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Criminal Defense Archives

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.

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.

Can You Sue After A Wrongful Arrest?

Hundreds of arrests happen each day in the United States and many of these are wrongful arrests of defendants who haven't committed the crime they are ultimately charged with and often serve time for. In a country where at any given moment over 2 million people are in prison, even 1% of an error in arrests can result in several thousands of people behind bars for crimes they didn't commit.

Judges Rule Police Are Protected By Stand Your Ground Law

Having the ability to defend oneself in a moment where you fear for your life is an important factor in feeling safe. The Stand Your Ground law protects those who have to take action to defend themselves in life-threatening cases. Initially, this was a right given to all persons, but not necessarily those on the police force. However, the Florida Supreme Court recently ruled that Florida law enforcement can use the law in some instances. 

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.

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