Articles Posted in Legal Humor

Occasionally, this blog takes the opportunity to highlight potentially criminal situations where individuals demonstrated “what not to do.” For example, if you’re facing charges or under suspicion, running from the police is an example of what not to do. What you should do instead is get online or grab a phone and get in touch with a knowledgeable Tampa Bay criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

This blog also sometimes highlights people who have engaged in distinctly “Florida man/Florida woman” behavior. This blog post involves both. That is, a Florida man and someone illustrating “what not to do” when facing a particular predicament.

Per a Fox 13 Tampa Bay news report, that man was J.Y. from Lakeland, whom Polk County Sheriff’s deputies were seeking concerning possible crimes of aggravated battery, false imprisonment, and tampering. After receiving a tip, deputies traveled to a residence on West 10th Street. At the front of the house, propped in front of a window, was a white dry-erase board bearing a message declaring that J.Y. “does NOT live here!!”

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For almost as long as there has been a World Wide Web (and later, smart devices,) there have been people posting adult and/or sexually explicit content online. When someone publishes their own images or publishes images of someone else with proper permission, that’s one thing; when they disseminate others’ images without authorization, it’s quite another. Today, these acts are often taken very seriously by authorities. Engaging in such publication can carry serious consequences, including a felony conviction and jail time. Obviously, a felony conviction can be a life-altering event, which is why anyone facing such charges should waste no time retaining a knowledgeable Tampa Bay criminal defense lawyer.

According to a recent arrest affidavit, an extortion case from Pinellas County involved those kinds of images. The genesis of the arrest was a relationship that was both business and personal… and had gone very wrong.

The Smoking Gun reported that E.L., a St. Petersburg woman, allegedly had lent her new girlfriend $45. Apparently feeling the girlfriend was untimely in paying back the debt, the frustrated lender decided to offer a little extra motivation.

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Meet 20-year-old Jarious Tremayne Mock.  Thanks from a tip from the smoking gun website, we all learn a valuable lesson as to how to turn a bad day into something much worse.

The night started with Mr. Mock leaving a nightclub and drunkenly shouting “F–k the police” as he saw nearby officers.  The cops responded by giving him a citation for disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.  Per usual regulations, the officers ran the North Carolinian man for warrants and they discovered he had an outstanding warrant for a failure to appear on a possession of marijuana charge!

This cost him an arrest.  He was taken to jail where he was then told that he could make bail of only $200 if he wished.  He told the cops the money was in his wallet.  What the police found instead earned him a felony charge.  The police discovered a counterfeit $100 bill and a fake $20 bill!  His bail was increased to $2,000 and he is now facing a load of charges.

Another hat tip to the Smoking Gun website who found this arrest report of a man who took his wife on the trip of her lifetime…

69-year-old Richard Addy and his wife Elizabeth were both allegedly intoxicated when they began to argue early Tuesday Morning.  Richard told police he decided to leave the house and cool off.  His 50-year-old bride had other plans.

Elizabeth jumped on the roof of their 2011 Toyota when Richard took off.  He was stopped by Stuart police six miles away.  He told the arresting officer that he drove off not knowing his wife was on the hood!  He first became aware of her when, while at a light, she started banging on his roof!

He chose not to stop as he had no cell phone so he kept driving.  He drove a total of six miles before being stopped by the police.  During his drive, he claimed he drove by a closed government building in the hope that their would be help.

The Stuart police department was not amused.  His wife was not charged with disorderly conduct.  Richard was not arrested for a DUI despite erratic driving and the odor of alcohol on his breath.  Rather he was arrested for reckless driving and a traffic citation.  He pled not guilty at his first appearance. Continue reading

Our fair state and our county gets another national nod as the New York Daily News writes up a brief story about a woman who was arrested for driving under the influence as well as possession of a controlled substance.  Perhaps feeling the alcohol, she soon made an offer to the police that got her in way deeper trouble…


24-year-old Arielle Engert was pulled over by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office early morning on Monday, August 31.  Ironically she was pulled over on 49th street, a few blocks away from the criminal courthouse.  What she later offered to do to the Deputy resulted in multiple felony charges against her!

The Deputy noticed that Ms. Engert seemed drunk and called in a DUI squad for further investigation.  They gave her a series of “field sobriety exercises” and determined she was under the influence of alcohol.  She later blew a .162, an enhanced blow and over twice the legal limit.

