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Miami Criminal Law Blog

The Controversy of Facial Recognition Technology in Criminal Cases

A Florida state appellate court will soon decide whether to appeal a guilty conviction of a man who was identified by police using a controversial police surveillance program. The controversial facial recognition program was used by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office to find a man who was accused of selling drugs. Now, the First District Court of Appeals is set to break new legal ground in deciding if police are allowed to use facial software to identify suspects in crimes without notifying the defense first.

Your Miranda Rights and the 5th Amendment

If you've ever watched a Hollywood crime show, you've probably heard the phrase, "You have the right to remain silent" when a suspect is arrested. These seven words usually come shortly after the phrase, "You are under arrest." But do you know exactly what it means when a law enforcement officer makes this particular statement, and are you aware of your rights as a crime suspect under the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights?

Miami Man Sentenced to 240 Months in Prison for Medicare Fraud

In a story we hear of all too often in South Florida, a Miami-area man was recently sentenced to 20 years in prison (240 months) for his role in a large Medicare fraud scheme. In addition, he is also required to pay $66.4 million in restitution for the fraud he committed against the Medicare system.

Supreme Court to Hear Appeal of Death Row Inmate with Dementia

When a death row inmate is executed, there is an expectation and legal requirement that the individual has a rational understanding that he or she is about to be executed and why he or she is facing execution. Most inmates remember their crime, and they are able to answer in the affirmative that they understand the reason for their punishment. However, one Alabama man is proving to be an exception to this understanding. Now, his lawyers argue that because he suffers from dementia, and does not remember his crime over 30 years ago, that he is unfit for execution. The U.S. Supreme Court must now decide if Vernon Madison will die by lethal injection.

Florida Attorney General Opens Investigation into Fake Twitter Accounts

Usually when we think of identity theft, we think of stolen credit cards, social security numbers, and fake bank accounts. However, in this new age of social media, a stolen identity can also show up online in places like Twitter.

Florida Attorney General, Pam Bondi, has opened an investigation into allegations made by the New York Times that there are Florida-based companies that are selling fake Twitter accounts and followers based on the identities of actual people. These fake followers have been sold to a range of high-profile Twitter users from celebrities to successful businessmen. The Attorney General's office has announced that it wants to talk to anyone who had an identity stolen and used to create a fake social media profile on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, or any other social media platform.

$20 Million Mortgage Fraud gets Miami Beach Realtor Prison Time

One Miami man won't be living in the luxurious homes he has been used to thanks to his part in a $20 million mortgage fraud that spanned from South Beach to Ft. Lauderdale. Now, he'll spend 15 years in prison and have five years of supervised release following his prison time. That comes out to roughly one year of federal corrections supervision for each million dollars of fraud.

Florida Police Officers Use "Stand Your Ground" to Seek Protection

The decision to allow police officers to use the state's "stand your ground" law as a defense in certain situations may be heading to the Florida Supreme Court. The law, originally enacted in 2005, was created as a way to allow residents to defend themselves with deadly force without fear of arrest or trial. Since its inception, the law has remained controversial, and it is even more so when law enforcement uses it as a defense in cases when deadly force is used.

Proposed Bill Would Lower Florida's Tough Minimum Mandatory Sentencing for Drug Trafficking

It's well known that Florida is one of the tougher states for minimum mandatory sentencing for drug offenses. The fact is that many first-time offenders and legitimate addicts end up in prison serving lengthy sentences due to the minimum sentencing that is required for crimes categorized as trafficking. The opioid crisis and pill mills in the state have only added to the large number of people who are sent to prison every year for drug-related crimes. 

Pill Mills, Conspiracy, and Murder Charges

A Florida Keys woman was arrested recently, charged with first-degree racketeering. According to prosecutors out of Atlantic City, NJ, she is connected with the 2012 murder of a woman whose doctor-husband was at the center of a pill mill scheme in that state. The Summerland Key resident, Beverly Augello's arrest papers mentioned, "illegal distribution of narcotics and murder." However, she was not the only one involved in the conspiracy, racketeering, and murder plots that unfolded several years ago in New Jersey.

Be Alert: Major Fraud Investigation of Healthcare Professionals

Over the last few years, the Justice Department has charged over 400 people in what they consider the nation's largest healthcare fraud scheme as a result of an ongoing investigation affecting doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other professionals in the health industry field. Over 400 people have been indicted, spearheaded by the Medicare Fraud Strike force. Charges have been lodged in more than 41 Federal district courts, charging over 100 doctors, nurses, and other licensed medical professionals. The fraud has involved over $1.3 billion, implicating individuals who perpetrated false claims and received money from Tricare or various funds or entities related to Tricare.

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