When locations across multiple counties of Florida are involved in the same scheme, you may be facing what is known as statewide prosecution. In these cases, the Florida Attorney General runs the prosecution. The Attorney General’s Office has their own (much larger) investigation budgets – than say Hillsborough County – and also the tendency to oversell their case at trial.
Have you heard the saying “Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it”? In multi-county prosecutions, the state has spent the time and money building a case and gathering evidence to prosecute you. Therefore, they tend to seek steeper penalties for their efforts. Our Tampa, FL criminal attorneys have achieved good results for clients in state court, and downward departures at sentencing.
Common Statewide Prosecution Crimes in Florida
Types of multi-county crimes include:
- Money laundering
- Drug distribution (including heroin, fentanyl, meth, or other substances)
- Weapons/firearms charges
When the crime or crimes committed are cross-jurisdictional lines, a statewide prosecution will occur. In addition to the original charges, you may have conspiracy charges (and additional penalties) added depending on the number of people involved in the ‘ring’/scheme.
Who’s A Target of Multi-County Criminal Schemes?
Commonly big-box stores like Walmart, Target, and even Publix are the targets of multi-county money laundering or retail theft schemes.
In a recent case, the owner of a barbershop in Tampa was arrested during the breakup of a retail theft ring. According to law enforcement, the man was accused of running a scheme that operated across 14 central Florida counties and shipped stolen goods out of the country. Altogether, this statewide prosecution will be filed against six people who are facing at least 31 felony charges including racketeering, cheating or gross fraud, and grand theft.
How A State Prosecutor May Inflate Their Case
The prosecution is there for one goal –to obtain a guilty verdict. Once they’ve spent months preparing a case, they will argue for the strongest punishment possible under the sentencing guidelines.
At trial, the statewide prosecutor may overstate their case based on unreliable witnesses and inflated evidence. After all, the state of Florida has put a lot of effort and money behind the investigation of your case, and they want to make sure the evidence looks as strong as possible.
You need an experienced attorney who will review both the evidence at hand and how it was obtained in order to prepare your best defense.
In Our Experience…
Stechschulte Nell obtained a not guilty verdict in one case where the statewide prosecutor tried to oversell their evidence on the client.
If you’ve found yourself charged or if you’ve received a target of investigation letter, a skilled defense attorney can help. Contact our Tampa, FL law firm for a free case review or call (813) 280-1244 to speak with an attorney.
Adjusting Our Defense to the Details of Each Case
Our criminal defense firm understands that you may not have experience with the Florida legal system. Although you may find yourself the target of a statewide investigation or multi-county criminal charges, you shouldn’t face steeper penalties solely because the statewide prosecutor’s office has abundant resources to build and prepare their case. When you work with Stechschulte Nell, you can trust that you are working with experienced Attorneys, skilled at questioning and picking apart the statewide prosecutor’s evidence against you.
We can offer counsel during any stage of your case, even before you officially face charges. Our Tampa, FL lawyers will partner closely with you to ensure that you are prepared for every stage of trial. Contact us today to speak with a local attorney.