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Criminal Charges Archives

Does the Fifth Amendment Apply to Cell Phone Passcodes?

We've all heard the defense, "I plead the fifth!" But what exactly does the Fifth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution mean for the accused? The statement of "pleading the fifth" simply means that someone accused of a crime has a right to not self-incriminate by saying something that could be used against them in a court of law. In other words, the U.S. Bill of Rights protects individuals from being compelled to be witnesses against themselves. Usually, this means that if you are arrested, you do not have to say anything to law enforcement regarding your involvement in the crime, and you will not be required to testify on the stand at your own trial. However, with modern technology such as smart phones containing so much personal information these days, how are the courts handling the possibility that a defendant's iPhone, locked by personal passcode, may contain information that could incriminate him/her?

Technology as a Witness in Criminal Cases

Technology is all around us. It's no longer a choice if we want to take part in the innovative revolution; new devices are now a part of our everyday lives. Many of these modern technologies make our everyday lives easier, and some of them may also make it easier for law enforcement to solve crimes. With all the latest technology out there recording our every step and command, it's hard to ensure any type of real privacy. The very same technology that makes it easier for us to find out answers to questions and order commodities easily, record our fitness goals, and even stay in contact with our friends may be the very same technology that can help law enforcement solve crimes. Are you aware of the ways that technology can serve as a witness in criminal cases?

Miami Gym Owner Arrested on Charges of Heading Steroid Ring

Loyal gym goers were totally shocked early one morning in late February when DEA agents raided local Miami gym, Iron Addicts, in a steroid ring bust. The Federal agents stormed the gym and pushed aside gym goers, used sledgehammers to knock down walls in the second floor offices above the gym, and confiscated some of the gym equipment. Richard Rodriguez, part owner of Iron Addicts was arrested and charged with being the head of a $10 million international steroid production and distribution ring, run primarily out of the second story office on top of the popular Miami gym.

Florida Moves to Reform History of Harsh Sentencing

Florida's legacy of harsh criminal sentencing is under the microscope lately as the Florida Senate Criminal Justice Committee concluded recently that too much state taxpayer money is being spent on people who have committed minor criminal offenses. The committee voted unanimously for SB 290, which ends minimum mandatory sentences for non-violent crimes. Liberal and conservative advocates have been pushing to reform Florida's historically harsh mandatory minimums for non-violent crimes for some time now, as these types of statutes have bogged down the judicial system and crowded prisons around the state.

Florida Supreme Court Overturns Three Death Sentences

There is a growing conflict surrounding the new Florida death penalty law due to some individuals receiving overturned death sentences. Known inmates charged with first-degree murder, who previously were sentenced to death, may now only face life imprisonment. Re-sentencing hearings have already taken place and more are being scheduled to determine whether the death sentence they hold still stands.

Miami-Dade Police Officer Sentenced for Road Rage Incident

Last year, Miami-Dade Police Office, Jonathan Lang was arrested from firing shots at a Corrections Officer's, Georgina Illa, vehicle. The incident left a bullet hole in the car and happened after Illa cut him off when they were on Florida's Turnpike in July 2014.

Drug Dealer Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Selling Drug That Led to Fatal Overdose

In a controversial decision, Christopher Sharod Massena was found guilty and sentenced to 30 years in a federal prison for supplying a drug called fentanyl to Christian Hernandez who died as a result of an overdose of the drug. The controversy surrounds not just the verdict, but also the judge's ruling to not allow the defense's argument into the courtroom.

Smugglers Arrested for Shipping Ammunition and Guns Hidden in Empty Vehicle Batteries

When it comes to smuggling illegal items into, or out of, the United States, smugglers can get pretty creative. Such is the case with a shipment from Maracaibo, Venezuela, which was seized by custom agents at Miami International Airport this past April.

3 Things to Know About Your Fourth Amendment Search and Seizure Rights

In criminal cases defense attorneys are charged with protecting the rights of their clients. Among those rights is the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which protects, among other things, against unlawful search and seizures.

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