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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Is is illegal in Florida for a civilian to shine the spotlight

Resolved Question:

Is is illegal in Florida for a civilian to shine the spotlight on an old police interceptor to look for an address on a house while stopped on a street? How about while driving looking for an address?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Ely replied 6 years ago.

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Please remember that there might be a delay between your follow up questions and my answers because I may be helping other clients or taking a break.

This depends on the situation. Can you tell me more about what happened? Were you ticketed for the incident?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

My son just started a job as a pizza delivery person. Last night around around 11pm, I was awakened by the Orange County sheriif's dept. and questioned about the whereabouts of my son and was told that he was seen in a residential neighborhood, in his police interceptor, shining his spot on houses. Someone got his tag number and reported him . He just recently moved out of my house and so this house is still listed as his residence. Anyway, I could not give them his address and they left. I called my son at work who said that he had indeed turned on his spot to find an address and that he wouldn't do it again and the spot is disconnected. However, now he is worried about getting pulled over as he makes deliveries in the same neighborhoods tonight for last night's incident. His interceptor does not have any police equipment remaining except the spot. He really needs to keep this job to stay on his own two feet and I told him that I would get the legal advice for him as he has no money in his account yet.

Expert:  Ely replied 6 years ago.
Is he being charged with anything? How old is he?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The police did not give me any information about charges. They just said that they were looking for him and needed to find him. He is 26. Is there a way I can look up wants and warrants for this county and get back to you?
Expert:  Ely replied 6 years ago.
Yep. Call any bail bond agency in your county and run his info - they should be able to tell you if he has a warrant.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
OK. I am waiting for a call back from bailbondsman and I will get back to you.
Expert:  Ely replied 6 years ago.
No problem. :)
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Still waiting for the bailbondsman to call back. However, the FDLE Public Access site has no warrants listed, but they also say web is updated every 24 hrs and it has not been that length of time yet. Just wanted to keep you in the loop.
Expert:  Ely replied 6 years ago.
Okay thanks. I can answer now on both variants if you'd like.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
OK. Go ahead and answer on both variants.
Expert:  Ely replied 6 years ago.
Okay.VARIANT ONE - they simply want to talk to himHe likely is using the police cruise's flashlight to find the addresses for delivery and freaked out some neighbors w/o thinking about it. The police simply want to tell him to "stop doing that."VARIANT TWO - they want to charge him with police impersonation and public nuisanceThey technically can, at least with the public nuisance, but if he was really doing it unintentionally and doesn't mouth off to them when they find him, then they're not going to charge him. It's likely simply a case of "buddy, would you stop making the neighborhood think there's a swat team here?"

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