Bill Roelke is dedicated to defending men and women throughout Jacksonville and nearby areas. He understands the tactics necessary to defend against misdemeanor and felony charges.
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A Polk County teacher was arrested this month for showing pornography to students in his classroom. My review of the facts indicates that as is typical in many criminal matters, there are potential defenses available to the teacher that potentially could absolve him, or at a minimum, mitigate the severity of the charges he faces.

The Arrest Affidavit states that one of the teacher’s students came to his desk during class with a question about her assignment. As she approached, the teacher laid his iPhone on his desk, face up. The student observed “multiple websites depicting adult male pornography” on the phone. After speaking with the teacher, the student returned to her seat. Shocked at what she had just seen, the student returned to the teacher’s desk where she surreptitiously recorded the images displayed on the teacher’s iPhone screen, which included a slide show depicting a nude male’s erect penis and two male subjects engaged in sexual intercourse. Three additional students reported having also seen adult pornography on the teacher’s phone. Continue reading

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car-crash-1451085A little over two years ago, the first of many arrests were made in connection with automobile insurance fraud schemes here in Jacksonville. The schemes involved “staged”, or prearranged, accidents at low speeds to create realistic accident scenarios. The driving participants would then seek medical treatment at select clinics established to milk insurance companies out of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage payments.

The scheme first originated in South Florida, especially the Miami area, and spread here to Jacksonville. To date, there have been in excess of 100 arrests made in these cases locally. There are still suspects at large and many filed cases are still winding their way through the court. Many of the participants are not fluent in English and require interpreters in court and for meeting with their Jacksonville criminal defense attorney, further complicating the process. Continue reading

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This week the Times-Union reported on a couple who were arrested for allegedly abusing their 7-week old daughter only to be later exonerated. The story is a great example of why we shouldn’t jump to conclusions when such allegations initially are made. Rather, we should wait for all the evidence to come out about the matter before drawing our final conclusions.

The facts are as follows. The young couple were preparing for an outing when they noticed their 7-week old daughter wasn’t moving her arm. They took her to the hospital where an x-ray showed it was broken. Because they couldn’t satisfactorily explain the cause of the injury, the state became involved. A whole-body x-ray ordered as part of that investigation revealed the infant had numerous broken bones. And, because the parents again couldn’t offer a plausible explanation for the child’s multiple fractures, they were arrested at the hospital, handcuffed, taken to jail and later charged with felony child abuse. As bad as this is, the story actually gets worse.

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funky-house-1223259If you’ve been charged with burglary, a competent Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer may be able to get your charges reduced to trespass, or even have them dismissed. While both are crimes, the distinction between burglary and trespass can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case and upon your life going forward.

There are different varieties of burglary. In discussing the highly significant differences between burglary and trespass in this blog entry, I will be referring to the crime of burglary of a dwelling. Continue reading

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The Times-Union reported today that the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has committed to increase its use of juvenile civil citations in lieu of arresting juveniles for certain minor nonviolent crimes.  Civil citations are issued in appropriate cases as an alternative to arrest for juvenile misdemeanor offenders.  Instead of being arrested and then subjected to juvenile delinquency sanctions, which may include residential commitment programs, juveniles issued civil citations will be directed to a restorative justice process.

The commitment was made at a recent meeting of the Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment (ICARE) by Undersheriff Pat Ivey.  The Sheriff’s Office commitment includes working with ICARE to create a public announcement about the civil citation program and with the State Attorney’s Office to increase the use of citations in battery cases where the victim was not injured, such as minor “schoolyard fights.” The goal of ICARE is to bring Duval County more in line with Florida Department of Juvenile Justice statistics showing that while less than 33 percent of its eligible youth receive civil citations, state-wide that average is 43 percent.

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