April 10, 2015

Are Police Ever Justified in Shooting a Fleeing Suspect?

Our Hollywood and West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers know that the events which took place in North Charleston, South Carolina, last weekend have shaken the country.
The fact that a uniformed police officer fired 8 bullets at the back of a suspect fleeing on foot, fatally killing him, has raised questions of morals, ethics, and responsibility. But we know that this incident raises an important legal issue, namely whether or not this type of shooting is ever authorized and legal.

The fact is that there are situations in which a police officer would be justified in fatally shooting a fleeing suspect. That said, given what authorities know about the North Charleston incident, the police officer has been charged with murder.

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April 9, 2015

Prison Reform-Seeking Sen. Rand Paul Announces Candidacy for President

On Tuesday, April 7th, Kentucky Senator (and Dr.) Rand Paul announced that he'd like you to vote for him on November 8th of next year as he made official his candidacy for President of the United States.
We know that one of the things that sets Paul apart from his official and presumptive competitors seeking the Republican nomination is his stance on prison reform; in particular, Sen. Paul has taken great issue with the overwhelmingly disproportionate rates at which minorities are incarcerated for non-violent crimes.

While Republican politicians tend to be less lenient when it comes to punishing drug offenders, Sen. Paul, guided by the same libertarian-minded philosophy that influenced his father, Fmr. Rep. Dr. Ron Paul, has taken a markedly progressive stance when it comes to an issue that is of great concern to our Pembroke Pines and Delray Beach drug crime defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert.

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April 8, 2015

Floridians Want Recreational Marijuana Use Legalized

Despite falling just short of the 60% threshold last November, the strong majority of Floridians have supported medical marijuana for some time. But the tide is turning even further in that a majority of Floridians now support decriminalizing the recreational use of marijuana.
As our Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale drug crime defense lawyers at Leifert & Leifert know, states across the country are starting to adopt more lenient marijuana laws. While many have approved medical marijuana, some have even made the recreational use of cannibals legal.

Florida may be the next state to do so with more than half of the state's voters supporting legalization. While it may not meet the standard for a successful ballot initiative, that clear majority has the potential to influence state legislators and this -- or the next -- governor.

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April 6, 2015

How FedEx is Fighting Drug Charges Brought by the DOJ

Big-time marijuana dealers, international cocaine importers and sophisticated networks of interstate heroin pushers -- these are the types of people and organizations who tend to be caught in the tentacles of the Department of Justice (DOJ) when it comes to criminal drug charges.
Now, as our Plantation and West Palm Beach drug crime defense lawyers know, you can add FedEx -- the international delivery and courier service -- to that list. That's right: FedEx is currently defending itself against 15 criminal counts enumerated in a 2014 indictment filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

While the DOJ is arguing that FedEx violated federal drug crimes for transporting such illegal substances, the international courier service is arguing that it's protected against such charges as a company that "carries goods for the public."

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April 2, 2015

Florida Senate Passes Bill Aimed at Reducing Prison Beatings

Our Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach Gardens criminal defense lawyers are pleased that, yesterday, the Florida Senate (nearly unanimously) passed a new bill aimed at reducing beatings and corruption in our state's deeply flawed and scandalous prison system.
The bill, which passed on a resounding 36-1 vote, will alter current state law in two significant ways: first, it will remove the governor's right to appoint a corrections secretary; second, it will allow for the creation of a commission with the ability to independently investigate reports of corruption and death in Florida prisons. Unfortunately, such reports have increased in recent months, as we've discussed.

As we know, the State of Florida has been taking a lot of heat about the scandals emanating from the prison system. Hopefully, this bill is indicative of forthcoming, positive changes.

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April 1, 2015

West Palm Beach Police to Start Wearing Body Cameras Today

In the wake of national scandals concerning questionable use of force by law enforcement officers, West Palm Beach police will today begin wearing body cameras.
As our West Palm Beach and Delray Beach criminal defense lawyers know, the hope is that the footage captured by these cameras will remove doubt and be the definitive word in a potential he-said, she-said-type controversy, as we saw gave rise to months of violent clashes in Ferguson, MO.

