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Good afternoon. I certainly understand the situation and your concern for your husband. Even though the neighbor seemed okay with what happened, he apparently contact the police and filed charges, since they would have had no other way of finding out, or else they would have arrested and charged him at the time. It is important to remember, that even though this was a mistake, he had no legal right to 1) enter the property without permission and 2) remove anything from the property. Even if the home was vacant, it still belong to someone and the property along with it. As such, he has no right to enter and remove the chairs. Based upon the facts which you stated above, there should be no reason that your husband receives and jail time. However, since he is charged with a felony, a probationary sentence may be imposed. Seeing how he is a firefighter and this was an accident, he really needs to retain a criminal defense attorney
to represent him or ask to be appointed the public defender
. This could have a negative effect on his current employment. The attorney would look over the facts of the case and see if he has any legal defenses and if the case should go to trial. If not, then the attorney can explain the situation to the State and see if they would be willing to amend the charge to a misdemeanor
or go so far as dismiss the charge. It is possible to try and challenge the value of the chairs, which is resulting in the felony and see if the value can be placed below $1000, to make this a misdemeanor instead. You said these were cheap poolside chairs but based upon the Class 6 Felony, they were between $1000-$2000, so you would want to see how their value was obtained.
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