By Matt Futch

On January 7, 2024, Luis Guzman and Nathaniel Lopez, both 17, were arrested for Aggravated Fleeing to Elude, Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer with a Deadly Weapon and Grand Theft Motor Vehicle.  It is alleged that they were both observed breaking into vehicles at an apartment complex in Hillsborough County and when officers attempted to stop them in a stolen vehicle they fled and allegedly struck a Hillsborough County Sheriff Deputy’s vehicle intentionally.  Mr. Guzman and Mr. Lopez were ultimately apprehended after a foot pursuit.

Hillsborough teens fleeing and eluding

What may appear at first glance as a slam dunk case for the State of Florida, actually involves complex legal issues.  First and foremost, as juveniles, the State can decide to charge Mr. Guzman and Mr. Lopez as juveniles or adults.  It is incredibly important that you retain an experienced lawyer from the Smith and Eulo Law Firm to represent you ASAP.  Our firm will immediately reach out to the State Attorney’s Office before charges are filed to try and keep the cases in juvenile court.  Time is of the essence.  As 17-year-olds, both Mr. Guzman and Mr. Lopez may also qualify as Youthful Offenders, which caps the sentences they can receive; an inexperienced attorney may not fully explore these options.

As for the charges themselves, the Aggravated Battery based on the allegation that the driver intentionally crashed into a deputy is also a complex issue.  To prove the charge, the State must show that the crash was not only intentional, but that they intended to harm the Deputy driving.  The State’s burden is to prove EACH element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, and having an experienced criminal defense attorney at your side will ensure that nothing is overlooked when it comes to defending you and your constitutional rights.

If you or your loved one are being accused of committing a crime, you should consult with one of our Criminal Defense Attorneys, don’t hesitate to call us at 352-WIN-4YOU We are available 24/7 and we offer payment plans.