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Criminal Defense Archives

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?

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 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 The law, originally enacted in 2005, was created as a way to allow residents to defend themselves with deadly force without fear of arrest or trial.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.

National Crime Rates and Local Police Shootings are Down in 2017

It's looking like 2017 was a year when crime rates dipped in the U.S. This is the preliminary news coming in from the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University's School of Law. The reports indicate good news for those of us who live in areas where crime is down, as the trend is a reversal from the previous few years where crime rates were rising.

Is a Car Considered a Deadly Weapon in the State of Florida?

The Florida Supreme Court may have to decide in the near future whether a car is considered a deadly weapon when used to harm or kill someone in the state of Florida. The lower appellate courts in the state are divided on this issue, forcing the state's Supreme Court to become the deciding factor.

Miami Man Claims Stand-You-Ground Against Child Abuse Charges

A Miami man is attempting to use Florida's controversial "stand-your-ground" statute as a way to seek immunity for child abuse charges brought against him. The cases involves a 30-year-old Miami tennis instructor who is accused of hitting a five-year-old boy with a tennis racket, causing bruising on the boy's right arm and a lump on his eyebrow. The man is charged with child abuse, but feels that he acted in self-defense.

Why Would a Judge Call a Mistrial?

If a judge decides to call a mistrial in a case, it means that the trial cannot and will not be successfully completed. The trial is terminated and declared void before the jury or judge renders a verdict or decision. However, it does not mean that there will not be a future trial. In most cases, the trial is reset for a different time with a different jury.

Gunfire Detection Technology Expanding in Miami

In an effort to further decrease the incidents of gun violence in the city of Miami, city commissioners included funds in the recently approved 2018 city budget to expand the current gunfire detection technology in the city. Many residents may not be aware, but the city has been using gunfire detection technology in certain neighborhoods since 2014. $325,000 in the proposed 2018 budget is allocated to triple the current zone where the technology is utilized.

Miami Man Arrested for Threatening the Life of State Representative on Facebook

A Miami Gardens man was arrested recently, accused of threatening the life of State Representative Jose Felix Diaz. The threat was posted on the defendant's Facebook page and read, "I'll kill your ass and you better not show up to the next REC meeting."

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