A Deeper Look At The Mike Williams ChargesFebruary 10th, 2014
Of course, Joe turned to Tampa criminal defense attorney and Bucs fan Brett Metcalf to learn about the trespassing and criminal mischief charges facing wide receiver Mike Williams. Where else would Joe go to be educated on the rights of the accused?
Metcalf advised Joe that the State Attorney’s Office filed a “Direct Information” against Williams.
That’s not your run-of-the-mill arrest with handcuffs and mugshots.
“In my experience, that typically happens when a victim submits a Sworn Request for Prosecution with the State, who then reviews the evidence and decides whether to formally file charges. In this instance, the State evidently feels they can prove two misdemeanors against Mike Williams. …
“As for his charges, the State filed a Trespass and a Criminal Mischief. There are a number of variations of Trespass charges, but it generally means that he went onto someone else’s property without that person’s permission. Criminal Mischief means that he intentionally damaged someone else’s property.
“The really interesting part to me is that combining a Trespass with any other crime usually results in a Burglary charge, i.e., a felony. A Burglary is when someone is Trespassing with the intent to commit a crime. So if Mike Williams intended to damage someone’s property at the time he Trespassed, he could have easily been charged with a felony.
“Mike Williams not being charged with Burglary tells me one of two things:
1) At the time he Trespassed, he did not intend to commit the Criminal Mischief and, instead, it happened spontaneously afterward; or
2) The State is not very confident in the evidence against him, so they opted to file Misdemeanors as a compromise between filing a felony and not filing anything.
“If the latter is true, I would expect Mike Williams to get a slap on the wrist, at best.”
So, for example, was Mike Williams climbing a fence without permission and the fence broke? Or was he asked to leave a bar, didn’t get out right away and accidentally broke a bottle on the floor on the way out? Perhaps Williams urinated on an expensive bush and his acidic stream damaged it? Those are examples of the crimes against society Williams might have committed.
Stick with Joe for more on the Williams case later today.
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