There are times when events may draw an innocent person into a criminal investigation. When that happens, the last thing the innocent person might consider to be essential is the help of an attorney. But it could be important to have at hand, especially if the tide somehow turns and the person finds themselves unexpectedly facing criminal charges.
There is a case that has cropped up in Pompano Beach that sparks this observation. At this point, there is only one person who is likely to face charges, and they could be pretty serious. But there are elements of the matter, at least as they’ve been reported in the newspaper, that prompt questions about other possibilities.
The incident in question happened Sunday morning on Interstate 95. The Broward Sheriff’s Office says it was about 5 a.m. and a couple was approached by two men wearing handkerchiefs over their faces. Officials say there was a verbal confrontation and then one of the masked men fired a gun and they took off in a vehicle. The couple was not hit and apparently gave chase in their own car.
The Florida Highway Patrol says that at one point, for reasons unclear, the lead vehicle suddenly careened off the road and crashed. One of the men in the car died at the scene. The second was critically injured and was hospitalized.
Authorities say they expect to charge the second man with aggravated assault with a firearm. But at the time this is written, the matter is said to still be under investigation. Officials say they are specifically checking to see whether speed might have contributed to the crash.
The question this raises is whether, upon collection of all the evidence, police might charge the couple with some crime — reckless endangerment, perhaps. That might make consulting an attorney now a good idea.
Source: Miami Herald, “Mistaken identity may have caused shooting, fatal crash on I-95 in Pompano Beach,” Carli Teproff, March 23, 2014