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June 2017 Archives

Supreme Court Sides with Defendant Who Was Given Incorrect Information

A new Supreme court case gives hope for prisoners and individuals convicted of crimes where they have received incorrect information in some instances - In Lee v. United States 582 US ___ (2017) the court held that:

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.

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?

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.

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Spatz Law Firm, PL
14707 S Dixie Hwy
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Miami, FL 33176

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