Earlier this month, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office issued a warning to the public that misusing a laser lighting device is a third-degree felony. If the light is deliberately pointed at and harms someone operating a boat, car, or aircraft, it is a second-degree felony. And if the aircraft crashes as a result of the laser beam, it becomes a first-degree felony.
In the past year, the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office has fielded about 20 complaints about laser beams from pilots and air traffic controllers at Palm Beach International Airport. According to a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, the most recent incident occurred on October 10 when someone shined a laser beam into the cockpit of a JetBlue flight for approximately two minutes over the Palm Beach Gardens area.
Those with information on the misuse of a laser are asked to report it to authorities.
Blind a driver, boater or pilot with a laser and get a felony, South Florida Sun Sentinel, October 14, 2009 (more…)
Plantation, Florida –
The City of Plantation’s police department has some recommendations and tips for a safe Halloween. Our main Broward County criminal defense law firm is located in Plantation and we thought we would pass some of their ideas along to our readers.
The focus here is obviously the children – their safety primarily, but also trying to limit any legal exposure – both criminal and civil. Our Plantation Criminal Defense Attorneys always see a spike in juvenile criminal cases on Halloween.
Halloween safety tips from the Plantation Police Department:
•Try to use sidewalks whenever possible.
•Walk facing traffic.
•Carry a flashlight to increase visibility.
•Have the children stay in your own neighborhood if possible.
•Don’t damage other people’s property. Just because it’s Halloween doesn’t mean the police will look the other way. The Plantation police department will still prosecute vandalism, theft and criminal mischief and any other juvenile criminal offense.
Our Broward prostitution defense attorneys have learned that authorities in South Florida arrested 84 people last week in a three-day sweep that was aimed at finding underage girls who were forced into prostitution. Operation Cross Country IV was a joint task force with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Broward Sheriff’s Office, and Miami-Dade, Miami Beach, and Miami police.
In Broward County, the task force arrested nine people. Seventy-five people were arrested in Miami-Dade County, and twenty-four of those were arrested on Miami Beach. Authorities also say a 14-year-old girl was rescued in the Miami Beach prostitution sweep.
The arrests were made on a variety of charges such as deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution, transportation for prostitution, possession of cocaine, and offering to engage in prostitution.
84 arrested in Miami-Dade, Broward counties as part of anti-prostitution operation, South Florida Sun Sentinel, October 26, 2009 (more…)
According to statistics from Florida’s Department of Juvenile Justice, the number of youths charged with violent felonies dropped 7% statewide between fiscal year 2003-2004 and 2007-2008. The decrease was 2% in Broward County, 12% in Palm Beach County, and 13% in Miami-Dade County. The drop in juvenile crime rates came despite a rise in population.
Crime experts attribute the decrease to better support programs for teens and a general drop in crime levels, including teenage crime. Another factor may be the departure from zero-tolerance policies from the past. For instance, instead of automatic arrest an officer can now turn minors over to the wrath of their parents.
While overall statistics show a drop in juvenile crime, several recent incidents in South Florida show that teens are still committing violent crimes. Last month, a 17-year-old Miami student stabbed a teen classmate to death at Coral Gables High School. And in 2008, a 12-year-old Lauderhill boy bludgeons his infant cousin to death with a baseball bat.
Brutal cases aside, juvenile crime down in South Florida, figures show, South Florida Sun Sentinel, October 14, 2009 (more…)
Our South Florida traffic attorneys recently read about how open-road tolling is reducing the number of motor vehicle accidents on toll roads. Open-road tolling means that Florida drivers with electronic transponders drive beneath an overpass that deducts the toll from their accounts, eliminating the need for them to use tollbooths.
Before Orange County started using open-road tolling, the county recorded hundreds of tollbooth accident each year, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in car and tollbooth damages. Between 2001 and 2005, the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority recorded more than 200 crashes per year in its tollbooths. That number reached 303 in 2005.
Expressways are much safer with the use of open-road tolling. In fact, records show a 61% drop in tollbooth crashes. A spokesperson for the Florida Highway Patrol said opening up the highway’s lanes and clearing away construction around tollbooths has significantly improved traffic safety.
Florida Criminal Lawyers