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Blog   |  May 1, 2014
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Jameis Winston’s Legal Situation

Jameis Winston: You probably already know about his shoplifting incident at a Tallahassee Publix this week. However, a lot of people are confused as to what his legal situation actually is at the moment. After all, there have been conflicting reports all over the web, so we decided to have our Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer, Michael Kenny, clear the air and answer your questions.

1. Was Jameis Winston Arrested? If not, what’s the difference between that and a citation?

An arrest occurs when a law enforcement officer takes a person into custody. Now, in some cases, like misdemeanors, an officer can issue a criminal notice to appear in lieu of an arrest. However, Winston did not undergo either of these options. He received a citation. This is not something I have seen in the Tampa Bay area or dealt with in my practice. It appears to be unique to Tallahassee and its law enforcement agencies.

2. Winston received “sanctions.” What are “sanctions?” Is it like being on probation? Does this area allow this type of punishment? Does this area allow it for only juveniles?

It is not like probation, because there was no plea; there was no sentence to a criminal act. The sanctions are restitution to Publix and some community service hours. In addition, before the sanctions can begin, both parties, Winston and Publix have to agree to them. Therefore, potentially, Publix could have denied Winston this lesser punishment.

3. What would have happened if Winston does not abide by the “sanctions?”

It would appear that the prosecuting authority in that area could commence a criminal prosecution for petit theft.

4. Could this in any way affect his criminal charges last year stemming from the alleged sexual assault?

The charges are not related in any way. Therefore, there is no reason to believe this occurrence would impact the previous decision not to file criminal charges related to the sexual battery allegation.

Kemp, Ruge & Green Law Group would like to thank Attorney Michael Kenny for his wonderful insights. Feel free to contact us if you have any more questions for him. Just shoot us an email at [email protected] or call us at 813-248-4878. We look forward to hearing from you all soon.

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