August 3, 2015

South Florida Boy Charged with Manslaughter in Friend's Accidental Shooting Death

It just can't be said too many times: guns are not toys. As our West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale juvenile defense lawyers know, firearms can be deadly, and they present a danger to anyone living in or visiting a home in which a firearm is kept.
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A story that emanated from Broward County last week highlights the true dangers of fooling around with guns; apparently, two 14-year-olds were playing with a gun when the firearm went off and killed one of the two friends.

In addition to demonstrating the risks associated with keeping guns in the home, this case serves as a reminder that just because someone is shot and killed does not mean that there was malicious intent and, as such, in many cases, a charge such as manslaughter is far more applicable than a charge of murder.

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August 1, 2015

Ten Pounds of Meth, Disguised as Candy, Seized in Broward

Candy can definitely give you a sugar rush, but as our Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale drug crime defense attorneys can imagine, it's nothing like the manic rush initiated by consuming methamphetamine, an extremely addictive and highly illegal stimulant drug.
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Despite the radical difference between candy and meth, the latter is sometimes disguised as the former as a way to bypass law enforcement officers. However, such a stunt failed recently in Broward County, when agents from multiple law enforcement groups, during a sting in Lauderhill, discovered 10 pounds of methamphetamine packaged to look like candy.

The sting kicked-off a drug case which highlights the fact that concealing illegal drugs is hard to do, especially when law enforcement officers are wise to the tricks employed by traffickers. The case, which we will discuss in this blog, also underscores the severe punishments awaiting anyone convicted of providing mere assistance to the drug transaction.

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July 24, 2015

Accident or Child Neglect in Child's Hot Car Death?

Our Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert know that terrible things happen in life and, sometimes, nobody is legally to blame.
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For example, earlier this month, a baby in Lauderhill died after being left in a hot car by the mother. Despite the death, a Lieutenant with the Lauderhill Police Department told the Palm Beach Post two weeks ago it's likely that this incident was just a terrible accident, not a criminal act.

It's often hard to tell where exactly one draws the line between (not unlawful) forgetfulness and accidental oversights on the one hand and criminal acts of negligence and/or abuse on the other; this matter which took place in Broward County highlights the difficulties quite well.

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July 19, 2015

Questionably Imprisoned for Murder at Ages 12 and 13, Brother and Sister Now Set to Leave Prison 18 Years Later

Curtis Jones and his sister, Catherine Jones, both nearly thirty years old, are set to leave Florida's prison system this summer after nearly two decades. Back in 1999, at ages 12 and 13 respectively, Curtis and Catherine became the youngest people in the U.S. to be charged as adults for first-degree murder.
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As our Palm Beach and Broward County juvenile defense attorneys know, the two were caught up in the criminal justice system after killing their father's girlfriend; while some argued that the two murdered Sonya Nicole Speights because she was stealing attention away from them, the two said they killed as an act of revenge for sexual abuse.

Catherine Jones had told her brother about how a male relative had pleasured himself while watching her shower; after what is now the Florida Department of Children and Families declined to move forward with an investigation, Catherine began to plot the murder of her father, her male relative, and Speights; Curtis offered to help.

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July 17, 2015

The Limits and Risks of the Insanity Plea

Back in 2012, James Holmes terrified Colorado moviegoers and Americans nationwide when he opened fire inside a Colorado movie theater, killing 12 and injuring 70 during a showing of "The Dark Knight Rises."
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Holmes was essentially found guilty instantaneously in the court of public opinion; for one thing, as our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers at Leifert & Leifert know, he admitted to the killings by way of his plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Nevertheless, his case eventually made its way in front of a jury. Yesterday, after a trial which lasted 6 months, a jury found Holmes guilty on 24 counts of premeditated murder, dealing a blow to the defendant and raising questions about the effectiveness of insanity pleas.

