How is it possible that a woman who admitted to popping a single prescription pill without permission could potentially be facing life in prison if she does it again?
Our Miami criminal defense lawyers understand that the act was one in a long line of offenses dating back five years, when she notoriously stole money from a Girl Scout in Palm Beach County - earning her the nickname, "cookie monster."
This latest entanglement is not so much about the pill as it is about the fact that she has reportedly violated her probation, once again.
We know that not every one of the clients who walks through the door is innocent. Still, our goal is to ensure that not only will you be treated fairly throughout the proceedings, but that you receive the kind of representation that may allow you another chance.
In this case, the 23-year-old defendant has been in and out of jail since she was 17 - when the now-infamous cookie cash swiping occurred. It was a $170 theft in 2008 and she had reportedly bragged that the crime in front of a Winn-Dixie store, saying it was "easy."
She was eventually arrested and prosecuted.
This might have been the end of her story, but then a year later, she and her boyfriend were arrested on charges of armed robbery and kidnapping for robbing a man of prescription drugs. For these alone, she would have faced years in prison. Armed robbery as defined in Florida Statute 812.13 is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to life in prison. So too is kidnapping, per Florida Statute 787.01.
She later pleaded guilty and was given a term of probation.
However, she twice violated the terms of that probation, which required her to remain under house arrest except when working or engaging in other activities without the permission of her probation officer. Twice, she left her home without getting prior permission. On another occasion, she failed to report to her probation officer at the appointed time.
Her probation was extended and she received more community service. She began undergoing drug testing and taking college courses. She even once receive permission to fly to California for an interview with comedian Daniel Tosh.
Things were progressing along fine, until this latest bout with consuming a prescription pill without permission.
Now, the judge, approving a plea deal negotiated by her defense attorney, says this will be her last opportunity. Based on her 2009 convictions for the kidnapping and armed robbery charges, she could be sentenced to life in prison, even for a minor infraction.
The plea deal requires the defendant to enter a residential drug treatment program for six months, followed by two years of probation that includes a nightly curfew and two years of drug testing.
No matter what kind of criminal charges you are facing or what chance you're on, hiring a good criminal defense lawyer could be the deciding factor in your future.