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Category Archives: Constitutional Rights

“Can I Get My Time Reduced?” is Often Asked of Criminal Defense Lawyers

West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney Andrew Stine answers the question for his clients with an eye to a bridge to a better life. As a criminal defense lawyer, I am often asked questions by my clients, about getting their “time” reduced if they take responsibility for their actions. The conversation many times comes up after the accused is confronted with evidence that shows they likely committed the crime but not always. Believe it or not, many times those accused of criminal offenses are sorrowful for their actions and want to make amends for their wicked ways with the coercion of inculpatory evidence. When these heart to heart conversations take place between a criminal defense attorney and the accused a path to hopefully a better life is being bridged. In… […]

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Palm Beach County Defense Lawyer: Local Traffic Stops Are Often Based on Race

Palm Beach County has seen growing disparity between pulling over blacks and whites in traffic stops, reports criminal defense attorney Andrew Stine. The real motive for officers pulling over motorists throughout Palm Beach County, Fla. for not wearing their seat belts has nothing to do with the officers looking out for motorist safety. But the stop by the officers has everything to do with what other crimes they can manufacture after the stop has taken place, says criminal lawyer Andrew Stine. Recently, the American Civil Liberties Union issued a report that calls on the Florida Attorney General’s Office and the Palm Beach County Commissioners to take action because of the alarming rate at which black residents of Palm Beach County, Fla. are stopped by law enforcement officers for not wearing… […]

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4th Amendment Violations And Your Rights

4th Amendment Violations And Your Rights

The United States Supreme Court Has Now Allowed 4th Amendment Violations to occur because Law Enforcement Officers are Ignorant of the Law. If you do not believe that the government, including the U.S. Supreme Court, is at odds with your freedoms protected by the U.S. Constitution, then just read Heien v. North Carolina, 135 S. Ct. 530, (December 15, 2014). For the first time in the history of American Jurisprudence, the United States Supreme Court has authorized law enforcement officers to stop you in your vehicle, interrogate you, search you and arrest you because the police officers are “dumb!” The 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution has been reduced to ignorance of the law, through the recent Heien holding. The facts of Heien in a nutshell are: Sgt. Matt… […]

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Implications of the Murray v. State Ruling

Implications of the Murray v. State Ruling

The 4th District Court of Appeals, which oversees all appeals in Broward, Palm Beach, Okeechobee, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties just ratified the worst type of police misconduct and exemplifies why a citizen should NEVER speak to Law Enforcement Officers. The 4th DCA in their written opinion of Ungray Murray v. State, actually held that: (i) if law enforcement officials purposefully make false statement in their sworn statement, contained within their affidavit in support of a search warrant, to establish probable cause, the search warrant must be voided, and the evidence seized as a result of the search must be excluded. But on the other hand, the false statement contained within the affidavit of search, made by law enforcement officers, will not invalidate the resulting search warrant if… […]

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Custodial Interrogation in West Palm Beach and Your Rights

Custodial Interrogation in West Palm Beach and Your Rights

As a practicing criminal lawyer in West Palm Beach, FL I am continually asked the question by those accused of crimes “whether or not the statements and information that they provided to the police will be used against them?”  The answer that I give them depends on many factors, but the most important thing I ask is whether or not they requested an attorney before or at the time law enforcement officers stopped them and began asking them questions. Both the United States and Florida Constitutions protect criminal defendants from compelled self-incrimination or providing statements against themselves. See U.S. Const. Amend. V and Art. I  sec. 9, Fl Const. The United States Supreme Court has been steadfast in holding that law enforcement officers are required to inform suspects of their… […]

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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… […]

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The Art of Sentencing in Florida

As 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… […]

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What does Conviction mean under Florida Statute prohibiting Felons and delinquents; from possession of firearms, ammunition, or electric weapons or devices?

Under Florida Law it is unlawful for a person to own, possess or have in his or her custody, care or control, a firearm, ammunition, or electrical weapon or device if he or she has been convicted of a felony in the State of Florida; has committed a delinquent act in Florida that would be considered a felony if committed by an adult and the person is under the age of 24 years old at the time of the act; convicted of a Felony against the United States; has committed a delinquent act in another State that would be considered a felony in Florida if committed by an adult and the person is under the age of 24 years old at the time of the act; found guilty of an… […]

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Miranda Warnings and DUI Arrests

The routine DUI stop in Palm Beach County, Florida results in the suspected driver being asked many questions. The driver may not have had the privilege of Miranda, the driver’s right to a lawyer before answering any of the police officer’s questions. Is this okay? Is this legal? What other obstacles am I facing as a suspected DUI driver in Palm Beach County, Florida? As the suspected DUI driver, can I get information and the field sobriety tests that I provided to law enforcement suppressed or thrown out? How does this work? The leading case on the issue of suppressing what a driver tells a investigating police officer, who elicits information from the suspected dui driver without the protection of one’s Miranda warnings, comes from the U.S. Supreme court decision… […]

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Florida Jail House Calls as Evidence

While in jail awaiting trial or release on bond, many inmates find the need to continuously telephone their family, their friends, and their lawyer from inside the jail. Inmates continuously telephone the outside world for many reasons: boredom, concern, and to “discuss their case.” One must always remember that every single call made from a correctional facility in Florida is recorded. Recorded jailhouse telephone calls will be used by the prosecutor, as evidence against the accused, even when the accused is confiding in his or her mother for moral support. This issue was recently ferreted out by the appellate courts in Florida in Bass v. State. Bass was being held pre-trial on the charges that he robbed and murdered a drug dealer in Bay County, Florida. Prior to Bass’ trail,… […]

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