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Criminal Defense Archives

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."

Florida is Toughest on Charging Juvenile Offenders as Adults

When it comes to charging youth offenders as adults, Florida ranks at the top in the nation. From 2003-2008, Florida transferred juveniles into the adult system two times the amount that the state with the second highest amount of youths charged as adults transferred them into the adult courts. From 2008-2012, over 12,000 Florida children were transferred into the adult criminal justice system. Some may argue that this is because the punishments in the juvenile system for youth offenders are not nearly tough enough, and many offenders under the age of 18 who commit violent crimes deserve a harsher sentence through the adult courts. Others argue that you cannot charge juveniles as adults due to differences in brain development, and the stark reality that many youth offenders who go into the adult system are more often abused and have higher recidivism rates.

You're Being Watched: Virtual Policing

With every new technology, whether we wear it, watch it, or use it to make our life more convenient, we may be giving valuable information about ourselves to others. Many fear that we are losing our rights to privacy, while others say that we should trade some privacy for safety. Whichever side of the argument you are on, the fact of the matter is that more and more people have access to some of our most private moments, including access by those in law enforcement.

What may constitute an ineffective assistance of counsel?

When you are accused of a crime, there are certain rights that you are afforded. The sixth amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides clear criteria for those rights. One of the guaranteed rights is that the accused have the right to the assistance of counsel in a case against them. The U.S. Supreme Court has gone a step further in this requirement and ruled that states must provide a public defender for those criminals who may be indignant and unable to retain their own lawyer.

Case Shines Spotlight on Body Cam Footage Laws and Policies in Miami

Police body cam footage seems to be a very popular topic of discussion lately. There has been much controversy over the use of the body cam, who should wear one, what is done with the footage and how long it needs to be saved. Many in the community think that body cams are necessary checks on power by giving police officers a reason to think before they do something that may be interpreted as out-of-line or an abuse of power. While others may think that the cameras add an extra layer of bureaucracy and may prevent police from doing what is necessary to stop a crime. Regardless of what one may think, it appears that we will be seeing more of these cameras worn by police as time goes by. In the state of Florida, we have our own legislation that governs body cams, and in South Florida, we have our own issues with this technology.

Six Things to Know About Florida's "Stand Your Ground" Law

The controversial Stand Your Ground law in the state of Florida is set to go through some changes as soon as both chambers of the Florida legislature agree on language that would shift the pre-trial burden of proof in these cases. These changes may have a significant effect on the way that the "stand your ground" defense is considered for immunity in a court of law. To understand how the changes will affect the current law, it's important to take a look at the history of the law and how it is proposed to change.

What is Bail and What Does it Mean for Someone Who is Arrested?

When someone is arrested and booked into the police station, there is a possibility that they may be released prior to a trial based on certain criteria. Depending on the severity of a crime, some people may be eligible to post bail and be released, while others will be required to wait behind bars before they have a trial for the crime they are accused of committing. The process of assigning bail and what it means for an accused person differs by individual, and will be outlined below in more detail.

What is Bail and What Does it Mean for Someone Who is Arrested?

When someone is arrested and booked into the police station, there is a possibility that they may be released prior to a trial based on certain criteria. Depending on the severity of a crime, some people may be eligible to post bail and be released, while others will be required to wait behind bars before they have a trial for the crime they are accused of committing. The process of assigning bail and what it means for an accused person differs by individual, and will be outlined below in more detail.

Shooter Accused in Ft. Lauderdale Airport Shooting is Competent to Stand Trial

Esteban Santiago is the Alaskan man who is accused of opening fire and killing five and wounding a sixth at Ft. Lauderdale International Airport on January 6 of this year. According to reports, he flew from Anchorage, Alaska to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida with a gun in his check baggage. Once he arrived at the airport, he retrieved his bag, loaded his gun in the bathroom, and began shooting in the baggage claim area. Despite a past riddled with mental illness, Santiago's criminal defense attorneys now say that he is mentally competent to stand trial for the accused crime.

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