2nd Oct 2018
A South Florida criminal defense attorney can explain that the charge of loitering and prowling may arise if a person seems suspicious due to the time, location or his or her mannerisms in such a way that indicate an immediate threat to the safety of people or property in the immediate vicinity. Unlike many other criminal offenses in Florida, this crime can be charged even if a person has not actually committed any crime. If you are facing charges for this offense, a South Florida criminal defense attorney can discuss the following important aspects of your case.
To secure a conviction, the prosecutor must prove two elements beyond a reasonable doubt. First, he or she must show that you were loitering or prowling in a location, at a time or in such a way that is not typical for law-abiding citizens. Second, the actions must have occurred under circumstances that reasonably led to concern about the immediate safety of people or property.
This crime is considered a second degree misdemeanor in Florida. It is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of $500.
There are several defenses that may apply for these types of charges. Both elements of the crime must occur within the presence of a law enforcement officer to justify the charges. If a law enforcement officer is not present, the crime should not be charged. It is also insufficient if you were simply idle or vagrant somewhere. Also, there must be an imminent threat to the safety of others or property. Without this element, an arrest for these charges is illegal. A criminal defense attorney can examine your case and determine if these defenses or others may be raised.