Making matters worse, she had marijuana in her purse and at the jail, cocaine was discovered in her bra!  She was then charged with a DUI, possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine and introduction of contraband into a detention facility.

A bad night by any stretch.  Unfortunately she was about to make it worse!  Arielle offered the arresting officer oral sex in exchange for letting her go at the scene, an offer he refused.  Not wanting to quit while she was behind, she then offered sexual favors to two other deputies in exchange for her release!  Her smooth talking was rewarded with three more felony charges added to her impressive stack.  She was then charged with three counts of attempted bribery of a law enforcement official.

The woman was eventually released on bond.  For a woman who had stacked up the criminal charges in a hurry, she doesn’t seem to have much in the way of priors.  It appears that she only has prior DUI arrests.

Because of the nature of the charges, it didn’t take long for reporters to do some background snooping.  Before her facebook page was taken down, she listed herself as a philosophy student at the University of Florida.  If true, she will have plenty to contemplate in the months ahead.  If all the counts are charged, she is looking at two misdemeanors and five third degree felonies!
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From the “Not the brightest idea” file comes a CBS news report about a man who was late to his own courtdate. He did the logical thing in his mind, stealing his friend’s car to get there!

21-year-old Jorge Ramirez-Sierra, of New Jersey, stole his friend’s car so he could make his court appearance.

Police were called early Friday to a home where the owner of a 2011 Ford Fusion reported his car missing. The owner suspected Jorge of the grand theft because the defendant mentioned he had no ride to court multiple times the night before.

While the police were still at the victim’s house, Jorge called him. The soon-to-be defendant told the man he had his car and was on the way back. Police were there to arrest Jorge when he arrived in his friend’s stolen car.

Police quickly searched the hapless thief and found drug paraphernalia, a crack pipe, an empty fireball whisky bottle and wax bags in his possession. To top it off, the man was also driving with a suspended license!

Ramirez-Sierra was charged with one count of grand theft auto, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a hypodermic needle, driving while license suspended and having an opening container of alcohol in a motor vehicle.

Despite his new arrests, he was released pending an April 15 courtdate. He was lucky that these new crimes did not take place in Pinellas, Pasco or Hillsborough county, otherwise his bond would most likely be revoked because of his new arrests!

Ironically, while driving a stolen car caused his newest arrest, he was going to court that day to deal with criminal charges that took place while he was a passenger in a car.

Previously, police pulled the car over for erratic driving and found a juvenile driver and the suspect in the passenger seat. Eventually, officers discovered he was in possession of heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia, and again, possession of hypodermic needles. In addition he also had an outstanding warrant. He was arrested and the driver faced multiple juvenile charges as well.
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Do you get time off for honesty? A Florida man may soon find out after his arrest.

Meet 25-year-old Robert Phillips. He may just be the most honest drug dealer in the state…

His most recent arrest sounded like it was custom made for the tv show COPS. While driving a stolen car, Robert had the bad fortune to narrowly avoid hitting another car. That car was being driven by an undercover police officer who immediately wanted Robert to stop. With other police cars giving chase with lights and sirens, Mr. Phillips did his best feeling and eluding.

During the police chase, Robert eventually abandoned his car and ran into an art store. He also collided into an elderly patron, knocking her to the ground. The force of their collision caused him to drop a loaded semi-automatic handgun. As a convicted felon, this is a big no-no and resulted in additional charges as he was captured trying to exit the store from the back.

A search incident to his arrest resulted in police finding a large number of grams of heroin ( a drug trafficking amount) in his pockets as well as 1000s in cash.

Inside the suspect’s car, police found over five grams of crack cocaine, needles, a drug scale and a hidden compartment in the car.

While being interviewed after his arrest on multiple charges, Robert was asked his occupation. Without hesitating he blurted out “drug dealer”! His honesty has won him no points with a judge so far. As of this writing, bail is still in the amount of $240,000.


This seven-time convicted felon had been in and out of Florida prisons on multiple occasions. Mr. Phillips can be charged with felon in possession of a firearm. As he was in actual physical control of the gun, he is facing a MANDATORY three years in prison for this one charge.

The trafficking in heroin count will also be a minimum mandatory sentence, the exact amount of time will depend on the amount of heroin and any negotiations with the state attorney.

