Facing criminal charges is no joke. Even when the charges appear to be minor, defendants are likely anxious and overwhelmed by the matter. Thus, when individuals face felony charges, this is a serious situation that can significantly impact the accused individual's life from the very moment he or she is arrested and charged. Allegations alone can tarnish a person's reputation. Even when it seems like the evidence is overwhelming and there is little space to navigate this matter, defendants are afforded the ability to defend him or herself, allowing them to possibly clear their name and avoid potentially damaging penalties.
According to recent reports, three individuals were arrested in Iowa City for felony theft charges. Based on police investigation, three suspects in their 20s, two males and one female, used Facebook as a platform to help them barter the return of a laptop in exchange for money.
Reports suggest that authorities found the three suspects in possession of a $1,000 laptop that they presumably knew was stolen. Police claim that one of the suspects admitted that they were going to return the laptop to the victim it was stolen from only if the victim paid them for its return. The female suspect apparently used Facebook to communicate with the victim, sending the victim a message that allegedly states that they found the laptop and would only return it if the victim paid them $250. The police report suggests that she threatened to destroy the laptop if the victim did not pay.
The three suspects were arrested and charged with felonies. They all face second-degree theft, which is a Class D felony. The female suspect also faces an extortion charge, which is also a Class D felony. Police were able to recover the laptop in this incident. Investigation remains and it is not clear if any other charges are pending.
Those facing felony charges might view them as something minor, as the event that caused them may have been minor. Nonetheless, felony charges carry with them serious penalties, making it vital that they are treated seriously. Taking the time to understand criminal defense options could help defendants protect their rights and understand what defense strategies are available to them.