This past Wednesday, a 49-year-old man was reportedly stabbed by a 15-year-old juvenile after an argument over a bicycle. This is precisely the type of case that catches the attention of a Florida criminal defense attorney because of the involvement of so young a suspect. The attack occurred around 6:30 p.m. on the side of a road near U.S. 1 in Melbourne. Melbourne Police Department investigators have said that the 49-year-old man entered into an argument with the juvenile suspect after recognizing his blue bike, stolen earlier this week, in the youth’s possession. Sgt. Steve Sadoff of the Melbourne Police reported that the argument began “at the corner of Aurora and Avocado”, when “one of the subjects pulled out a knife and stabbed the guy in the stomach”. Upon arriving at the scene of the crime in response to a 911 call, Melbourne police officers used tracking dogs to trace the suspect to Aurora Road and Pineapple Avenue, roughly two tenths of a mile away. The police found the knife used in the attack and were able to arrest the subject.
In my years working as a Miami criminal defense attorney, I have repeatedly seen simple arguments result in an individual facing serious assault charges and what was supposed to be a simple theft turn into violent robbery. Fear, adrenalin…these are the mixing bowl of violent crime. Years of working as a criminal attorney have afforded me with a plethora of experience in such cases of assault and battery. When people are angry, youth in particular, they don’t think about what will happen even a half hour after the argument, much less ten years down the road. They just keep going down the path their emotions lead them until—boom! Something unplanned, something undesired, and something dangerous has happened.
When taking up an assault case in my capacity as a Miami criminal defense lawyer¸ my primary objective is to ensure that the defendant received fair treatment on the judicial system. I am well-aware that good people do stupid, reckless, and dangerous things from time to time. I try to ensure that all the good they’ve done in their lives is not overshadowed by a one-time act of recklessness.
None of the people involved were named by the police on Wednesday night, and fortunately rescue paramedics reported that the victim suffered a non life-threatening puncture wound to the upper right portion of his abdomen. He was taken from the scene of the attack to Holmes Regional Medical Center. Detectives kept the road blocked at the scene of the crime until 8 p.m. to take photographs and collect evidence. Criminal defense attorneys across Florida should pay close attention to the outcome of this case, and to the implications it may have for our profession.
To professional criminal defense attorneys, it is clear that in this case, as in many others, the suspect is in the wrong and deserves to expect the full legal consequences. However, in such a strict legal climate as we see today, such a case of assault could forever ruin the suspect’s life. He, like every citizen, deserves a fair day in court and a proper legal defense. There exist certain other variables beyond the transcript of events that must be considered in his case. At such an age, to what extent can a youth be held fully responsible for his actions? To what extent was the stabbing an emotional response conditioned by the delinquent youth’s environment? These are the questions that I, as an experienced Miami criminal defense lawyer, would ask in court.