Broward Sheriff’s Office Institutes Fragrance-Free Workplace Policy

Our South Florida criminal defense attorneys have learned that the commander of the Broward Sheriff’s Office has banned employees from wearing cologne, perfume, or even deodorant. The new policy is aimed at accommodating employees who have sensitivities or allergies to airborne chemical irritants and only applies within the confines of the offices of the Division of Internal Affairs. It went into effect on March 1.

Of course, as temperatures rise this summer, the policy could prove counterproductive for law enforcement officials with less than perfect hygiene. According to NBC Miami, “the smell police” will warn and then discipline those whose personal hygiene leaves a little to be desired.

As lawyers who serve Broward County, we’ll be interested in seeing how long the policy lasts.

Source: New Rule Puts the B.O. in BSO, NBCMiami.com, May 13, 2010 (more…)

Death of Florida Trooper Highlights Importance of Move Over Law

Our South Florida traffic lawyers read about a state trooper who was killed over the weekend after a driver ran into the back of his patrol car.

Although Florida passed the Move Over Law eight years ago, many Florida drivers still fail to move one lane over from emergency vehicles when the lights are flashing or drop their speed limit at least 20mph below the posted speed limit. Failure to do so could result in a $164 traffic citation.

In addition to Florida, over forty over states have passed similar Move Over Laws. Since 1999, more than 150 law enforcement officials have been killed by vehicles on United States highways.

Source: Trooper’s Death Reinforces Need for Move Over Law, NBCMiami.com, May 20, 2010 (more…)

Miami Criminal Defense Lawyers Discuss Smiling Mugshots

The stereotypical mughost features an arrestee with a sullen scowl or perhaps vacant eyes. But a few inmates choose to smile or smirk in their photos. Jail officials don’t find these mugshots funny (in fact, it can make it more difficult for victims to identify suspects since they usually aren’t smiling when they commit a crime), but others get a kick out of them, thanks to online mugshot galleries like those on the The Smoking Gun.

There’s the irony of someone who’s just been booked on DUI or battery charges and chooses to pose for the camera, and there’s the sense that it’s a way of having the last laugh at the justice system, since that photo will follow the inmate through the system. Of course, many of these inmates may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and may not realize the seriousness of their situation.

While jail officials frown at these mugshots, they admit that there’s little they can do to prevent people from smiling in their photos.

Source: Mugging for the jail camera: What’s so funny about smiling mug shots?, Orlando Sentinel, 23, 2010 (more…)

Judge Sentences South Florida Mom in Child Neglect Case

A 44-year-old Cooper City woman has been sentenced by a Broward County judge after she was accused of passing out drunk in her minivan while her two children wandered about a mile away.

The defendant pleaded no contest to two counts of child neglect, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and one count of DUI. She could have faced up over a decade of jail time, but the judge sentenced her to a year of house arrest.

According to the women’s defense attorney, she has attended a parenting program, substance-abuse counseling, and DUI school since the incident in September 2009.

Source: South Florida mom sentenced for child neglect, Miami Herald, May 13, 2010 (more…)

Jury Acquits Davie Police Officer Who Flees to Europe

Our South Florida criminal defense lawyers have read about a case involving a former Davie police officer charged with assaulting his pregnant wife. According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the officer failed to show up for his first trial, then fled the country before the judge and jury could hear more serious charges in a second trial.

Two of the jurors involved in the first trial have come forward saying they wished they’d known about the other charges and the defendant’s history. Since prosecutors are not allowed to share background information or information about pending charges because it might prejudice jurors, they say they had no idea about the aggravated assault charges against the defendant.

The Davie Police Department fired the officer last month. The ex-wife said he had relatives in Switzerland and Serbia, so authorities suspect he may have gone there. His defense attorney says it’s doubtful that he’ll be found. Local agencies and federal FBI officers said they are not actively pursuing him.

Source: Jurors regret acquitting fugitive Davie officer, South Florida Sun Sentinel, May 9, 2010 (more…)

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