On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
We thought we would start our new blog with a story that demonstrates things are not always what they appear to be in a police report. A case in point is a Fort Lauderdale man who was arrested on misdemeanor charges on his own property for disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest. According to the police report, the case, which began two years ago this month, appeared to be a slam dunk.
Then prosecutors refused to file formal criminal charges against the man. The police report stated the officer could hear the music from several houses away and since he had been called to the house in the past on complaints of loud music he went to investigate. He stated he asked the then 50-year-old to turn off the music and show him some identification. His report specifically said the man laughed and said ‘I don’t have to, get lost.’
The report said that he again asked the man to turn off the music and show him some ID. Again, the report states the man laughed at the officer and started to drink from his beer. It goes on to state the man pulled away as the officer attempted to take the man by his left arm and told him to put his hands behind his back. The man reportedly then said ‘get out of here, this is my house.’ The man then contacted a criminal defense attorney and showed him his home surveillance video from his security system.
The video showed that within seconds of the officer entering the man’s back yard he got up from his lounge chair and walked into his house and turned the music off or down. He came back outside and sat down on the end of his lounge chair. Immediately an officer put a flashlight in his face and spoke to the man. According to the video evidence although the man had something in his hands he never attempted to drink from it nor did he try to walk away or pull away from the officer. He was arrested within two minutes of police officers entering his backyard.
Fortunately, he had a video to back up his story. The City of Fort Lauderdale settled his wrongful arrest case for $30,000. In the majority of criminal defense cases, whether misdemeanors or felonies, much of the evidence can be subjected to scrutiny by a criminal defense lawyer who can either get the charges dismissed or at least attempt to get them reduced based on a thorough review of the case, as this story clearly demonstrates.
Sun Sentinel: “Fort Lauderdale pays arrested man $30,000 when video contradicts cop’s report,” Paula McMahon, Aug. 20, 2012
Our Fort Lauderdale law firm handles a wide range of criminal defense cases, including misdemeanors and felonies. Visit our criminal defense practice overview page to learn more about us.