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Tag Archives: criminal defense

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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Life Sentence For Minors

Life Sentence For Minors

Life imprisonment (also known as a life sentence, life-long incarceration or life incarceration) is a sentence of imprisonment for a serious crime where the convicted person is to remain in prison for the rest of his or her life. Examples of crimes for which a person could receive this sentence include murder, high treason, severe or violent cases of drug or human trafficking, or aggravated cases of burglary or robbery resulting in death or great bodily harm (source: wikipedia) This sentence does not exist in all countries. However, where life imprisonment is a possible sentence, there may also be formal mechanisms to request parole after a certain time of having been in prison. This means that a convict could be entitled to spend the rest of the sentence (i.e., until… […]

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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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Credit Card Fraud in Florida

Credit Card Fraud in Florida

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the cost of credit card fraud may be as high as $500 million a year. Consumer pay for the fraud through higher finance charges, annual fees and increased costs for law enforcement investigations and prosecutions. To protect yourself against credit card fraud, consider the following: Protect your bills and credit cards Unscrupulous scam artists often raid mailboxes or use “phishing” scams online to gather credit card account numbers and other financial information. If your cards or bills are late, contact your credit card company. Sign all credit cards as soon as they arrive. Keep a record of your credit card numbers in a secure place and include in that record the expiration date, phone number and address of the card issuer. Check… […]

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Weapons Charges in South Florida

FORT PIERCE, Fla.– An 18-year-old Fort Pierce Central High School student has been arrested for bringing a gun to the school. The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office says a school resource deputy arrested Jabaui Terrell German thanks to a confidential tip. “A tip from Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers indicated that a student at Fort Pierce Central High School wearing a light blue shirt had a gun in his ‘Iverson’ book bag,” said St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara in a written release. “Crime Stoppers passed the tip to deputies assigned to the high school…deputies located the student… grabbed his book bag and took the student into custody.” The Sheriff said deputies found a .25-caliber semiautomatic pistol as well as a clip loaded with four bullets. He’s charged him with… […]

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Human Trafficking In Florida

Human Trafficking In Florida

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which victims are used for forced labor or sexual exploitation. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) is a federal law that criminalizes the act of human trafficking and was first signed into action in early 2000. According to U.S. law under the TVPA, human trafficking is defined as “sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery”. The TVPA was reauthorized… […]

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West Palm Beach Florida Man Will Be Sentenced for Arson Today

West Palm Beach Florida Man Will Be Sentenced for Arson Today

Helmut Goellnitz, 48, faces sentencing today, 4/20/10, in connection with the burning of a North Palm Beach beauty salon last year. Goellnitz confessed to paying someone $1,000 to burn down the Touchee Beauty Salon in North Palm Beach because his girlfriend wasn’t happy with the eyelash extensions she got there. The beauty salon even offered his girlfriend a refund and eventually gave her a “redo.” That wasn’t good enough for Goellnitz. According to records, Goellnitz “wanted to make a statement not to mess with him and he was going to show them.” He told witnesses that he paid someone to “burn the son of a bitch” down. Helmut Goellnitz pleaded guilty to arson charges last month and faces a minimum of five years in prison at his sentencing today. Arson… […]

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MySpace Molester Arrested In West Palm Beach, Florida

MySpace Molester Arrested In West Palm Beach, Florida

A 24-year old man, Jeremy William Sherrill, was arrested last week by authorities and charged with luring women from MySpace and then sexually attacking them. According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department, a man named “Joaquin” contacted a woman on MySpace and offered her employment. The 21-year-old woman said “Joaquin” asked her to meet him after 11:30 PM. The woman said that was unprofessional but “Joaquin” needed someone to start working immediately and he had to go to Fort Lauderdale the next morning. The woman agreed to meet him to discuss the job opening. Instead, the man drove her to a secluded spot and ordered her to perform sex acts. Jeremy Sherrill from Greenacres, a suburb of West Palm Beach, faces one count of sexual battery and one count… […]

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Did You Break the Law on Spring Break?

Did You Break the Law on Spring Break?

Spring break is here. After one of the coldest winters on record, thousands of people are heading south to Palm Beach County next week for some much-needed R & R. That means sun, surf, beach, golf, tennis, parties and nightclubs. It can also mean flashing lights, handcuffs, jail and bail – if you get arrested. Have you ever heard of the old saying, “Come to Florida on vacation and leave on probation?” Unfortunately, it is true for many out-of-staters. The most common crimes during spring break in Palm Beach County are: DUI, drunk & disorderly conduct, drug possession, shoplifting, theft, assault, weapons offenses and solicitation of prostitution. If you are charged with a misdemeanor DUI, you will go to the Palm Beach County Jail for the night and be required… […]

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