| Read Time: 2 minutes | Criminal Justice

It appears that Florida is the Kardashians of the Unites States. We just cannot be a boring low profile state who goes about its business and doesn’t make headlines. Why can’t we be more like Montana? When was the last time something crazy happened there? If a few months go by without us causing some sort of uproar, I’d expect Florida to take a half naked selfie and tweet it out to the world.

This time Florida has somehow allowed two inmates to leave the Department of Corrections. Not just two inmates, but two inmates who are serving life sentences for murder. These two men believed Florida was so stupid that they actually went to the Sheriff’s Office and registered as convicted felons. And you know what, they were probably almost correct. At this point Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins have been caught and will be return to prison, most likely to a standing ovation from their fellow inmates.

Now that these two convicted murderers have been caught, the investigation continues. Law enforcement is now trying to figure out how this scheme took place and who drafted and filed the forged documents. Assuming that this person or these people are caught, what sort of criminal charges can they be expect?

The first and probably most obvious offense is forgery. Clearly someone falsely made or forged a public record of a public official. In this case it seems like someone forged the signature of Chief Judge Belvin Perry as well State Attorney Jeffrey Ashton. If convicted this person faces a third degree felony, which is punishable by up to five years in prison.

The next crime that I would expect someone to be charged with is escape, or more specifically principle to escape. The principal theory is that someone aided or helped facilitate the commission of a crime, even if that person was not present when the crime occurred. In this particular situation someone helped facilitate the crime of escape from a correctional facility. This crime is a second degree felony which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

The next one is a crime of unlicensed practice of law. Someone drafted the motion to correct, reduce, or modify the sentence and accompanied order. I am also assuming that this person is not authorized to practice law in this state (if they were, they will not be much longer) and therefore in violation of Florida Statute 454.23, for practicing law by filing motions.  Yet another third degree felony.

These are some of my initial thoughts. Would be happy to discuss with anyone any other charges that they see as possibilities if this person or these people are ever arrested.

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Jay R. Rooth

Jay is an experienced and dedicated attorney. Whether you need help with a DUI or a more serious felony, Jay is ready to fight for you. Not only is Jay highly regarded by his peers, he’s also strongly recommended by his clients. Jay obtained his Law degree from Barry University Law School. Jay is a active member of the Orlando Chamber of Commerce, the Federalist Society, Florida Bar Association, the Orange County Bar Association, the Central Florida Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.

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