Have you made a mistake that got you in trouble with the law? From time-to-time, things happen that may be out of our control or done without being completely thought through that can lead to getting arrested or having to deal with going to trial to sort matters out. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney to be on your side can make a world of difference when it comes to how your case is handled and its outcome.
You may have heard of a gag order before, but you may not know exactly what it is, who is affected by them, and what happens when you violate them.
On Friday, May 3, Florida's state House of Representatives passed a 296-page criminal justice reform bill during the last day of the legislative session. This criminal justice reform bill had been months in the making covering a bevy of topics that were due for an update in the state of Florida. While many proposed changes didn't make it completely through, the changes that did pass are considered a small, but nice victory for the criminal justice system in Florida.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.