The recent high-profile case of a Fort Lauderdale self-made millionaire being found dead, wrapped in bedding and his girlfriend being charged with his murder has made headlines throughout South Florida.
But the woman turning herself in to detectives doesn’t make her guilty. According to The Miami Herald, she had found out that police accused her of the homicide and agreed to turn herself in to authorities rather than remain at large. It goes without saying that murder charges in Fort Lauderdale are serious and carry severe penalties. But hiring an experienced Broward Criminal Defense Attorney before answering to the charges can be a critical step in protecting your rights.
According to The Herald, the 70-year-old man’s body was found in June at his newly purchased mansion in the Tarpon River neighborhood. Police arrived after someone called 911 and found that his body had been wrapped in duct tape and covered in bedding and plastic bags.
Police told the media that they had several pieces of evidence linking the man’s 54-year-old girlfriend to the crime and they know how he died, but they declined to release the information to the public. According to police, the couple’s relationship had recently soured.
According to the newspaper, the victim started his career selling Honda motorcycles in San Diego and began selling Honda cars, owning several dealerships as the company became more popular in the United States. He met his girlfriend there and they moved together to Fort Lauderdale, where he purchased several million-dollar-plus houses.
Charges of murder in Florida can be brought by the state in several different formats. The most common charge where a person is killed may be second-degree murder. Second-degree murder, which is punishable by 30 years to life in prison, is defined as “the unlawful killing of a human being, when perpetrated by any act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual,” according to Florida Statutes 782.04.
First-degree murder in Florida can be charged by prosecutors in two different circumstances: if they can prove the crime was premeditated (thought out in advance) or if it was committed while committing another felony. First-degree murder is punishable by life in prison or death by lethal injection.
Manslaughter is another charge that can be brought by the state in cases where a person is killed. This is defined under Florida Statutes 782.07 as essentially someone being killed by negligence without justification. Manslaughter carries with it a maximum of 15 years in prison.
So, as you can see, charges involving homicide in Florida are severe. And that’s why hiring the right lawyer, attorneys who have been prosecutors and understand how prosecutors think and how police do their job is critical. These aren’t charges that should be taken lightly and a diligent lawyer, one who will put in the research, file scores of motions to restrict evidence and aggressively go after witnesses is crucial.
Police conducted a high-speed chase through Fort Lauderdale recently that ended with the arrest of a defendant on robbery charges, Fox News reports.
Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyers have defended many people charged with robbery, which can be a tough charge for police and prosecutors to prove. But when suspects get into high-speed chases with law enforcement, it can lead to many additional charges, such as fleeing and eluding, traffic-related charges, such as running red lights and reckless driving and also charges that relate to the injury of an officer, if one is hurt. So, if you are facing charges of robbery in Fort Lauderdale, contact our firm today.
Fox News reports that the suspect was wanted for a robbery and was chased up and down State Road 7 near Northwest 16th Street. Police eventually apprehended the man after he crashed into a fence near Northwest 14th Place and 32nd Court. The man fled on foot, but was arrested by officers.
Being arrested for robbery in Florida can have a terrible effect on a person’s reputation, livelihood and well-being. It can lead to job loss as well as the strain of dealing with the criminal justice system.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports that one robbery is committed every 20 minutes, making it one of the more frequent crimes our state experiences. There were 26,074 robberies in Florida, which is actually down from 16 percent from 30,881 that were committed in 2009.
But still, of the 26,000 robberies, 11,106 involved a weapon, which is a scary situation. But while can be terrifying for the victim, a suspect charged with robbery with a weapon faces serious prison time in Florida.
According to Florida Statutes 812.13, robbery with a firearm is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Even without a weapon, a robbery charge carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years in prison as a second-degree felony.
Also in Florida, the use of a weapon can come into play when robbery is alleged. Under the 10-20-Life law in Florida, a person convicted of certain crimes involving a gun can face a minimum 10-year prison sentence. If a gun is discharged, even if by accident, the person could face a 20-year prison term and if someone is injured or killed, they can face 25 years to life.
And a defendant’s criminal history can be applied to the case, as well. If a convicted felon uses a gun in a robbery, they can face an additional three years for a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon. And the law mandates that the prison terms be serve consecutively — one after the other — to any other prison sentence.
So, hiring the right attorney could be critical to a person’s future prospects of freedom. Our firm has years of experience as prosecutors, so we know how the state thinks and how local law enforcement gather evidence. We know the problems they can have in these types of cases and we can apply it to your case.
A member of the Miami Black Tuna Gang spent the last 31 years on the lam, but he was recently captured and sent to prison for five years on a charge of marijuana smuggling, The Miami Herald reports.
West Palm Beach Drug Defense Lawyers have the experience to handle any drug charge in South Florida, whether it be for manufacturing drugs, possessing drugs, selling drugs or trafficking drugs. West Palm Beach drug possession charges carry tough penalties, up to decades in prison, and require a diligent defense law team.
The Black Tuna Gang was a marijuana smuggling organization active in the 1970s in Miami. The group allegedly smuggled in about 500 tons of marijuana in a 16-month period before the DEA and FBI brought them down.
This defendant was convicted in 1980 of racketeering and possession and distribution of marijuana. He left his trial in 1979 and spent years in Chile, Europe and New York City before settling in a rented apartment at the Century Village seniors community in West Palm Beach.
In 1997, the defendant was convicted in North Carolina and sentenced to five years in prison for a failed marijuana run but never served the term because of his indictment in Miami. While prosecutors were seeking 15 years, his attorneys argued he was a peripheral member of the gang. He was busted after a boat carrying 40,000 pounds of marijuana ran aground off the Bahamas because drunken crew members began cooking steaks and started a fire aboard the boat.
