Wrongly accused of destruction of property.

My brother was wrongly accused of destruction of property. The accuser said she saw them committing the crime, but there were other people on the property and my brother was asleep. The police came in, woke him and his friends up,arrested and interrogated without the knowledge of any family members and they are only 16. The court date was today and the woman who pressed charges wants to carry it further. What can we do?

Asked on June 26, 2009 under Criminal Law, Florida

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Although I do not practice law in the State of Florida, here are my initial impressions.  First, the fourth amendment to the US Constitution requires officers to have a warrant prior to entering a home, unless they have consent or other exigent circumstances exist.  Based upon the facts that you have provided, it appears that the entry into the home may have been illegal, and therefore may present a basis for an attorney to argue that evidence should be suppressed and the charges should be dismissed.  Second, if your brother's friends are all willing to provide sworn affidavits to your brother's attorney that states that your brother was sleeping at the time of the alleged crime, if these affidavits are presented properly to the prosecuting authority the charges also may likely be dismissed.  Nevertheless, both of these issues require the skill of an experienced criminal defense attorney in order to be effective.  Therefore, I highly recommend that your brother consult with and/or retain a criminal defense attorney in the interest of obtaining the most favorable resolution of these charges as possible.


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