A Bizarre South Florida Criminal Case - State v. Lages: Lessons for Your Defense?

June 20, 2012 by David S. Seltzer

The case of 47-year-old Everett Lages is a classic illustration of how Florida criminal defendants can often “dig themselves deeper and deeper,” during a single evening of debauchery and bad judgment.

According to WTSP, a CBS affiliate, the 47-year-old Lages wanted to spend an entertaining evening at the Emerald City Gentlemens Club in Murdock, FL. Nothing out of the ordinary, perhaps. But Lages wanted to bring an extra companion with him – his kitty cat.

That's right: he wanted to take his cat inside the strip club.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, management told Lages that cats weren’t allowed in the strip club, and he was asked to leave. Lages did comply and step outside… but only to call 9-11 in an attempt to get the owner arrested! (On what grounds? Only Lages probably knows.)

The deputies who arrived at the scene met up with Lages, who appeared intoxicated. They told him that he needed to leave the strip club, and they called a taxi to take him home. Instead of cooperating, Lages screamed at the driver and yelled at the police that the club owner had committed a crime by refusing his entrance.

In what was almost certainly a comical scene, Lages continued to dial 9-11, while the police were standing right beside him, telling him to leave.

Eventually, police arrested Lages and forcibly restrained him. His motley charges included trespassing after warning, resisting arrest, disorderly intoxication, and abusing Florida’s 911 system. He was held on a $4,000 bond at the Charlotte County Jail – his poor kitty cat was handed over to Animal Control.

General Lessons for Florida Criminal Defendants

Whether you were arrested for fraud, money laundering, burglary, or some other crime in South Florida, Lages’ sad tale holds some powerful and illustrative lessons for you.

1. Once you “cross the line” into criminal behavior, you may find it easier to commit additional criminal acts – even after the fact – and this can cost you, big time.

Lages already would have been in trouble for abusing the 9-11 system, behaving in a disorderly and intoxicated fashion, and trespassing. But he compounded his legal woes by resisting arrest. Likewise, perhaps you committed an additional crime or two as you fled from the scene of the first crime. These extra charges can stack up and make your defense much harder.

Even hours and days after the fact, you may still continue to make bad decisions – such as fleeing arrest or stealing money to make a getaway or something like that. You need to understand that the time to make sober, strategic, rationale decisions is now. Those “little extra crimes” on top of the crimes you have already committed can translate to extra months or years behind bars. So stop, and get the help you need.

2. You might be surprised by the diverse legal defensive options at your disposal.

The team here at Seltzer Law, PA, has helped South Florida criminal defendants like you deal with an array of troubling, complex, and emotional circumstances. Even if you have done something very bad – and compounded your problems by misbehaving after the fact – our team can walk you through a strategic, coherent course of action, so that you can feel back in control and you can start making proper, purposeful decisions about your future – instead of just “reacting from the gut.”

Call us today to schedule your free consultation at 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (1-888-843-3333).