Likewise, the fleeing and eluding, if he is found guilty, will be punished depending on the severity of the charge. Per the facts of the article, it can be charged as a third-degree felony or perhaps a second-degree felony. If it is a second-degree, he could be punished by up to 15 years in prison for just this one charge!
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From the Washington Post, this holiday season brought out the Christmas spirit in many criminals. Meet a few bank-robbing Santas, drunk driving elves and other Xmas bad guys…

Santa robs a bank

In Memphis, TN Santa got a start on his post-Christmas break by robbing a bank. The man, who has not been caught, made off with a large amount of money in a duffel bag. Described as between 35-40 and under 200 pounds, it sounds like Santa has dropped some weight.

Another Santa-based crime took place in San Francisco when another man dressed as jolly old St. Nick, walked up to a teller, handed her a note and made off with a large amount of cash. To give this crime a bit of an Ocean 11 feel, the robbery took place during Santa Con, an event where 1000s of people dress up like Santa in the area. It looks like this Santa also made a clean get away.

Santa is packing heat, defends Ms. Claus in a shoot-out

A Santa in Detroit shot two men at a gas station and claimed he was defending Mrs. Claus. Santa got involved in an arguement over his girlfriend (dressed as the you know who). One of the victims ran to who car and Mr. Claus opened fire, hitting both men. Police chased him down and he was charged with two counts of aggravated battery, and assault.

An elf gets a DUI

It isn’t just Santa who has all the trouble. A Christmas elf from New Jersey was arrested for a DUI after police found him passed out behind the wheel. Brian Chellis, 23, was found in a Target parking lot by police responding to a call. His engine, lights and music were on but Brian was fast asleep.

Police woke him up and after failing a breathalyzer and field sobriety exercises, the “Elf on a Shelf” was charged with driving under the influence.

A town’s Santa is arrested on firearm charges

55-year-old Mack Gardner from Elwood, Indiana voluntarily stepped down from his role as town Santa after he was arrested on a felony firearm charge.

He was arrested after he gave a gun to a known felon who just happened to be his cousin. So far Mr. Gardner is pleading his innocence but more facts continue to come out.
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From the Smoking Gun website, two quick police reports that help show how the term “Weird Florida” got its name…

Just last Friday an elderly Florida woman was charged with misdemeanor battery after spraying her mentally ill adult son with Febreze, a cleaning product.

Per the report the 69-year-old mother, Jenny Ellis, claimed she was frustrated with the state’s mental health system and wants her son gone. According to the police Ellis told them “Just take him out of here. Make him disappear, shoot him or something.”

After posting a bond, the suspect is due in court next month. She was lucky as she could have been charged with more serious offenses such as battery on a disabled person, aggravated assault or other charges. It sounds like she may need a mental health evaluation herself to make sure she can handle the stress of taking care of her son.

Not to be outdone, 45-year-old Desmond Brownlee was arrested and charged with domestic battery after choking his wife during an arguement over fried chicken! As most thing do, this fight started late night when the defendant began fighting with his wife of over three years? The reason for the fight? Per Desmond, he was angry that there was not enough chicken leftovers!

The victim claimed that she was pushed into the bedroom and repeatedly hit. Finally she said the suspect strangled her to the point that she was not able to breathe!

She eventually broke free and dialed 911. However when the police arrived, she had since changed her mind and no longer wanted to press charges. The report made sure to note that they had a child in common who was sleeping throughout the incident.

Noticing red marks on the victim’s face and neck, the defendant was arrested for domestic battery by strangulation (a felony) and tampering with a witness. He was taken to jail where he remained.
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From your local news station wtsp, a local man was arrested for his improvised BBQ at the beach…

Instead of a cookout on father’s day that included hamburgers and hotdogs, one local man decided to add a bit more punch to his grill. PCSO deputies arrested 24-year-old Charles Tapp after finding him cooking methamphetamine at a local beach.

Deputies first noticed a dark truck along the mangrove area of Gandy beach last Saturday night. Making a citizen’s contact with the defendant, police found several drug needles in his truck along with items associated with cooking meth.

Narcotics detectives were called in, and after further investigation, the suspect was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of the chemicals pseudoephedrine and hydrochloric gas.

Per the Sheriff’s office, post-miranda, Tapp admitted to cooking up meth at the beach.

A look at Mr. Tapp’s prior record shows nothing in Pinellas County. Depending on his prior record elsewhere, Tapp may qualify for drug court if addiction is an issue. If sucessfully completed, drug court Otherwise the possession of meth charge and possession of unlawful chemicals are each third-degree felonies punishable by up to five years in prison per count!

Additionally, the needles would be punishable by up to one year county jail for every possession of paraphernalia count.
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