Posted On: October 29, 2012

Violating the Conditions of Pretrial Release in South Florida

In South Florida, and all of its jurisdictions such as Broward County, Palm Beach County and Miami-Dade County, a person can be sentenced to a form of pretrial release instead of pretrial detention. This means that until their trial, the person will not be in custody.
There are various forms of pretrial release and all of them have their conditions to be followed, for example not contacting the victim. House arrest can be one form of pretrial release in which the defendant may be obligated to use an electronic device.
In South Florida, a person can be charged with a violation of pretrial release if he or she tampers with the electronic device while under house arrest, or also if he or she makes an attempt to contact the victim. However, in order for the State to violate the defendant, they need to show important findings such as sufficient evidence and reasonable belief that the defendant represents a threat to the community or to the victim.
If you or someone you know has been in house arrest and is now facing a violation of the pretrial release, you should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in South Florida.

Posted On: October 27, 2012

Arson in South Florida

According to the Florida Statute 806.01, arson is when a person willfully and unlawfully, or while in the commission of any felony, by fire or explosion, damages any dwelling or structure where persons are normally present. Even if the dwelling that was damaged was not occupied, the person can still be charged with the crime of arson.
In South Florida, and all of its jurisdictions such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Miami Dade County, Broward County and Palm Beach County, a person who engages in any of those activities is guilty of arson in the first degree which is a felony of the first degree.
Many times, arson cases are related to insurance fraud and this can lead to serious criminal charges. A few months ago, a former Wall Street banker committed suicide in court right after hearing the guilty verdict. He was adjudicated guilty for burning down his home to collect insurance because he was no longer able to afford the mortgage on the house.
A criminal defense attorney is crucial in criminal cases such as arson or fraud. You should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in South Florida.

Posted On: October 24, 2012

What is Restitution in South Florida?

In South Florida and many of its jurisdictions such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County and Miami Dade County, there are many sentencing options for someone who commits a crime. The sentencing can be incarceration, fines, probation and other alternative sentences.

Many people think that restitution is a form of fines as a punishment. Actually, fines go to the State, either the federal or the local government who is the prosecutor. Restitution on the other hand is when the defendant is required by the judge, to pay a specific amount of money to the victim. Since restitution is not paid to the state, it is not considered a fine.

In most cases, defendants are required to return stolen property, or pay for medical expenses in instances of personal injury for example. In cases where the society is considered the victim, such as in fraud cases, then the defendant pays the state the money that was defrauded.
If you are being charged with a crime, and are being required to pay restitution to the victim, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney from South Florida. Call our office for a free consultation.

Posted On: October 22, 2012

The Importance of a Defense Lawyer at a Lineup

The police use many different procedures in order for witnesses to a crime be able to identify the suspect. A lineup is one of the most commonly used procedures for this process of identification. Not only is it important for the suspect to be aware of his rights, but the presence of a criminal defense attorney at the time of the lineup might be important in order to make sure that the suspect’s rights are not violated by the police in any way.
The criminal defense attorney, among other things, may be aware of any unfairness in the process of the lineup. In South Florida and all of its jurisdictions including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Broward County, Miami Dade County and Palm Beach County, the presence of an attorney can assure that a lineup will be conducted without the possibility of a bias from the police toward that particular suspect.
If you or someone you know was part of a lineup that you think occurred in an unfair way, you should contact a defense attorney.
If you know someone who is going to be taken for a lineup as a suspect to a criminal activity, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Call our offices for a free consultation (954) 761-3444.

Posted On: October 20, 2012

How are Suspects Identified in South Florida?

There are many procedures that police stations and other people involved in the investigation of a criminal activity use in order for the suspect to be identified by an eyewitness. In South Florida and all of its jurisdictions, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Broward County, Miami Dade County and Palm Beach County, the three most commonly used identification procedures are lineups, showups and of course photo identifications.
The lineup is when the police stations gathers around six people, among which there is the suspect, and line them up for the witness to look at them. The lineup will have the suspects and also what are called decoys, who in some way resemble the suspect or resemble the description given by the eyewitness.
The showup is when the eyewitness has a one on one identification, that is, when they only view one person that is considered to be the suspect. This can happen at the crime scene, at the police station or other places.
The other commonly used procedure to identify suspects is the photo identification. The police show mug shots, or head shots, to the witness.
Not only are these procedures used to identify a suspect, but it is also used to eliminate a certain individual from the “suspect list”.

