Posted On: February 8, 2011

Search and Seizure in South Florida Criminal Courts: The Future Is Here?

“Virtual Searches” are not searches under current search and seizure law: South Florida criminal judges are entering a brave new world. What becomes of someone arrested in Fort Lauderdale for possession of cocaine when the search that leads to evidence is not physical but “virtual”? When an officer enters a house, or a car, or pats someone down is it in the physical world, or the “virtual world”? When is a device that increases the scope of a search a search? When a south Florida police agent uses an enhancement device to see through walls or hear conversations that cannot be overheard without amplification…when is that is a search. The Fourth amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, but what is unreasonable? In a forthcoming study on this issue the Brookings Institute will explore what we are already seeing in South Florida criminal courts. When you pass through an airport body scan is that reasonable? When you consent to a body scan is there a limited permissive search for weapons, what if they find cocaine? If you have been arrested by a police agency in Fort Lauderdale, Pompano, West Palm or Miami seek out advice from a seasoned South Florida criminal defense attorney. Ask about the search that uncovered the contraband. The constitution is alive in our courts and you are all part of the question…when is a search reasonable? When can evidence of a crime committed in South Florida subject to a suppression motion? Ask and know.

Posted On: February 6, 2011

Florida’s 4th District Court of Appeal Hears Argument in Motion to Suppress

The most litigated area of criminal law in South Florida concerns when a court should grant a South Florida criminal defendant’s motion to suppress evidence. Criminal law is mostly constitutional law: and the most focused constitutional amendment is the right to be secure in one’s property and to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures. A search incident to an arrest and a search incident to a stop are different. An officer can stop and search an individual or a place when he has probable cause: the issue before the three panel of judges held in Fort Lauderdale concerned the issue of marijuana smells coming from a car and the legality of the search by a South Florida policeman who found cannabis in the car and in the clothing of the south Florida criminal defendant. The arrest for marijuana possession came after the officer searched the individual and found a plastic bag with marijuana in the defendant’s underpants. The area of law: search and seizure is fact specific: that means the actual totaltality of the circumstances are filtered through the search and seizure law as it currently exists. If you were arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Davie, Pompano Beach, Weston or any South Florida county (Palm Beach, Miami and Broward) speak to a South Florida criminal defense attorney and discuss your rights and your standing to object to the introduction of evidence obtained during a search. The area of law is very complex and the cases are constantly shaping and reshaping the law, so you must seek experienced criminal lawyers for advice on the current state of the law on search and seizure. Most South Florida criminal defense lawyers will give you a free consultation to discuss your rights if you are arrested for a possession of narcotics, possession of cocaine or possession of marijuana criminal charge.