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Finding yourself in the back of a cop car being charged with serious criminal charges might be the scariest thing that can happen to you, but even scarier is not knowing who will represent you in court. Of course, there will be a million things running through your head whether you’re innocent or not, however, involving a criminal defense attorney should be on the top of the to-do list.

Although hiring a criminal defense attorney might not be as inexpensive as one may hope, many fail to realize that this will save you thousands and thousands of dollars in the long run. And ultimately, it beats the price of going to prison. Additionally, having an experienced lawyer by your side to help you navigate through the issue and protect your constitutional liberties is priceless.

When to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney

Grand juries are embedded into our constitution. Their purpose is to determine whether there is probable cause to believe that a federal felony was committed. A grand jury consists of 16-23 citizens from the community. If 12 of those jurors find there is probable cause, it is signed by the prosecutor which then becomes an indictment: a formal charge the government must prove at trial. 

However, there can be several reasons why you may have received a grand jury subpoena:

  • Target:

There is a common misconception that if you commit a crime, there are only two options: You’re acquitted or you face jail time. However, an experienced criminal lawyer will inform you of pre-trial diversion programs. Everybody makes mistakes and fortunately, the state of Florida recognizes that many deserve second chances. Some offenders with little to no criminal history, including certain felony offenders, may be eligible to enter a pre-trial intervention program. Once the program is completed, the court will drop your charges. The state attorney’s office is also able to grant access on a case-by-case basis so even if you are not a first-time offender, you may still be able to participate in the program.

In most situations, pre-trial diversion programs focus on non-violent offenses and usually a person is ineligible if they are charged with any offense involving violence.

In order to qualify, you must meet the following:

Being charged with a federal crime can be a scary thought, however, many don’t know that within three days of your arrest, you have the right to appear before a judge, or also known as, a federal detention hearing. A federal detention hearing allows you to let the judge know that you are no danger to the general public or a flight risk and they can choose to release you until your trial date.

Preparing for Detention Hearing

Before your federal detention hearing, a pre-trial services officer will conduct a full review of any of the details about you. For example, this can include your education, occupation, financial stability, how many family members you have, etc.

From the moment you awake in the morning to the second you lay your head down to go to bed, there will have been 550,000 shoplifting incidents in the U.S.

Although most think of shoplifting as one of the more “harmless” crimes, it is considered “retail theft” in the state of Florida. According to the Florida Senate, a person commits theft if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the property of another with intent to either temporarily or permanently:

(a) Deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property.

By Brian Bandell – Senior Reporter, South Florida Business Journal

December 23, 2020

Philip Esformes will be released from federal prison after President Donald

If you’ve watched enough law movies and drama shows, chances are you have at some point seen a character plead insanity as a defense. According to a PBS article, less than 1 percent of county court cases involve the insanity defense, and that of those, only around one in four were successful. Despite this statistic, there are instances when this defense is successful. The first successful attempt at this defense was in 1843 when an Englishman shot and killed the secretary of the British Prime Minister, believing that the Prime Minister was conspiring against him. More recently, a teenager in Iowa was found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity in the death of his 5-year-old foster brother. So what exactly determines “insanity”?

First, the defendant must prove that he did not have control over his conduct similar to sleepwalking or being in a state of hypnosis. Secondly, the defendant does not have the ability to form criminal intent. They have no understanding of conduct that is “evil” or considered wrong by society’s standards. For example, if someone commits a crime and then tries to purposely mislead officers, they demonstrate an awareness that they did something wrong even if their behavior was mentally imbalanced. Due to these two factors in play, a defendant’s behavior is likely to be repeated again and again. As a result, there is no punishment or sentence that would rehabilitate the person. The only appropriate remedy is to treat their mental condition.

It is important to note that just with other areas of law, the insanity defense varies from state to state. Below are rules states use to define “insanity”:

The 2020 elections brought along with it a lot of blue, a lot of red, and a little bit of green. Many cannabis policy reform bills were introduced throughout the country and resulted in four states legalizing marijuana. According to an article by Forbes, an estimated 40,000 people today are incarcerated for marijuana offenses only. This number increases into the millions for those Americans with past marijuana-related criminal records. Due to COVID-19, the unemployment rate in the country is 6.9%. However, for those who have a criminal record, the unemployment rate is 35%. This differs drastically from the seemingly positive approval for cannabis policy reform bills we saw this year. In Florida, possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of one-year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000. Possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000. Although medical marijuana is legal, it is only permitted for legal use under certain health conditions. So, what should someone do if they are caught in this predicament?

We have listed 3 tips below on what to do:

1. Did the officers illegally coerce the marijuana out of your home, vehicle, or during a body search? This can be used to dismiss the charges.

Larry Modena and William Dabbs were friends. Their lives intersected on many different levels. In addition to sharing their private lives they also worked together at Modena’s contracting and construction company, Atlantic Coast Builders. Their relationship seemed nothing out of the ordinary until a fateful day in October 2011 in Boynton Beach when Dabbs shot his friend to his death as they argued in a Home Depot parking lot where both of their cars were parked side by side. Dabbs shot Modena five times before he fled the scene.

When police were dispatched to the location of the shooting, they pursued Dabbs who was operating his work van leading them on a high-speed chase that at one point had Dabbs turn and point his .38 caliber pistol at one of the officers. The officer returned fire, but neither were injured as Modena lay dying in his car.

After Dabbs was taken into custody without further incident he was ultimately charged with first-degree murder, fleeing and eluding law enforcement and armed aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer.

The Amber Alert sounded in the early morning of May 22 trilling cell phones and the emergency broadcast system on local television networks, as well as sending the alert to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Network, a division of the US Department of Justice.

The Amber Alert was posted after the mother of Alejandro Ripley urgently called police emergency telling the 911 operator that her son had been abducted in South Miami. She frantically if not incoherently told police dispatch that two men of whom appeared to be of Afro-American descent cut off her car bringing it to a stop at the intersection of SW 158th Avenue and Kendall Drive.

The alert that went out through the airwaves stated that her son Alejandro is 4’11”, 120 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes. The child also suffers from a condition of severe autism and for all intents and purposes is non-verbal.

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