Saturday, November 8, 2014

Criminal Charges / Cops / State Attorneys / Variance in Charges / Theft v. Robbery / Victims / Testimonial Evidence / AVVO / Michael A. Haber, Esq. **ARRESTED / **305DUI

Q:     How can the state add a charge that wasn't in the police report?  It was a petty theft. They added Robbery With a Weapon after his first appearance. He had a pocket knife on him (that never left his pocket) and also had aggravated assault even though he never touched the guy that came after him. The police report doesn't mention him pulling the weapon either, just that the guy saw the clip on his pocket.

A:   Chosen as "Best Answer" by Asker!  

Michael Adam Haber


Contributor Level 20


Lawyers agree


Best Answer
chosen by asker
Answered 1) Cops (99% of them anyhow) are not lawyers. They charge people based upon what they were taught at the police academy, what they gain from experience, what they can decipher from their "law enforcement manual" and what their colleagues and superiors advise them. A charge by a cop is nothing more than that. It falls by the wayside until and unless a state attorney (a lawyer who works for the government as a prosecutor) review the police reports, examines the evidence, questions the witnesses and determines what charges, if any to file. Sometimes the ASA files the same charges, sometimes different charges, sometimes no charges.

2) The difference between a theft and a robbery is that in the former there is a "taking" and in the latter the taking is accomplished by use of force or fear of force.

3) Use of a weapon, any weapon, bumps a theft to a robbery to an armed robbery.

4) Assault means putting in fear of being touched. Battery means being struck against one's will. Not touching the victim but threatening to touch the victim is assault (in fact if a weapon is involved it is an aggravated assault).

5) Different people experience events differently. (For example, both Travon Martin's and George Zimmerman's mothers identified their own sons voice on the same tape - they can't both be right but they swore under oath to as much anyhow.) The victim apparently believe s/he was in fear, that her/his property was taken by force or threat of force an that "he" is the person who pulled the knife and committed the offenses.

6) The victim must have told the State Attorney a different story than that which is contained in the arrest report for the State to have filed significantly more serious charges, but this can and does (and apparently did) happen.

7) A competent criminal defense attorney will investigate the facts and circumstances of the case and, if need be, will seek to impeach the victim's testimony as having changed (for whatever reason / motive) from the time of the incident to the time of the State Attorney's interview. There is a lot of fertile ground to cover there, and those of us who practice in this area of the law relish such opportunities.

"He" needs a Pensacola criminal defense attorney asap. You can try to locate one here, or, although I practice primarily in Miami-Dade County you are welcome to contact my office for a referral or two, or you can search the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers website by locality (please see - and click on the "Find A Lawyer" tab).

Either way, best of luck!

Since 1991 Michael A. Haber, P.A. has an unblemished record of providing boutique criminal defense litigation services to many folks who have been accused of criminality. 

Michael A. Haber, Esq. has creatively, effectively and zealously represented clients on a wide variety of criminal matters ranging from DUI to drug trafficking and from misdemeanors to first degree murder. 

Michael A. Haber, Esq. is prepared to speak with you about your case!  At Michael A. Haber, P.A. "its all about reasonable doubt"!

1-888-SHARK-8-1, 305-381-8686, 305-798-2220, **ARRESTED, **305DUI, **MIAMIDUI, **MIAMILAW or **HABERLAW.

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