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Fort Myers Criminal Law Blog

Juvenile crimes: 12-year-old girl arrested after Snapchat threat

Following the incident at a Florida high school in March when 17 people were wounded, and 17 others were killed, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act became law. Under this legislation, incidents in which people threaten schools with violence are regarded as second-degree felonies. When students make such threats, they could be charged with juvenile crimes.

Following an anonymous tip to a school resource officer in another county, police arrested a 12-year-old girl on a recent Monday. Reportedly, she admitted to posting a threatening message on Snapchat, warning students to stay away from the school the following day because she planned to shoot someone. Police say the girl claimed that it was an idle threat posted out of frustration because she was bullied at school.

DUI manslaughter charges filed after deaths of 3 linemen

A 37-year-old man is accused of causing the deaths of three linemen who were repairing damaged lines in the Florida Panhandle in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. The linemen were employees of a utility company. According to the Florida Highway Patrol report, the accident that led to DUI manslaughter and other charges occurred on a Wednesday night north of Panama City near Chipley.

A crash report indicates that a man driving a pickup truck with an attached U-Haul trailer was traveling on State Road 77 when he failed to control the vehicle. Reportedly, he veered onto the shoulder of the road where he struck the three linemen. Two of the workers died at the scene, while the third man was rushed to a hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.

White-collar crimes: Exploitation of the elderly leads to arrest

A 35-year-old bank employee in Florida was recently arrested in Lee County near Fort Myers. The man faces multiple felony charges for alleged white-collar crimes. The arrest followed an investigation into the disappearance of almost $900,000 from the accounts of an elderly couple in Highlands Beach.

According to court documents, the bank employee allegedly befriended the couple while he worked at the bank where they had accounts. The arrest report indicates that the husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease when the defendant became the couple's sole beneficiary and also their power of attorney. Due to the elderly man's medical condition, he was no longer able to drive, identify relatives or remember his address.

Felony DUI charges follow crash causing serious injuries

A 47-year-old Tavernier man was arrested by Florida Highway Patrol deputies at a Holiday Inn in Key Largo three days after he allegedly caused damage to multiple vehicles and sent one man to the hospital with critical injuries. He now faces several charges, including one count of felony DUI. The incidents that led to the Thursday arrest occurred mid-morning on a recent Monday.

According to FHP crash investigators, the accused man was speeding along southbound U.S. 1 when his sedan rear-ended an SUV, sending it across the median and into the lanes of northbound traffic. There, the SUV struck another car, and although that driver managed to stop on the road's shoulder, the damage continued. The SUV was still out of control and entered a hardware store's parking lot where it came to a halt after smashing into two more vehicles.

What to do if you face shoplifting charges during the holidays

The holiday season can be a stressful and unpredictable time of year. From Halloween through New Year's Day, there are certain behaviors that are more prevalent than other times of the year. One of the most widespread offenses during these months is shoplifting. 

Consumerism, stress, alcohol, family issues and financial difficulties are all factors that play a role in shoplifting during the holidays. If you find yourself in a jail cell for shoplifting, the joy of the holidays does not have to be over. Here are the next steps you should take to get the best outcome possible. 

White-collar crimes: Florida pharmacist admits to Medicare fraud

The owner of a pharmacy in Florida recently pleaded guilty in federal court in Miami to committing health care fraud. The 48-year-old resident of Miami Beach is one of 123 others in South Florida who were charged in a sweep that federal prosecutors carried out in June -- all accused of involvement in white-collar crimes relating to health care fraud. This man reportedly admitted to running a Medicare fraud scheme involving $8.4 million.

As part of the plea deal, the pharmacist agreed to forfeit the full value of the fraud. This means that the government will seize various assets, including the funds in four separate bank accounts in his name, along with three business bank accounts in the name of his pharmacy. Furthermore, the government will take ownership of a condominium bought for $450,000 in 2012.

Juvenile crimes: Teen, accomplices charged re robbery dating scam

Officers of the Broward County Sheriff's Office reported the arrest of a 17-year old teenager in Deerfield Beach in August. The Florida girl is accused of committing several juvenile crimes with the help of her 21-year-old boyfriend and the father of her 3-month-old baby, along with another 19-year-old man. While officers say they know of at least two victims of their alleged dating scam, they are looking for more victims.

According to the allegations, the teenage girl advertised herself as a 21-year-old woman with an assumed name on a dating app. Men who responded were allegedly asked to meet her at her home, not knowing that the two male gang members would rob them upon their arrival at the woman's home. Victims reported noticing the house was essentially empty before the masked accomplices appeared, demanding cash while they waved handguns.

3 common and costly mistakes after a motorcycle accident

Crashing your motorcycle may cause you to experience fear, shock and confusion. If you survive a motorcycle accident, you are lucky. Motorcyclists are at a much higher risk of death than car occupants. However, just because you are alive does not mean you should take everything for granted. 

To receive substantial compensation for your injuries and damage to your bike, you must be careful to avoid some costly mistakes. Here are a few common slip-ups you should be mindful of after your motorcycle collision:

Driver arrested for drunk driving after fleeing traffic stop

Anyone in Florida who is accused of impaired driving will likely take the charges seriously. While some drivers might believe a first drunk driving charge is not too serious, any subsequent charges might have severe consequences. Stiff fines, extended jail times and a scarred permanent record might come into play for convictions of multiple DUI charges.

A 47-year-old woman from St. Petersburg will likely explore her defense options after her fourth arrest for drinking and driving. A police report indicates that an attempt to pull the driver over for an investigative stop at about 10:30 on a recent Sunday evening failed when she raced away in an SUV. However, she only managed to get a short distance away before crashing into a parked vehicle.

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