Even Habitual Offenders Are Entitled to a Solid Criminal Defense
Lakeland, FL (Law Firm Newswire) May 7, 2014 – There are those that feel if a person continually ends up on the wrong side of the law, that they should be thrown in jail and left there. It’s not that cut and dried.
“A recent case, that I am not involved in, caught my attention because the man involved is considered to be a habitual offender in a number of states and has a criminal record featuring several felony convictions for things such as theft, burglary and drugs, assault, resisting arrest and robbery, and a rape case. His arrest record, which dates back to 1974, shows 61-pages detailing offenses in Oregon, Florida, California, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. His latest brush with the law was as a result of a felony bank robbery,” says Thomas Grajek, a Lakeland criminal defense attorney.
In an odd twist, the man entered the bank, not wearing anything over his head, and handed the teller a note. He then left the bank with the cash and voluntarily turned himself in and offered a full statement to police outlining his involvement in the robbery. The bank was full that day, with 30 employees on site. Given the man’s violent past, many were relieved that things had not gotten out-of-hand during the robbery.
The man was assigned a public defender that would not speak to the media, but did indicate the individual was remorseful. She also suggested she was waiting to confirm her client’s prior arrests and/or convictions before determining how to defend the case. The police have indicated the man will be brought before a magistrate and circuit judge. They do not wish to pursue charges in federal court.
Over the course of this man’s criminal career, the police came to know him as a habitual offender, capable of doing just about anything. “However, no matter what an accused’s history may be, they are still entitled to a defense. In this instance, it appears he may have attempted to rob the bank because he was a homeless veteran. Whatever the circumstances are, each individual deserves competent criminal defense counsel. His circumstances may well mitigate any punishment a court may decide to hand down. That’s for an experienced attorney to determine,” says Grajek.