Law Office of Matthew Konecky - April 2020

THE KONECKY

APRIL 2020

JOURNAL

561.671.5995 | 954.272.6187 | www.matthewkoneckypa.com 110 SE 6th Street, Suite 1700, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 4440 PGA Blvd., Suite 204 Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410

Alligators, Alligators, and More ALLIGATORS Defending Florida Man

Florida man accused of giving beer to an alligator.

written to grab our attention. They are like advertisements hoping you’ll read them or click a link to a news website. They never tell you the full story, and they keep you guessing. Take that first headline for example — “ Florida man accused of giving beer to an alligator.” In my practice, I might defend giving the beer to an alligator. We might use a voluntary intoxication defense on behalf of the alligator. It’s not an easy thing to do, but under the right circumstances, it might make sense legally. The defendant is likely to have their charges reduced if we prove that being intoxicated influenced their ability to recognize what they were doing was a crime. Many different scenarios could play out depending on the circumstances. In the actual story, the crime wasn’t giving the alligator a beer. Legally speaking, there isn’t a law on the books that says you can’t give a beer to an alligator. You could potentially get into animal endangerment laws, but for the sake of this article, we won’t dive into that. However, the “ Florida man” in this story was accused of enticing an alligator to bite his arm — putting himself in danger. He wasn’t injured, but he did catch the alligator and then poured beer in its mouth. As a result, the man was charged with a felony of unlawfully taking the alligator. The man released the alligator

Florida man nearly loses leg — and life — to alligator while hunting hogs.

Slice of pizza convinced Florida man to end police standoff.

Florida man brings drugs to a drug bust, gets himself busted.

Florida man charged with impersonating officer for McDonald’s discount.

immediately after the incident, but it was all caught on video.

Florida man parks Smart car in kitchen so Hurricane Dorian won’t blow it away.

While it’s unlikely my law firm is going to get a call from someone who has found themselves in a “Florida man” situation, it’s completely possible to form a defense when you have the full story. The story above doesn’t have all the details, but it paints a bigger picture, and we can see where we might start to form a case. Of course, no matter the situation, it’s always important to share everything with your attorney. When you leave something out, it’s like being left with only a headline. We may have some of the details, but there are a lot of assumptions, and we have to pick up the pieces as we try to form a solid defense. It’s possible, but it’s far from ideal.

Florida man slaps girlfriend with cheeseburger.

These are all real headlines and tell the wild stories of what people have done in our great state. But in my criminal defense practice, could I (theoretically) defend these alleged crimes? The answer is yes! Interestingly enough, some of these “Florida men” have already gone to court and had their related charges dropped or were otherwise found “not guilty.” Some of them even had the charges dropped before ever reaching court! While many of these headlines sound outlandish and make you read them twice to make sure you read them right, there is always more to the story. Headlines are

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Ultimately, my advice to everyone is to just stay away from alligators.

–Matthew Konecky

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