Officers on the Hunt for Murder Suspect
A 35-year-old man with an extensive criminal record is on the run and wanted for the murder of his wife.
Deputies responded to a residence on Meadson Road on a report of a shooting. Officers arriving at the scene found the 35-year-old female, dead from an apparent gunshot wound.
In 2009, the suspect was convicted of aggravated battery on a pregnant woman and served two years and four months in prison. In 2018, he was again sent to prison, this time serving 14 months of a four-year sentence for DUI, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, child neglect and marijuana possession. He was released in May 2022.
Later in 2022, the suspect was arrested for marijuana possession, attempting to elude police and resisting arrest, according to Escambia County jail records. The disposition of those charges wasn’t immediately known.
In the above story, the criminal investigation was short and to the point. In most cases, criminal investigations are long and involved. Police officers sometimes use controversial tactics to target suspects and make arrests. When these things happen, a Tampa criminal defense lawyer can successfully challenge the results of this investigation and undermine the prosecutor’s case.
Most police investigators immediately suspect family members in criminal cases. They also immediately focus on individuals in the area with criminal records. They assume these individuals committed the crime or know who did commit the crime.
Investigations that begin with such individuals and then branch out are normally fair. Investigations that never consider other suspects are usually unfair.
Later, in their rush to close the case, police investigators often use biased lineups. A lineup should be double blind. Neither the witness nor the administering officer should know the suspect’s identity. If the administering officer knows, this officer usually gives subtle, or not-so-subtle, clues to the witness as to who s/he should pick.
On a related note, lineup instructions matter. If the administering officer says the suspect “may or may not be” in the lineup, the witness doesn’t feel pressure to pick someone.
The statute of limitations in criminal cases is usually two years in misdemeanors and five years in felonies. Some serious crimes, such as murder and sexual assault, have much longer SOLs. However, the statute of limitations doesn’t apply to arrest warrants. Once a judge issues a legal warrant, it’s valid until served.
The warrant must be based on an affidavit that shows probable cause. The uncorroborated testimony of a confidential informant usually does not constitute probable cause. Many people will say almost anything for love (leniency in another proceeding) or money (a large cash payment).
If a Tampa criminal defense lawyer cannot overturn a warrant, a voluntary surrender is usually the best option. Defendants can turn themselves in on their own schedules instead of being arrested at random. Attorneys usually work with bail bond companies to ensure quick release. Frequently, self-surrendering defendants spend less than an hour behind bars.
Traffic warrant rules are different. Typically, an attorney can lift the warrant and place the matter on the court’s docket without the defendant’s appearance.
Rely on a Dedicated Hillsborough County Attorney
A criminal charge is not the same thing as a criminal conviction. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Tampa, contact the OA Law Firm. Virtual, home, and jail visits are available.