Community Watch Mistakes
People that participate in community watch groups need to protect themselves from legal ramifications by knowing the law and understanding where the line is crossed when it comes to serving their community. If you were charged with a crime while serving your community as a neighborhood patrol volunteer, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who will advocate on your behalf and prove that your actions were not driven by any criminal intentions–just a desire to keep your neighborhood safe.
Two Community Watch Volunteers Charged with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Recently, an Uber driver got lost in a residential neighborhood in Delray Beach after making a food delivery, according to the Palm Beach Post. As he attempted to find the exit, two men in a golf cart pulled up to him, pointed two handguns at him, and allegedly told him to “Get out of the car, or we’re going to kill you.” One of the men fired a “warning” shot at the man, that went close by his head. They ordered him to get out of the car, then had him go down onto his knees. The two men were part of a community watch group, and believed the man to be a burglar. The Uber driver believed that it was his “last day.” He is originally from Haiti, which shows the possibility of the two white community watch men’s racially charged reason to apprehend the driver in the first place. They said that the reason for firing the warning shot was that the Uber driver became aggressive and charged at them. However, they are being charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a third degree felony as per Florida statute 784.021, and punishable by up to five years in prison.
Carrying a Weapon Could Land you in Jail or Prison
According to a spokeswoman, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, does “not advise members to carry a weapon or every display or discharge it. We encourage them to be the eyes and ears of their community and to report all suspicious behavior to us.” Community watch members need to remember that they could be charged with an offense if they attempt to make an arrest or threaten another person with or without a deadly weapon. If you have been charged with such an offense, you need professional legal counsel at once.
An Experienced West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney is Here to Help
As an amateur community watch volunteer, you are bound to make mistakes when you are put in high pressure situations. However, mistakes can lead to charges of assault, battery, or even homicide, and potentially a lengthy prison sentence. An attorney will help show that you had no intention of committing the offense that you were charged with, and it was only an accident caused by your willingness to step up and protect your neighborhood. Contact one of our West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers with the Skier Law Firm today for legal help.