120 S. Olive Ave., Suite 402
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Call Us Today! 561.832.1170 attorney on call 24/7

Recieving a Downward Departure for a Felony DUI in Florida

Recieving a Downward Departure for a Felony DUI in FloridaHenderson v. State, makes receiving a downward departure for felony DUI in Florida more difficult but not impossible. On Appeal, the Henderson court ruled in November 2014, that a DUI driver, who pleads guilty or is found guilty of a 4th DUI, cannot rely on a non-statutory mitigator for a downward departure from a state prison sentence. In 2012, Henderson entered an open plea to driving under the influence, her 4th DUI, resisting an officer with violence, and driving while her license was suspended or revoked. Originally, the trial court departed from her sentencing guidelines on the basis that she was: (i) in “need of rehabilitation for substance abuse”; and (ii) needed at home to be “financially, physically, mentally and emotionally supportive of her minor son,” who himself was at risk due to his mother’s addiction. On appeal, the same Appellate Court reversed and remanded for resentencing, finding that the […]
Posted in DUI / Drunk Driving | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Responding to a Reckless Driving Arrest in Palm Beach County

Responding to a Reckless Driving Arrest in Palm Beach CountyReckless driving arrests in Palm Beach County, FL are on the uptick. Recent data from the Palm Beach County Clerk of Courts shows a rise in law enforcement officers ticketing drivers throughout Palm Beach County, FL for driving reckless. Things you must know about reckless driving and why you need a lawyer. First, reckless driving is a criminal offense. If you are facing a reckless driving charge you must take it very seriously as the law simply reads: “Upon a first conviction, by imprisonment for a period of not more than 90 days.” Second, if the reckless driver causes “damage to the property or person of another” the driver in fact commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by up to one (1) year in the county jail. Third, a driver’s participation in a highly dangerous drag race on the public streets of Palm Beach County constitutes reckless driving […]
Posted in Traffic Crime | Tagged , | Comments Off

Destroying evidence like cellphone and computer photos is not a crime in Florida?

Destroying evidence like cellphone and computer photos is not a crime in Florida?A recent 4th District Court of Appeals decision has long reaching tentacles into what is considered and isn’t considered tampering with evidence under Florida Law section 918.13.  In Costanzo v. Florida, at 4 D13-3344, appellant Costanzo was a detective at the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Following a jury trial, he was convicted of evidence tampering under section 918.13, Florida Statutes (2013). On appeal, the 4th District Court of Appeals reversed the jury’s decision to convict the Broward County detective, and throw out his conviction. The facts leading to Detective Costanzo’s arrest and conviction stem from him deleting a video from his work cellular phone, which contained a suspect’s statements about an unrelated crime committed by two of Costanzo’s police buddies, Koepke and Dodge. After Detective Costanzo received the video, he texted the video to Koepke, showed the video to his supervisor, and used his work e-mail account to send the video […]
Posted in Constitutional Rights | Tagged , | Comments Off

Facing DUI Charges in Palm Beach County

Facing DUI Charges in Palm Beach CountyDriving under the influence or DUI in Palm Beach County, FL does not just mean that the driver was consuming alcoholic beverages and operating a motor vehicle while their normal faculties were impaired. Driving under the influence in Palm Beach County, FL also includes consumption of prescription drugs that impair a driver’s normal faculties whether or not those prescription drugs have been lawfully prescribed by a physician or unlawfully received and consumed by the impaired driver. Florida law is clear on this issue of DUI of prescription drugs and it states: “Any person who accepts the privilege extended by the laws of this state of operating a motor vehicle within this state is, by so operating such vehicle, deemed to have given his or her consent to submit to a urine test for the purpose of detecting the presence of chemical substances or controlled substances if the person is lawfully […]
Posted in DUI / Drunk Driving | Tagged , , | Comments Off

The Art of Sentencing in Florida

The Art of Sentencing in FloridaAs a practicing criminal defense attorney, clients contact me on a regular basis to discuss the possible outcome of their criminal case. More often than not, during conversations with the client, they will inevitable ask whether they should plead guilty or go to trial? The client always has the right in deciding whether to plead guilty or proceed to trial. But this decision by the client as to whether or not to proceed to trial must be made after full advice given by their criminal defense lawyer, as to all the possible circumstances, laws and knowledge of the judge’s sentencing propensities. Does this judge sentence within or outside the guidelines is a very important matter to discuss? What type of criminal sanctions may this judge impose on the criminal defendant are other considerations that must be weighted. A recent criminal case out of Florida, U.S v. Brown, — F.3d —-, […]
Posted in Constitutional Rights, Criminal Defense | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Inside Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF)

