GAINESVILLE, FL (Alachua County) - According to a criminal law news story posted on mycbs4.com, a lawyer was arrested at a Gainesville City Commission meeting. The news report states that the attorney was allegedly arrested at the Gainesville City Commission meeting when he declined to place his mask back onto his face.
The Florida attorney was trying to address the Gainesville City Commission. The man reportedly had difficulty talking while wearing his mask. According to the arrest report, the mask kept slipped off of his nose, and the man decided to remove the mask and finish his presentation.
Mayor Lauren Poe asked the attorney to replace his mask. However, the attorney refused to put his mask back on his face. The news report states that Mayor Poe suspended the meeting to handle the matter concerning the attorney.
A video captured by a witness and then sent to and posted by CBS 4 shows the attorney being asked to replace his mask by City Manager Lee Feldman appealing to the attorney to place his mask back on his face. However, the attorney declined to do so once again.
According to the news report, individuals on City property are mandated to wear a mask. Because the lawyer rejected the order to replace his mask, the lawyer was deemed a trespasser by city hall officials under the ordinance. The lawyer was then placed under arrest and charged with trespassing. The attorney was at the Alachua County Jail at the time of the article's original publication.
Criminal Trespass Charges in Gainesville, Florida (Alachua County)
According to Florida Statutes Sections 810.08 and 810.09, it is a crime to knowingly and willfully enter into, or remaining in or on the property, or refuses to leave the property of another without the property owner's implied or expressed permission or authorization. Criminal trespass in a conveyance or structure brings punishments that could include jail, a permanent criminal record, fines, and probation. The charges may be called either "Trespass on Property Other Than Structure or Conveyance" or "Trespass in Structure or Conveyance."
The Penalties / Punishments if Convicted of Trespassing in Florida
The punishments will vary depending on the facts of the case. For example, if the offender commits criminal trespass with a firearm, the charges and punishments will be much more severe.
Generally, a charge of Trespass in Structure or Conveyance is usually charged as a second-degree misdemeanor. In Florida, a second-degree misdemeanor is punished with up to 60 days in jail. However, suppose there are any people inside the building during the process of committing criminal trespass. In that case, the charge could become a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punished with up to 1 year in jail.
If you have been charged with a trespassing charge, you should know there are several possible defenses available to fight your charge. No person should try to handle their criminal case alone and without speaking to an experienced Gainesville criminal defense attorney.
Contact Musca Law today at for your free consultation.