Depending on the weight of the drugs, where they are being sold, purchased or manufactured and a defendant’s criminal history, the potential sentence can vary greatly. Hiring a lawyer who has been a state prosecutor and who has handled scores of drug cases over two decades can be advantageous to a defendant.
A defense attorney must have all the latest tools to be able to suppress a defendant’s statement from being introduced as evidence before a jury and to suppress evidence police collect if officers don’t follow procedures or don’t have probable cause in the first place to make an arrest. Keeping this evidence out of a defendant’s case is critical.
Having the knowledge to file those and other motions and being committed to aggressively defending a client’s case is what we pride ourselves on doing. Our firm will extensively study the case, discuss options with the client and figure out the best resolution. That may mean a plea offer from the state that we consider, going to trial, or, in the best case scenario, getting the charges dropped after getting evidence kicked out.
Don’t feel like your lawyer isn’t doing enough to defend you and your rights. We work with clients to make sure they are well-informed, up-to-date on hearings and motions and apprised of all the details of their case. Before you do anything else, set up a free consultation today.
A polo magnate from Wellington will go to trial in October on charges of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide in the February 2010 traffic homicide of a 23-year-old man, The Palm Beach Post reports.
DUI manslaughter in Palm Beach County is a serious charge and can be punished by up to 15 years in prison. But it also requires prosecutors to have substantial evidence against a person. Because of the high stakes involved, hiring aggressive West Palm Beach DUI Lawyers is critical to protecting your rights.
In the Wellington case, investigators believe the defendant was drunk when he drove his Bentley into the vehicle of another man, forcing his car into a canal where he drowned. The defendant allegedly fled the scene.
According to the newspaper, the man has also faces a civil lawsuit and has refused to answer questions during depositions and declined to answer questions about the accident or his alcohol consumption that night.
This is an example of a tragic accident, but what should be noted is that the state is required to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Law enforcement simply making an arrest isn’t proof that a crime was committed. That’s why our country’s form of criminal justice is the best in the world.
DUI manslaughter, according to Florida Statutes 316.193, is being in violation of the drunk driving statutes (a .08 blood-alcohol level or higher) and killing a person.
So, the state must not only prove that the driver committed the killing, but that the defendant was driving at the time, the victim wasn’t responsible for the accident and that the driver was drunk at the time. There is a lot to prove.
And what people may be confused about is how a defendant can be charged with DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide when one person died and not two. Florida prosecutors routinely are able to charge a person under both theories and prove only one, or both. While a person couldn’t be convicted for both crimes, the state can throw all its evidence at a jury to try to prove one of the crimes.
Vehicular homicide, according to Florida Statutes 782.071, is the killing of a person caused by the operation of a motor vehicle in a reckless manner likely to cause a death.
Both charges are second-degree felonies, which are punishable by up to 15 years in prison. And DUI manslaughter carries a minimum prison sentence of 4 years. So, these are serious charges and require an aggressive defense of the facts of the case, such as who was at fault for the crash, whether witnesses can 100 percent prove the defendant was the driver, and whether law enforcement had probable cause to seek breath tests, field sobriety tests, blood tests and other DUI-related testing.
Trusting former prosecutors who know how assistant state attorneys think and how many police officers do their investigations can be advantageous for defendants. Our lawyers will diligently study the evidence in the case and seek the best resolution for our clients.
An elite squad of Fort Lauderdale police officers have been relieved of duty with pay until a criminal investigation into two arrests they made is completed, the South Florida Times reports.
This is a prime example that police are not above the law and should be held accountable. But what this also shows is how crucial hiring the right Fort Lauderdale Drug Defense Lawyer is for your case. Drug cases can be complex and have many differing aspects that must be considered. Sentences can range from treatment in a facility to serious prison time, so don’t leave defense of this type of charge up to just anyone.
The Fort Lauderdale police investigation centers around the Street Crimes Division, a group of officers called the Northwest Raiders because of the predominantly black, northwest area of the city where the group originally operated.
During an August operation, two men were arrested and charged with possession and delivery of cocaine after a confidential informant told police a drug deal would be going down at a local hotel. The group of officers set up surveillance and pulled over the pair, according to the news report. The police report details that one of the suspects dropped a container on the floor of the car that cocaine dropped out of. The officers said the substance equaled one gram and tested positive for cocaine.
The newspaper reports that the officers may have fabricated and lied about what happened and that the state attorney’s office is investigating. They are analyzing a video tape and other evidence.
In any Fort Lauderdale drug case, the amount of the drug recovered by police goes a long way in determining how serious the charges may be. According to Florida Statutes 893.13, purchasing more than 10 grams of a long list of drugs can subject you to punishment for a first-degree felony, which is up to 30 years in a state prison.
But simply the amount of the drug and what type is not all that must be taken into consideration. Where the arrest is made is crucial, too. Florida Statutes 893.13 states that selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school, place of worship, assisted living facility, public housing complex, public park or other places can involve enhanced penalties as well.
And multiple convictions can add to the number of years a person may face in prison. This is why attempting to suppress the evidence collected by police because of improper procedure, a lack of probable cause or other reasons is very important. And our experienced lawyers, who have both filed these motions and defended against them in court, are able to best assist you.
Consult with our law firm before you make any statements to police and allow us to fight for your rights. Hiring a lawyer can make a substantial difference in your life. So, choose the firm that has years of experience in the criminal justice system.
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