with crimes in the United States are considered innocent until proven guilty. They also have the constitutional right to a speedy and fair trial. Kenneth P. Hassett has practiced law in South Florida for more than 25 years and handles a wide variety of criminal cases, including auto theft. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, consider contacting the law firm of Hassett & Associates at 954-791-3939.