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Miami Criminal Law Blog

How Social Media Private Direct Messages Can Lead to Your Arrest

At this point in time, nearly everyone is active on some form of social media -whether it's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or all of the above. You may know that what's on your newsfeed and is shown to the general public can be used against you as evidence, but did you know that your private direct messages can also lead to charges being placed against you if misconduct is discovered?

What Are Your Plea Options In a Criminal Court Case?

Even if you've never been in a courtroom before, chances are you've seen a movie or television show where the judge asks the defendant how they plea to the crime they are being charged for. A plea is essentially your response to the charges being brought against you. There are three ways a defendant can plea during a court case: guilty, not guilty, and nolo contendere (also known as no contest). The way you plea to charges against you determines the next steps in your case. Once you've put in your plea, it's very difficult to withdraw or change it, so be sure you're comfortable with whatever route you decide to go.

What is Criminal Defense Legal Malpractice?

Can you imagine being behind bars for four decades for a crime you didn't commit? That's what happened to Jacksonville natives Clifford Williams and Nathan Myers when their defense attorney didn't push to present the jury with evidence that would have proven their innocence. Their case was recently overturned on the basis of legal malpractice with the assistance of State Attorney Melissa Nelson, head of Florida's first conviction integrity unit.

According to Jacksonville.com, the two men were arrested and charged with the murder of Jeanette Williams in 1976. Their defense attorney failed to make sure the jury was shown evidence that would have proven the eyewitness who placed them at the crime was lying. Among those findings was that the ballistics report of the bullets found at the scene did not align with the witness's account. Along with the evidence, there were also several family members that were willing to testify that both Clifford Williams and Nathan Myers were at a party nearby, but the jury never got to hear those testimonies.

Four Reasons to Have Your Record Sealed or Expunged

It seems like you can't go a week without hearing a story about a "Florida Man" who committed some kind of ridiculous crime. It's not just Floridians that make these mistakes, but Florida is one of few states with "proud open government laws" where criminal records are public. This makes it incredibly easy for reporters, future employers, and even potential dating prospects to find your record without even conducting a background check. Luckily, we also have the ability to request the sealing or expungement of your criminal record. When a record is sealed or expunged it can't be found by the public or in routine background checks that may be done by a new job or a bank when you're trying to get a loan for a car or a house.

What To Do If There's A Bench Warrant Out For Your Arrest

A bench warrant is an arrest warrant that comes straight from a judge (presumably sitting on their bench) and is usually due to failure to appear in court over a civil matter such as a ticket, simple traffic case, or a child custody case. It's never okay to skip a scheduled hearing without just cause, and failure to attend will almost always have consequences. The purpose of a bench warrant is to deter defendants from missing their court ordered appointments. A bench warrant is different from an arrest warrant, in the sense that with an arrest warrant law enforcement is actively looking for the person to arrest. This is usually due to more serious matters like robbery, assault, or worse.

What's The Difference Among a Robbery, Burglary, and Theft?

The legal system is full of different terms used to define specific crimes. Often these crimes may sound the same or seem similar in their acts, but they are not interchangeable in their meanings or in their charges. There's a distinct difference among a robbery, a burglary, and a theft.

Mandatory Drug Sentencing May Change In Florida

Did you know Florida is has some of the harshest mandatory drug sentencing laws in place in the country? According to WSFU News, these laws could be changing drastically soon leaving it up to the court system and judges to decide on a fair punishment on a case-by-case basis.

What Happens When You Falsify A Threat

We live in a world where safety concerns like bomb threats or random shooting are something we hear about all too often. Many establishments such as schools, airports, and large public venues have policies in place for what to do if that kind of threat should occur. In the event that a threat is reported, law enforcement will immediately jump into action. So, what happens if the reported threat is false and a lie? Does the person who falsified the threat deserve to be punished? What about the time, cost, and mental disruption caused by those involved in the steps that take place after the threat is reported?

Florida Legislature to Pass Law Mandating the Recording of Interrogations

It only seems logically to record interrogations, as that's the moment when may confessions take place. Having these recordings allow for an accurate depiction of how the conversation occurred as well as if the confession seemed honest and truthful or possibly forced or coerced through pressure by the interrogating officer. However, Florida is one of the states in the United States that doesn't legally require for interrogations to be recorded. Senate Bill 204 aims to change that.

White Collar Crimes In Florida

White collar crime is a nonviolent, money-related type of crime usually committed by business professionals or government officials who are financially motivated to find a way to gain control of assets, typically those that are not theirs to begin with. One notable Florida case involves housing developer, Lloyd Boggio, who was charged in a $34 million dollar fraud case in Miami that impacted low-income families. Rather than to face a jury of his peers, Boggio pled guilty in his case. Boggio and his co-conspirators inappropriately used U.S. tax credits and received monetary benefit from 14 different government housing developments. By taking the plea bargain, Boggio is now serving 54 months in prison rather than the possible lifetime behind bars that he could have faced after a trial.

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