Posted On: October 17, 2012

Being Stopped by the Police in South Florida

Many people think that if they are not doing anything wrong on the streets, that it is completely illegal for cops to stop them. In South Florida and many of its jurisdictions such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Broward County, Dade County and Palm Beach County, there are some facts to be considered to determine if the police have done anything illegal, or anything that violates your constitutional rights.
In South Florida, a police can stop you at any moment, they can approach you and they can ask you questions. They are allowed to do that even if they don’t have reason for it. But what people should know is that only because the cop is allowed to stop them and ask questions, it doesn’t mean that they are required to answer them. The officer may ask you to search something that you have in your possession, like a purse. You are not required to agree to that search.
If you gave any statement or information to a police officer and you think that he compelled you to do so in an illegal way, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in South Florida.

Posted On: October 15, 2012

Suppressible Evidence

One of the most commonly known cases is Miranda vs. Arizona, which gave life to what is now known as the “Miranda Rights”. In South Florida and in all its jurisdictions such as Miami, Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, many motions to suppress are brought into court to argue that the police didn’t advise the defendant of his Miranda rights.
Our Miranda rights are the rights the police are supposed to read to an individual whenever he or she puts the person under arrest. There are controversies about whether the person was actually under arrest or not to determine that he or she wasn’t “mirandized”.
The Miranda rights argument is often used to suppress testimonies or statements made by the defendant at the time he was arrested. Cases go on and on about whether the person gave the testimony voluntarily or if it was the product of an interrogation.
If the individual was under arrest and as a product of an interrogation there was an incriminating statement made by him, he can move the court to eliminate such statement if the police did not advise him of his Miranda rights before they started to ask questions.
If you think you made statements without knowing your constitutional rights, call an experienced criminal defense attorney in South Florida.

Posted On: October 12, 2012

South Florida Cases and Inadmissible Evidence

In South Florida, and all of its jurisdictions including Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, Broward County, Dade county, and Palm Beach county, not every piece of evidence is admissible in court. To determine this, Florida Statutes decide when evidence can be admitted and which type of evidence is not admissible.
It all revolves mainly around the ideas of probative value and unfair prejudice. According to Florida Statute 90.403, evidence is excluded on the grounds of prejudice or confusion. According to that statute, relevant evidence is inadmissible if its probative value is outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice.
Whether the evidence is going to mislead the jury is up to the judge, but the defendant has the right to file a motion to preclude certain evidence pursuant to F.S. 90.403 which balances the probative value of the evidence against the possibility of unfair prejudice for the defendant.
If you have been charged with a crime and believe that certain evidence against you shouldn’t be admitted to court, call a Florida criminal defense attorney today for a free consultation.

Posted On: October 6, 2012

The Roof Is On Fire – Arson vs. Insurance

According to Florida Statute 806.01, arson is when any person willfully and unlawfully, by fire or explosion, damages or causes to be damaged any dwelling, either occupied or not.
What this means is that arson is basically the damage of a property by fire or explosion. To prove that the crime of arson was committed, the state has to prove two elements. First, it has to prove that there was actually damage to a property that was caused by fire or explosion.
The second element that needs to be proven is that the offense was committed willfully, or while the person was committing another felony.
Many people engage in that activity when they can’t pay their mortgage in their houses. In Arizona, a man committed suicide in the courtroom. Right after hearing the guilty verdict convicting him of setting his own house on fire, he swallowed a pill and died after 10 minutes.
For more information about arson and other criminal offenses, call an experienced criminal defense attorney in South Florida.

Posted On: October 3, 2012

Robbery in South Florida

In South Florida and in the Counties of Broward, Miami Dade, Palm Beach and in the cities of Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and West Palm Beach, robbery is when a person takes money or other type of property with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the person of the property, when using some form of violence, force or inflicting fear.
In Florida, a crime of robbery may be classified as either a first degree offense or second degree. The element that makes the difference between a first degree and a second degree felony is the existence of a firearm.
Four elements need to be proven in order for a person to be convicted of a robbery. The defendant took the property, by a use of any form of violence or threat, the property had some value and there was an intent to deprive the person permanently or temporarily of the property.
For more information, call a South Florida criminal defense attorney for a free consultation.

Posted On: October 1, 2012

Alibi in South Florida

An Alibi is a defense in criminal cases. In South Florida, and all of its jurisdictions, such as Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Broward County, Dade County and Palm Beach County, a person accused of a crime can use the criminal defense of alibi in court.
An alibi in an allegation by the defendant, proving its innocence, by proving he or she was not at the time and place where the crime was actually committed.
For example, let’s say that someone was murdered at the corner of 53rd and 3rd avenue on October 12th at 3:30pm. And you are one of the main suspects. Now let’s assume that on October 12th at 3:30pm you were at your grandmother’s house. An alibi then would be for your grandmother to testify in your favor, stating that you were with her at that time, which means you weren’t present at the time the crime was committed.
If you or someone you know is being accused of crime and you have proof that you were not present at the time, you should call an experienced criminal defense attorney in South Florida.