Legal Question in Criminal Law in Florida

My boyfriend was caught stealing prescription meds from his workplace, and was arrested and charged with theft (1 misdemeanor) and trafficking (2 felonies). For some reason, the state decided to charge him with the misdemeanor theft and he is going to court for that charge. But the state failed to file the 2 felony charges after 30 days, and his public defender said if they didn't file the charges for the felonies, they probably won't, but they have 5 months to file the charges on the felonies if they want to. What I'm wondering is why wouldn't the state file the felony charges, and is it likely they will later? Thanks in advance.

Asked on 8/10/10, 4:20 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Joseph Vredevelt Best Vredevelt & Associates

It's always a wonder why the state attorney will file on some charges and won't on the others; but you should understand the mechanics of the way they work. Misdemeanors are easy to file, all the state attorney needs is the ticket or arrest form to have a basis to file the misdemeanor charge. As for the trafficking charges, they need to have a meeting with the witnesses before they file the felony charges. They will ensure that the witnesses/officers are prepared to go to trial, that the arrest was valid, that they have good witnesses, and that the witnesses will actually show up for the trial and testify. Until they have those things verified, they will typically not file the felony charges until they actually verify. So don't look too much into the fact it has been over 30 days, many times trafficking charges won't be filed until 40 to 75 days after the initial arrest. I think the PD is wrong in his belief, although for your boyfiend's sake, that he is.

If you need any further questions answered, or you would like help with this case, please call my office at 305.670.3119.

All My Best,

Joseph Vredevelt

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Answered on 8/15/10, 7:48 pm

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