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July 16, 2015

Boca Raton Man Accused of Mail Fraud in "Investment" Scheme

Mail fraud is a federal crime that's been on the books for well over a century. Basically, the use of the mail system in the perpetuation of any type of scheme, whether it began in the mail, over the telephone or on the internet, constitutes mail fraud.
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As our Delray Beach and Hollywood criminal defense attorneys know, in other words, in order for federal prosecutors to nab you for mail fraud (which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in federal prison and up to $1 million in fines), they only need to demonstrate that you used the mail as part of your scheme.

A man in Boca Raton is now accused of engaging in mail fraud while in the midst of an investment scheme in which he solicited investment money from clients and then spent the money on himself, as we will explore in this blog post.

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July 14, 2015

President Obama Commutes Sentences of 46 Drug Offenders

Yesterday, President Obama commuted the harsh prison sentences of 46 drug offenders. In a video explaining his decision, he argued that the men and women weren't hardened criminals and that their punishments didn't fit the crimes they committed.
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This isn't the first time that the Obama has commuted sentences; in total, he has commuted more sentences than any president since Lyndon B. Johnson, who left office in 1969.

As our West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale drug crime defense lawyers know, the right to commute unfair sentences (and/or pardon convicted criminals) is a privilege the president has and one that they often employ.

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July 12, 2015

Parking Ticket Tossed Over Missing Comma in Citation

Our Palm Beach and Broward County traffic ticket defense lawyers represent individuals cited for a wide range of traffic violations. In representing our clients, we know how important it is to analyze with intense scrutiny the citations issued to the individuals.
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As one woman recently learned, in a case that is sure to make your elementary school grammar teacher smile, a traffic citation/ticket can be tossed out if it contains a grammatical mistake which obscures or changes the meaning of the rule allegedly being broken.

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July 10, 2015

Bill Would Allow Banks to Conduct Business with Marijuana Dispensaries

An exciting new bill introduced in the Senate on Thursday by a group of bipartisan legislators would legalize banking for legalized, regulated marijuana dispensaries.
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As our Palm Beach and Broward County drug crime defense lawyers know, banks have been hesitant (to say the least) about doing business with marijuana businesses. This new bill, if it becomes law, will offer the banks considerable comfort should they choose to conduct marijuana-related business.

Linking legal marijuana businesses with the banking industry will be a safeguard against crime. Without access to business bank accounts, many legal dispensaries are forced to store all of their money in physical cash in the dispensaries, which presents serious risks: the money can easily be lost and the presence of the cash loudly invites crime.

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July 8, 2015

New Gun-Shaped iPhone Case Poses Problems for Police

It would certainly be an understatement to say that the relationship between law enforcement departments and civilians in this country has taken a hit as of late.
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With questionable run-ins having taken place across the nation, as our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know, tensions are running high.

In this atmosphere, a new iPhone case which is shaped like a gun, is causing a stir. Law enforcement departments, and even one prominent U.S. Senator, have called for federal bans on the dangerous smartphone case.

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July 7, 2015

Jailing of Teenager Renews Criticism of Sex Offender Registries

Around the country, and for good reason, there are laws barring individuals above a certain age from engaging in sexual relations with individuals below a certain age (the age of consent.
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In Florida, according to State Statute s. 794.05, it is illegal for someone 24 years of age or older to have sex, as defined in the statute, with someone under the age of 18 (with a couple of exceptions). Based on the exact circumstances of the incident, the crime can be considered a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and/or $10,000 in fines.

As our Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers know, however, these sex offender laws and associated sex offender registries do present serious problems. In today's world of anonymous dating apps and online match-making, confusion is rampant and thus the likelihood of inadvertently committing a sex crime is higher than it used to be.

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July 3, 2015

Criminal Issues Associated with July 4th Celebrations

Our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert hope you have an enjoyable and safe July 4th Weekend spent with friends and family.
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While the 4th of July - which marks the birth of the United States of America - is meant to be celebrated, we want to caution you that there are a number of activities often thought of as celebratory in nature that are actually criminal in nature, and you can get in trouble for taking part in them.

In this blog, we will detail a couple of illegal things which South Floridians have done in the past as ways to mark the holiday. Read on to see what not to do if you want to spend the weekend having fun, not sitting in a jail cell.

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