When a person is arrested and being charged for a crime, they have the right to a trial by a jury of their peers. This right is thanks to the Seventh Amendment in the United States Constitution. The jury is made up of citizens, who are expected to review the case, listen to evidence and testimonies, and make an educated decision about the fate of the trial. Many people are familiar with the jury selection process, but could not showing up be considered a crime? One young adult in Florida recently found out what can happen if you are selected to a jury and don't show up.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most crimes - with the exception of murder and kidnapping - have a limit of time that a prosecutor can file criminal charges against a suspect. These time limits are known as the statute of limitations. The statutes are in place to make sure that evidence being used is preserved properly and justice is happening in a timely manner.
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.