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Category Archives: Criminal Defense

What are Gangs Like in Palm Beach County?

What are Gangs Like in Palm Beach County?

Gang activity in Palm Beach County has always been a serious issue. A significant percentage of homicides, thefts, and assaults are correlated with gang activity, much to the concern of Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, who recently met with County Commissioners to discuss $25 million in budget cuts. By consulting an experienced criminal defense lawyer, you will be able to understand all of the ramifications of being involved in gang related crime. This includes homicide, theft, battery, assault, weapons possession, drug possession, drunk driving, you name it. What is a gang – really The technical definition of a gang according to Reference Encyclopedia, is “a group of people organized for a common purpose, often criminal…largely urban and highly organized…Most fighting gangs are organized intricately, with caste systems and with officers who arrange… […]

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What Happens if I’m Charged with Grand Theft?

What Happens if I’m Charged with Grand Theft?

By Florida law, there are several different degrees of theft. However, regardless of the type of theft, or the value of the stolen item, it is a serious offense and will be on a permanent criminal record. If you have been charged with a theft-related crime, contact an experience criminal defense lawyer to assist you through the process. Miami, Fl is the 5th highest city for grand theft incidences. 812.014  Theft.– (1)  A person commits theft if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or to use, the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently: (a)  Deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property. (b) Appropriate the property to his or her own use or to the… […]

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How to Deal with Mortgage Fraud Charges

How to Deal with Mortgage Fraud Charges

According to the Financial Times, the FBI is starting to move and begin a nationwide sweep to crack down on mortgage fraud. This investigation has been spurred in an attempt to stall the lending practice that contributed so heavily to the housing collapse. They will be arresting hundreds of people all across the country. The Financial Times reported that the FBI is specifically targeting violations that include giving false information regarding foreclosure rescue programs and encouraging borrowers to provide misleading information on mortgage applications. There are 23 Mortgage Fraud Task Forces across the country. Their job is to slash the omission or misrepresentation of materials that are becoming increasingly present on mortgage applications. This tactic allowed brokers, banks, and lenders to issue loans to borrowers who don’t even qualify with… […]

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5 Steps to Clear Your Criminal Record

5 Steps to Clear Your Criminal Record

When you apply for a job, a house, a loan, or pretty much anything where a background check is conducted, your criminal record can be your biggest enemy. It can take away so many opportunities away from you and restrict your freedom. The most common way to clear your criminal record is to get it expunged. Contact a criminal defense lawyer for any questions you might have. Expunged? What does it mean to get a criminal record expunged? Expungement is the process where your criminal record is sealed, so it is unavailable by way of public records. However, it is not necessarily excused, your case was simply “set aside and dismissed.” Florida Law Florida Law allows for expungement of a criminal record if it does not include a conviction. It… […]

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Public Defender vs. Private Defense Lawyer

Public Defender vs. Private Defense Lawyer

The difference between a public defender and a criminal defense lawyer is important when considering your legal representation. Having an attorney on your side is imperative. You must be proactive after your arrest regardless of what kind of charges are filed against you. The Public Defender A public defender is a licensed attorney, assigned to represent people who are charged with a crime and who desire legal representation but who cannot afford to hire a privately retained attorney. Different jurisdictions use different approaches to providing legal counsel for criminal defendants too poor to hire a private attorney. Under the federal system and most common among the states is through a publicly funded public defender office. Typically, these offices function as an agency of the federal, state or local government and… […]

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Investment Fraud in Delray Beach

Investment Fraud in Delray Beach

According to the Associated Press, In Delray Beach, a former city commissioner is charged with a fraudulent investment. Charlotte Gilmore Durante, a licensed real estate broker, is accused of defrauding investors out of approximately $1.8 million. Durante allegedly used the money towards the nonprofit Museum of Lifestyle and Fashion History run by her daughter, Lori. Durante was arrested Wednesday and charged with grand theft, money laundering, and a few other charges. She had guaranteed promising returns to investors who boosted down payments for her clients. Durante is known for making history in the 1970s as one of Delray Beach’s first black female city commissioners, according to the Associated Press. Her career may never recover. How it Works This specific type of fraudulent investment is known as a Ponzi scheme. It… […]

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How to Choose a Criminal Defense Attorney

How to Choose a Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal defense attorneys fight for what they believe in. If your defense attorney believes in your innocence, he or she will do the research and put forth the effort to ensure your vindication. Defense attorneys fight for the preservation and continuation of everyone’s constitutional rights. Due to the fact that the criminal justice system is so complex, it is almost impossible for a defendant faced with serious criminal charges to be vindicated without the aid of a competent defense attorney. Every criminal case is unique, which makes it imperative to hire an experienced and adequate defense attorney. It is important to recognize the countless amounts of variables involved in each case. A defendant must hire an attorney he or she can work with, believe in, and trust. The particulars in… […]

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Why You Must Know Your “Miranda Rights”

Why You Must Know Your “Miranda Rights”

When accused of a crime and arrested by the police the most natural emotion is fear. Unfortunately, fear often leads individuals to make dire mistakes given the circumstances and chief among those mistakes is talking to the police without an attorney. A clear head and a knowledge of how real world cases are handled is essential in this situation. Television media has given many false impressions about what happens after an arrest as well as at trial. In television law dramas confessions are forced out of all to loose-lipped suspects and defendants are badgered into confessions on the witness stand. In reality, a person accused of a crime has certain protective rights; rights he or she needs to know and exercise. These are commonly known as the “Miranda Rights.” In… […]

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Appeals in Criminal Law

Appeals in Criminal Law

In law, an appeal is a process for requesting a formal change to an official decision. An appellate court is a court that hears cases on appeal from another court. Depending on the particular legal rules that apply to each circumstance, a party to a court case who is unhappy with the result might be able to challenge that result in an appellate court on specific grounds. These grounds typically could include errors of law, fact, or procedure (in the United States, due process). In different jurisdictions, appellate courts are also called appeals courts, courts of appeals, superior courts, or supreme courts. Criminal law states that any criminal convicted of a crime can opt for a criminal appeal. An appeal is something that is filed to determine whether or not… […]

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Opening Arguments in Criminal Cases

Opening Arguments in Criminal Cases

Stuart, FL (Palm Beach Post) Opening arguments are expected to begin today in the first-degree murder trial of Christopher Tomlinson, the man accused with his girlfriend of killing her stepfather with a Samurai sword. Tomlinson, 25, and Nicole Thornhill, 21, were arrested in April 2008 after Gerald Lee Jensen’s body was discovered in a Palm Beach County landfill. Police say the couple confessed to killing the 48-year-old Jensen inside the Stuart apartment they shared with him and Thornhill’s mother, Kristan Jensen. According to police reports, Tomlinson stabbed Gerald Lee Jensen first in the throat and then in his chest before the couple dumped his body in the apartment complex’s trash bin. Opening Statements in Criminal Cases “Well begun is half done” Aside from questioning, an opening statement is generally the… […]

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