Faking A Disappearance Can Lead To Criminal Charges
When you think of criminal charges, you may initially think of common crimes including theft, driving under the influence (DUI), or assault or more serious offenses such as murder or robbery. However, criminal charges can arise from a wide variety of situations and, in recent years, several different individuals in Florida have been charged with crimes after faking their own disappearances.
The most recent case involves a banker from Boca Raton who was facing a serious lawsuit when suddenly it seemed he went missing at sea. After his fishing boat was found drifting empty miles off the shore, the Coast Guard spent over two days searching the ocean for the man. After he was found to be alive and well in Atlanta, federal authorities placed him under arrested and charged him at the end of February 2016 with fraud stemming from the fake distress signal that was allegedly issued. If convicted, the man faces as many as ten years in prison.
Last year, a Jacksonville man was charged with insurance fraud and false statements in Florida after he allegedly faked his own death. Family members had reported that the man died while on a trip to Venezuela and was cremated. His wife then allegedly made several life insurance claims. However, two years later, authorities found him living with his wife in North Carolina after he allegedly obtained a false birth certificate and driver’s license and applied for a passport using a false identity.
In yet another case that made multiple headlines a few years ago, a Florida woman pled guilty to charges of extortion and threats after she faked her own kidnapping and demanded $50,000 from her then-husband. The woman received seven years of probation with strict conditions and was ordered to pay about $45,000 toward costs of police investigation and prosecution.
The above cases demonstrate that people in Florida can find themselves facing criminal charges stemming from unusual situations that you do not hear about every day. In such situations, you need a skilled criminal defense attorney who can find creative solutions to investigate and build an effective defense. While cases involving bizarre circumstances such as faking your own disappearance can seem amusing, they should be taken extremely seriously as they can have harsh consequences. Fraud charges can result in jail time, probation, restitution and fines, and more. In addition, fraud convictions can have immigration consequences and can make it difficult to work in certain professions.
Contact A Qualified Boca Raton Criminal Defense Attorney For Help
If you are facing any type of criminal charges, your first call should be to a criminal defense legal team who is thoroughly familiar with both criminal laws and criminal court procedures in Florida and Palm Beach County. The criminal defense attorneys at the law office of Lavalle, Brown & Ronan have handled a wide range of criminal cases involving many different charges and circumstances. If you have been arrested, believe you are under investigation, or are currently facing criminal charges, you should never delay in calling 888-646-1315 today.