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Broward County woman faces theft charges over bar tab

Being arrested on theft charges is more than just embarrassing; a theft charge conviction can have far reaching consequences. A conviction can result in a criminal record and lasting damage to one's reputation. A 29-year-old Broward County woman is currently facing these possibilities. She has been arrested on multiple charges, including theft, after she allegedly left a bar without paying her tab.

According to authorities' allegations, the woman had a few drinks at the bar of a local resort and then walked out without settling up. A security guard from the resort followed the woman after she left the bar. He claims she started to run after he accosted her. She was later found by a real police officer, walking in the courtyard of a building on South Ocean Boulevard. The officer claims she discarded a purse and hat when she saw the officer, and gave the officer a false name before correctly identifying herself.

She has been charged with taking food or lodging with fraudulent intent, petty theft, loitering and prowling, and disorderly conduct.

This may be a case in which appearances are deceiving. It is quite possible the woman simply forgot to settle her tab before leaving the bar. Running away from the private security guard is understandable; many women would do the same when they realize they are being followed by a strange man. The woman's alleged behavior when confronted by a police officer may strike some as suspicious; or her confusion and fright may have a perfectly legitimate cause. In cases like this an aggressive defense lawyer may be able to raise enough reasonable doubt to get the charges reduced or dismissed.

Source: Palm Beach Post, "Broward County woman faces several charges after allegedly walking out on bar tab," Julius Wigham II, Nov. 19, 2013

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