Inside Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF)The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is an agency in Florida with multi functions. Under Florida Statute the Department of Children and Family provides that its local offices, like the West Palm Beach DCF Office, shall provide services relating to: (1) adult protection; (2) child care regulation; (3) child welfare; (4) domestic violence; (5) economic self-sufficiency; (6) homelessness; (7) mental health; (8) refugees; (9) substance abuse.  While DCF might sound like a nice cutesy agency looking out for the citizens of Florida, think again. The Department of Children and Families has a horrible track record in their placement of children with foster families, government agencies and orphanages throughout their history. This placement of children occurs after DCF plucks them from good, decent Families throughout Palm Beach County, and places them outside their home. With all medical providers like Doctors, Nurses, and clinics throughout Palm Beach County, Florida well aware […]
Posted in Domestic Violence | Tagged , | Comments Off

Allegations of Domestic Battery

Allegations of Domestic BatteryAccording to the Palm Beach Post, Attorney William Abramson, 47, faces domestic battery charges, in Palm Beach County, FL.  Mr. Abramson allegedly struck and pushed his girlfriend against her will, while calling her a “two bit whore.” The Palm Beach Post reported that the woman was taken to a local hospital for treatment, but the extent of her injuries are unknown at this time. Mr. Abramson, as many of you may remember, is a lawyer by trade and is responsible for defeating Judge Richard Wennet in the 2010 Circuit Court Judicial election. That 2010 Circuit Court election was won by Attorney William Abramson by 61 votes. In one of the most bizarre elections Palm Beach County ever has ever witnessed, even though Abramson won the judgeship, he was never seated on the bench. The Florida Bar stripped William Abramson of his law license for a period of more than 91 […]
Posted in Domestic Violence | Tagged , , | Comments Off

The State Of Florida and Local Municipalities Are Contracting Away Floridian’s Constitutional Rights!

The State Of Florida and Local Municipalities Are Contracting Away Floridian’s Constitutional Rights!The State of Florida along with local Municipalities are contracting away many of Floridian’s valuable rights with big business. Local municipalities are giving away our rights to big business for the mighty dollar that is promised through fines, court costs and surcharges, when those fees are levied on Florida’s Drivers for “Red-Light” photo violations. In Palm Beach County, Florida “red-light” camera infractions are No More! The Fourth District Court of Appeals just held that Red Light Camera violations are unconstitutional as the local municipalities throughout Palm Beach County, Florida like West Palm Beach; Lake Worth, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, Jupiter, North Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach and all others are not authorized under the Florida Constitution to delegate its police power’s to Private Vendors! See City of Hollywood v. Arem, 4D12-1312, 2014 WL 514915, at *1 (1st DCA Oct. 15, 2014). The Appellate court went on to say, […]
Posted in Florida Appellate Courts, Traffic Crime | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Constitutional Battle Between the First and Fourteenth Amendments

Constitutional Battle Between the First and Fourteenth AmendmentsWhat Constitutional Right prevails, when the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution collide? This question was recently answered by the Florida Appellate courts in Long v. State, -So.3d- , 2014 WL 5462459 Fla. App. 1st DCA 2014. Long was convicted of two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation and one count of sexual battery, by a person in familial or custodial authority. Long argued on appeal that because the trial judge allowed, over Long’s objection, burly men wearing jackets embroidered with “Bikers Against Child Abuse;” a freedom of expression guaranteed under the First Amendment, to be present near the courtroom and therefore in the presence of jurors, prior to the commencement of his trial, violated his Fourteenth Amendment Right to a fair trial and the due process of law. Long argued on appeal that his Fourteenth Amendment Right to a […]
Posted in Constitutional Rights | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Stand Your Ground Expanded In Florida

Stand Your Ground Expanded In FloridaStand your ground takes another step up, as the Appellate court holds that a Floridian has no duty to retreat under Stand Your Ground Laws. Whether or not the shooter was engaged in unlawful activity at time of the shooting, does not matter, wherein Stand Your Ground law contains no requirement that the person claiming protection under the statute not be engaged in “unlawful activity.” This body of law arose out of the opinion of State of Florida v. John Dorsey, — So.3d —-, 2014 WL 4996171 (4th DCA Fla2014); a Palm Beach County Case, where trial Judge Charles Burton unlawfully charged the jury, thereby taking away the rights of Mr. Dorsey guaranteed to him by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, Article I, Section 8, of the Florida Constitution and the Florida Legislatures, when the Judge refused to give a jury instruction on Stand Your Ground. In […]
Posted in Florida Appellate Courts | Tagged , , , | Comments Off