The Tayvon Martin Investigation: protesters want “Ready, Fire, Aim” approach

March 28, 2012

One cannot open the newspaper or turn on the television without hearing of the latest nationwide protests concerning the status of the investigation involving the shooting death of Tayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. Most media commentators and every community activist, including both Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have widely criticized the local authorities for not […]

Florida Drug Laws Ruled Unconstitutional

July 29, 2011

On July 28,2011, Federal Judge Mary Scriven of the Middle District of Florida ruled, in the case of Shelton v. Florida Department of Corrections, that all Florida state laws prohibiting the sale use and/or possession of illegal drugs per Florida Statute 893 are unconstitutional. Crimes are classified in two basic categories: “general” intent and “specific” […]

No Contact Orders : Not a “Two Way” Street

January 31, 2011

In my criminal practice, I have been hired to represent clients who have been charged with both misdemeanor and felony domestic violence charges. In every case , regardless of the merits of the “victim’s” allegations, Florida law prohibits the Defendant from having any contact with the victim, except through pretrial discovery pursuant to the Florida […]

“Protective Sweeps” – Beware the Search in Disguise

November 29, 2010

Recently, one of my clients called me after she had been arrested for possession of a controlled substance which was discovered in her house by police officers who gained entry and subsequently searched her home under the guise of conducting a “protective sweep”. A “protective sweep” is narrowly defined as a cursory search of a […]

Juvenile and Youthful Offenders: Sentencing Options

August 30, 2010

As part of my criminal defense practice, I often represent juveniles and young adults who have been charged with criminal offenses. Since there is confusion and much bad information out there regarding the possible consequences of a criminal charge in juvenile and adult court, my first duty is often to sit down with the parents […]

In Florida Criminal Sentencing, It’s the Guidelines That Count

August 17, 2010

Many clients come to me after they have been arrested for a felony charge and quickly ask me “what they are looking at” as far as a possible sentence should they be found guilty. Prior to 1983, that determination was totally within the discretion of the Judge, who could render, in almost all cases, a […]

Under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground Law”, Discretion is Still the Best Policy

July 27, 2010

When I was growing up and at times a bit too prone to physical confrontations, my father advised me that while I should never run away from a fight, I should walk away whenever possible. Prior to July 1,2006, and contrary to the first part of my Dad’s advice, the law in Florida required people […]

Similar Fact Evidence: Crimes that Bite a Second Time

July 14, 2010

Under most circumstances, evidence of the prior criminal behavior of a defendant cannot be introduced at a trial which involves a new, unrelated crime. The overriding theory has always been that, if a jury hears that the defendant has engaged in conduct similar to the crime for which he is on trial, they will undoubtedly […]

Police Searches: When do they need a Warrant??

July 11, 2010

“Trucking”, a 1970′s song by the Grateful Dead, contains the cryptic line “if you’ve got a warrant, I guess you’re gonna come in”. While under most circumstances, the band was right, the majority of searches are conducted by police officers without a court authorized warrant. In speaking with clients in my practice, I have come […]

How to Choose a Criminal Defense Attorney

July 2, 2010

        Being arrested or informed they are the subject of a criminal investigation can create one of the most stressful situations a person can face in their lifetime. Relationships with loved ones, present and future employment, and even one’s freedom are all placed in peril, often times in an instant. As a result, it is […]