120 S. Olive Ave., Suite 402
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Category Archives: Constitutional Rights

What is Illegal Search and Seizure?

What is Illegal Search and Seizure?

The topic of illegal search and seizure seems to be creating a lot of buzz lately as the exact law and definition of what makes a search and seizure illegal is in flux. The law is changing as recent court decisions are having an impact on police conduct. Law enforcement officers have a new code of conduct when it comes to searching you or your property. The Fourth Amendment usually limits the amount of authority police have over searching you or your property but several precedents have been set by court decisions that have greatly altered the dynamics of the law. Search and Seizure The Fourth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution protects citizens from what is called “unreasonable search and seizure” by government or otherwise authoritative figures. The Amendment does… […]

| Tagged , , | Comments Off on What is Illegal Search and Seizure?

Arrested on Illegal Possession Of A Firearm

A 13-year-old boy was arrested Friday afternoon after he dropped a gun hidden in the waistband of his pants and it fired when hitting the ground, Fort Pierce Police report. No one was injured when gun went off, said police spokesman Sgt. Dennis McWilliams, who also reported that the gun had been stolen last November in St. Lucie County. Police charged the juvenile with carrying a concealed firearm, grand theft and illegal possession of a firearm by a juvenile. He was taken to the juvenile detention center. What is Gun Possession? Illegal gun possession, also commonly referred to as the criminal possession of a weapon, carries increasingly strict penalties. Many communities have taken steps to reduce gun violence by enacting harsher penalties for not only the use of guns in… […]

| Tagged | Comments Off on Arrested on Illegal Possession Of A Firearm

Legitimacy Of Weapons For Defense and Protection

Carrying a Concealed Firearm The crime of Carrying a Concealed Firearm is committed if a person: Knowingly carried on or about his or her person a firearm; and The firearm was concealed from the ordinary sight of another person. The crime of Carrying a Concealed Firearm is classified as a Third Degree Felony and is assigned a Level 5 offense severity ranking under Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code. If convicted of Carrying a Concealed Firearm, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties: Up to five (5) years in prison. Up to five (5) years of probation. Up to $5,000 in fines. Defenses to Carrying a Concealed Firearm In addition to the pretrial defenses and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case, specific defenses to the… […]

| Tagged | Comments Off on Legitimacy Of Weapons For Defense and Protection

Due Process, Criminal Justice and Criminal Defense Attorney

Due Process, Criminal Justice and Criminal Defense Attorney

Our criminal justice system can be overwhelming and frightening. The incarceration rate in the United States is much higher than that of other industrialized countries. Prison sentences are getting longer and more frequent. If you face the possibility of being accused of a crime, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as early in the process as possible, preferably even before questioning or investigation by the police. A skilled attorney can fight for your legal and constitutional rights. Due Process Our criminal justice system is complex, both conceptually and procedurally. To ensure the fairness of the proceedings, each court system has its own rules of criminal procedure that govern the actions of all players: police, defense lawyers, prosecutors, judges and juries. The US Constitution requires that criminal defendants be accorded due… […]

| Tagged | Comments Off on Due Process, Criminal Justice and Criminal Defense Attorney

Federal Constitutional Rights In Criminal Proceedings

Federal Constitutional Rights In Criminal Proceedings

Fourth Amendment “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” The Fourth Amendment provides general protections against arbitrary search and seizure of persons and property. While there are many exceptions to the Fourth Amendment “warrant requirement,” it does provide broad protection of the general public from inappropriate police conduct. Fifth Amendment “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval… […]

| Tagged | Comments Off on Federal Constitutional Rights In Criminal Proceedings

Criminal Law Cases, Legal Errors and Appeals

Criminal Law Cases, Legal Errors and Appeals

An appeal of a lower court decision is a legal process by which a higher court is asked to review the trial court’s record and rule on the legal issues raised by the appellant (a party to a case–in a criminal case, it is usually the defendant). The Circuit Criminal Department handles all appeals for convictions and court rulings from the Circuit Criminal and County Criminal Courts for Palm Beach County’s 15th Judicial Circuit. All correspondence regarding a County or Circuit Criminal appeal can be sent to:: Clerk & Comptroller Circuit Criminal Department P.O. Box 2906 West Palm Beach, FL 33402-2906 Attention: Appeals Clerk A Notice of Appeal must be filed within 30 days from the date of the conviction or the court ruling that is being appealed. Grounds for… […]

| Tagged , | Comments Off on Criminal Law Cases, Legal Errors and Appeals

The Weight Of Fingerprints in Criminal Cases

The Weight Of Fingerprints in Criminal Cases

Fingerprint evidence, although sometimes not as high-profile as other high-tech crime-solving methods like DNA typing, is still very much used in criminal investigations and cases. While the principle that no two people can have the same fingerprints cannot be scientifically validated, fingerprint evidence is generally considered to be highly reliable and is particularly accessible to juries: You don’t need a Ph.D. or a scientific lecture on genetics to understand that your own fingers contain a contour map of ridges and whorls that is completely unique. Matching Fingerprints Fingerprint evidence rests on two basic principles: A person’s “friction ridge patterns” (the swirled skin on their fingertips) don’t change over their lifetimes. No two people have the same pattern of friction ridges. Even identical twins have different fingerprints. Police officers use fingerprints… […]

| Tagged | Comments Off on The Weight Of Fingerprints in Criminal Cases

Sobriety Checkpoints, Field Sobriety Tests and DUI Charges

Sobriety Checkpoints, Field Sobriety Tests and DUI Charges

Sobriety checkpoints or roadblocks involve law enforcement officials stopping every vehicle (or more typically, every nth vehicle) on a public roadway and investigating the possibility that the driver might be too impaired to drive. They are often set up late at night or in the very early morning hours and on weekends, at which time the proportion of impaired drivers tends to be the highest. Checkpoints are also often set near the exit points of public events, to prevent large numbers of drunk drivers from being released into traffic simultaneously from the event. With a portable and quick alcohol breath test, the police can test all drivers (if the law permits), and process the cars one by one as in a conveyor belt. When there is no quick test, a… […]

| Tagged | Comments Off on Sobriety Checkpoints, Field Sobriety Tests and DUI Charges

Know Your Legal Rights

Know Your Legal Rights

Our criminal justice system can be overwhelming and frightening. The incarceration rate in the United States is much higher than that of other industrialized countries. Prison sentences are getting longer and more frequent. If you face the possibility of being accused of a crime, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as early in the process as possible, preferably even before questioning or investigation by the police. A skilled attorney can fight for your legal and constitutional rights. This blog and information on the website is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter. Police Stops You may be stopped for questioning by the police. A stop isn’t considered an arrest if you’re briefly detained and… […]

| Tagged | Comments Off on Know Your Legal Rights

Video Tapes as Evidence in Florida Criminal Cases

There is a very interesting body of law that is developing in Florida, and it owes itself to the over use of video cameras throughout the State. Video cameras are more and more “allegedly” capturing the acts of individuals, who are alleged to be committing criminal offenses. The cameras catching the acts can be mounted at red lights intersections, street corners, store fronts, governmental buildings and even on private homes. But what happens when the video is destroyed by the Prosecutor, Police Officer, Law Enforcement Officer or agency employed by the prosecuting government and the contents are still introduce by way of oral testimony to a jury? This is what the blog will answer. The facts that give way to these Constitutional problems are easy to imagine. Take for instances… […]

| Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Video Tapes as Evidence in Florida Criminal Cases