Though quite small, these tiny cameras (which can be clipped onto sunglasses, caps or collars) are expected to make a big difference by improving relations between police officers and the civilians they're meant to serve. That said, we know there is a major issue with the implementation of the program, one which could potentially render it useless.

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March 30, 2015

Looking Back: S. Fla. Man Charged with 142 Felonies After Police See His Instagram Page

Our Delray Beach and West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert have written extensively on the risk you take when uploading incriminating photos to social media.
If Dupree Johnson hadn't previously read about the risk on our blog, he sure learned the lesson a little over a year ago when he was charged with an astonishing 142 felonies after a Palm Beach County police officer discovered incriminating "selfie" photos on Johnson's Instagram page.

In this post, we'll discuss what law enforcement officers found and what implications that had for Johnson and has for everyone else on social media. Johnson's case was one of many and while his might've been among the most outrageous, people need to take what happened to him as a warning that law enforcement has eyes all over -- especially on social media.

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March 27, 2015

Therapy Instead of Criminal Charges for Teens Who Uploaded Nude Pics of Minors

Our Pembroke Pines and Hollywood juvenile defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert know that the prosecution's decision to drop criminal charges against the Pembroke Pines teens who uploaded nude pictures of other minors is an important one.
Last month, we wrote about this case in its infancy; as you may recall, three juveniles were arrested for uploading naked photos of fellow juveniles to an account on the social networking app Instagram. In other words, they were arrested on suspicion of sharing child pornography on the internet.

This week, as we noted above, prosecutors handling the case decided that the three teens would be better suited in therapy and community service than they'd be facing criminal charges. Specifically, the teenagers will be partaking in a juvenile diversion program.

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March 24, 2015

Palm Beach Couple Jailed for Sex Near Playground

You may recall Charlie Day's character in Horrible Bosses, a man who was required to register as a sex offender for urinating (and thus indecently exposing his genitals) in a playground in the middle of the night despite the fact that no children were present.
This week, a Greenacres couple is feeling a similar wrath of the law; despite the fact that their sexual activity didn't actually involve any children, they've been arrested for and charged with lewd or lascivious behavior for having sex near a playground, in a manner visible to a number of children.

Our West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens sex crimes defense lawyers know that you need to be careful about where and when you choose to engage in sexual activity, because making the wrong call about when to engage in such conduct can turn a personal, intimate event into a public, illegal, and reputation-damaging incident.

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March 21, 2015

Boca Woman Jailed for Throwing Dog Poop at Neighbor

Our Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers know that disputes between neighbors are expected. What is out of the ordinary, however, is when one neighbor hurls dog poop at another neighbor in the midst of one such dispute.
This past week, a Boca Raton woman was arrested for throwing dog feces at her neighbor during an argument over the dog's preferred location for defecation.

Apparently, the woman had enough of her neighbor's dog relieving himself on her lawn. However, the manner in which she acted on her outraged landed her in jail and charged with assault on an elderly person.

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March 18, 2015

IP Address Tracking Leads to Weston Man's Arrest

Our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know that in the age of the Internet, crime tracking by law enforcement agencies has (to a significant degree) shifted from the physical to the intangible.
Case in point: a Weston man was arrested yesterday after police used his computer's IP address to implicate him in a child pornography distribution scheme.

This incident is yet another reminder that just because you can't see something doesn't mean it's not there. In other words, simply erasing web history and/or making up fake usernames on the Internet won't make you immune from tracking, arrest and prosecution by determined law enforcement agencies.

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March 16, 2015

'Criminal Minds' Actor Arrested in Florida for Second Time This Year

Nicholas Brendon, the actor known for his roles on Criminal Minds and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was arrested on Friday in Tallahassee for apparently trashing his hotel room.
Our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know that this isn't Brendon's first recent run-in with law enforcement in the Sunshine State; just last month he was arrested in Fort Lauderdale for similar reasons.

The actor faces charges of criminal mischief and property damage for allegedly causing as much as $1,000 of damage in the hotel he was staying at during a comic book convention.

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