Articles Tagged with Miami criminal defense attorney

Murders in the U.S. shot up by more than 10 percent in 2015, compared to the year prior, while violent crimes overall inched upward about 4 percent during the same time frame. That’s according to the latest statistics reported by the FBI. This was the highest violent crime rate in three years.Gun Close-Up

We must be mindful of the fact that these numbers are much lower than the crime levels reported a decade or two ago, but still a marked increase following several years of decline.

These figures were highly anticipated because violent crime in the U.S. has been given greater scrutiny the last few months, particularly as it’s an issue that has been noted repeatedly by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. While certain violent crimes like rape, robbery and assault have fallen, the rise of homicide and other serious crimes has drawn concern. Continue reading

Florida voters backed a constitutional amendment to approve medical marijuana, which broadens the very limited therapeutic uses lawmakers in the Sunshine State approved two years ago. The current law does grant permission for those with cancer or other serious conditions that cause seizures or spasms to use low-THC derivatives (so long as they aren’t smoked) for treatment of their conditions. Amendment 2 will mean people with many other conditions will be eligible to receive the drug. marijuana

Now, people can get the drug to treat not only cancer or seizures, but also: Epilepsy, AIDS, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, amytrophic lateral sclerosis, Chrohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. The statute also allows doctors to prescribe marijuana for any similar type of ailment.

The measure was personally backed by a number of criminal defense and personal injury lawyers in the state. It passed with a noteworthy 71 percent of the vote. Still, it is likely to be months before any of the approximately 450,000 people who actually qualify for the drug will be able to get it. Continue reading

Miami-Dade county commissioners passed a measure eliminating red light cameras in the unincorporated areas of the county. Commissioners decided the cameras have been rife with controversy, and have proved very costly and ineffective.trafficlight2

The move will not affect red light cameras installed in municipal areas of the county, such as the City of Miami. However, in areas like Schenley Park, Kendall, Westchester and Fountainebleau, where residents spoke out fervently against installation of the cameras, the commission has ensured the technology won’t be installed.

Back in 2011, commissioners passed an ordinance that opened the door for red light cameras in Miami-Dade’s unincorporated regions. However, the system never actually got up and running. Continue reading

The son of a man serving nearly three decades behind bars following his conviction for methamphetamine distribution has now himself been sentenced to more than three years after a judge found he was guilty of retaliation against a witness. socialmediakeyboard

According to the U.S. Justice Department, defendant was charged with obstruction of justice after the man sent threatening Facebook messages and memes to a witness who testified in his father’s drug trafficking trial. The fact that the son’s alleged missives were delivered via social media didn’t matter. Although the judge misstated the exact form of the messages at sentencing, referring to them as “emails,” he made it clear that witness tampering and intimidation is a crime no matter the method of delivery.

“This is obstruction of justice. It is what it is,” the U.S. District judge told the defendant at sentencing. “…You must not interfere with the judicial process. It’s a serious crime.”

And with that, the judge sentenced defendant to 37 months in prison.  Continue reading

The mind-bending twists and turns of the American criminal justice system as experienced by a Wisconsin man named Steven Avery were detailed in a recently-released Netflix documentary series, “Making a Murderer.” prison5

An innocent man locked up for 18 years for a rape he did not commit, he sued the county after he was exonerated and released, with the aid of DNA evidence. But while his civil lawsuit was pending, he was again accused of a gravely serious crime: Rape and murder of a young female photographer in 2005. He was ultimately convicted and is slated to be imprisoned until 2048.

Although Avery steadfastly maintained his innocence for both crimes, hoping the documentary might help to exonerate him, filmmakers say that was never the goal. They take no formal position on his guilt or innocence, and say they had wanted to shed light on the experiences of an accused in the American criminal justice system. Numerous questions were raised by the documentary about the way in which the investigation and prosecution was handled.  Continue reading

In a split decision some speculate may find its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled two defendants in a Florida child pornography case had no standing to challenge the seizure of a cell phone that contained the images because, justices concluded, the phone was “abandoned.” officerholdingcellphone

Defendants in Sparks and Johnson v. U.S. had argued a 23-day delay between the time the phone was turned over to police and when the police obtained a search warrant rendered the subsequent search illegal. Not so, ruled the court, which concluded even a search of the non-password-protected phone by a store employee in the first three days before defendants abandoned the device wasn’t grounds to reverse defendants’ convictions, which resulted in 30- and 50-year sentences, respectively.

The ruling was accompanied by sharp dissent from Judge Beverly Martin, who asserts the majority made a ruling of fact on the abandonment issue. To do so was erroneous, Martin wrote, because the role of the appellate court is to review findings of fact for clear error. Criminal defense lawyers have weighed in to state the definition of “abandonment” has been stretched to the point where it may be widely interpreted. One opined the ruling was a means to justify an end in a case where the crimes were extremely disturbing. Continue reading