16-Year-Old West Palm Beach Juvenile Faces Attempted Murder Charges

A 16-year-old teen from West Palm Beach now faces attempted murder charges in the attempted murder of an 18-year-old, NBC News is reporting.

Charges of attempted murder in West Palm Beach are very serious crimes that can lead to decades in prison. Being a juvenile charged with this type of crime in West Palm Beach is a terrifying experience.

Our West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers know that prosecutors have a lot of flexibility when they charge juveniles as adults and what charges they can file. Sometimes, pressure from the top, the news media or the family of the victim can inspire them to trump up charges against a teenager.

Any charges filed against a juvenile are serious — whether the teen faces adult or juvenile charges. But adult charges mean the teenager will be treated the same as a hardened criminal and will face the same penalties.

According to NBC News, local prosecutors have decided to charge a 16-year-old police recently arrested on charges of being involved in a fight with attempted murder. The news station reports that police believe he and two other teens were involved in the shooting, beating and attempted kidnapping of an 18-year-old in Lake Worth.

The 18-year-old managed to get away after being shot three times and stabbed in the chest. The three teens allegedly believed he was responsible for robbing a friend’s house. The 16-year-old, who was recently arrested, was held without bond.

CBS News is reporting that the teen faces charges of attempted murder and kidnapping. The incident happened in December and the victim was discovered by law enforcement after he was pulled over near I-95 by deputies.

This is the fourth arrest in the case, CBS News reports. Two other men and a woman have already been charged in connection with the beating.

Attempted murder in Florida has a specific definition, according to Florida Statutes 782.051. The state has several things it must prove to ensure that a beating is elevated from a battery to an attempted murder.

According to the law, a person who commits a felony, such as a sexual battery, robbery or kidnapping that could have, but doesn’t, kill another person, they can be charged with attempted felony murder, which is a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison.

A person could face a second-degree attempted felony murder charge if a person is injured during the attempt of another felony. A second-degree attempted felony murder charge can still be punishable by up to life, or 30 years in prison.

As you can see, these are extremely serious charges that can lead to a life behind bars. For a juvenile, whose life is just beginning, this will essentially end their life after just over a decade on Earth. That’s why they must have the best possible criminal defense representation possible. Every defendant requires this type of dedication in their criminal case, but in many cases, juveniles get caught up in the wrong crowd and don’t see a way out. This leads to felony charges that can haunt them forever.
(more…)

Funeral Home Director Faces West Palm Beach Online Sex Crime

A funeral director from West Palm Beach was recently arrested and charged with obscene communication after allegedly using a computer to set up a meeting with an agent posing as a 15-year-old boy, The Palm Beach Post reports.

Facing West Palm Beach sex crimes can not only lead to the possibility of job loss, problems in the community and issues with family and friends, but it can result in years of prison time, if convicted.

Our West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers realize that the Internet invites criminal activity and that local law enforcement continues attempting to bring charges against citizens who may violate the law. But we also recognize that being charged with a sex crime is a serious thing that can derail a person’s life.

There are obvious social consequences to being arrested for any charge, but sex crimes are among the most despised in any community. Even a misunderstanding with another person can lead to a person facing a sex crime. And what police often don’t take into consideration is that an arrest can sometimes do as much damage in the public eye as a conviction.

Many companies will fire a person if he or she gets arrested, let alone convicted. But often, showing that a person isn’t guilty of the charge through an acquittal at trial can go a long way toward repairing the damage.

In this case, according to the newspaper, police said the 49-year-old man was on a social networking site when he allegedly told a person he thought was a 15-year-old boy he would buy him a “foot long hot dog” and said they should meet at the movies to “kiss” and “cuddle.”

According to the newspaper account, officers disguised as the teen chatted with the man, starting in November and throughout December and January. The man allegedly told the “boy” he preferred boys even younger than 15. He asked whether he was “out” to his family.

After having sent a shirtless picture to the “boy,” the two set up a meeting spot recently and when the man showed up, detectives, not a teen, were there to greet him. The newspaper reports that the man admitted to doing the chatting and admitted it was wrong.

What’s important to note in cases like this is not to make any admissions or statements to police. When they conduct long-term investigations about computer-based crimes, they often have amassed lots of evidence that can be used against the suspect. Talking to the detectives can hurt chances for an acquittal, as it will be used against the suspect in court.

The best course of action is to call an experienced West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. He or she can assess the situation and figure out what the best course of action may be moving forward.

These computer-based sex crimes often are technical and the evidence may be more about the computer than the sex. That’s why an experienced lawyer — who has prosecuted these cases and worked with police on them — should be used to combat the charges.
(more…)

Car Chase Leads to $174,000 Bond, Felony Charges in Fort Lauderdale

A Fort Lauderdale man is now in jail on a $174,000 bond after he allegedly was involved in a high-speed car chase with police, the Sun Sentinel reports.

Our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers have seen far too many high-speed chases end in disaster — for the driver, the police and innocent pedestrians or other motorists. It is never a good idea to get into a chase with police.

Not only are police able to radio ahead to other units, but they can use helicopters and other devices to track drivers who may temporarily get away from cruisers. The bottom line is that these chases not only are dangerous, but they can lead to enhanced criminal charges.

If a driver initiating a high-speed chase crashes and causes someone to be injured or die, they can be charged with a form of murder in Fort Lauderdale. That’s how serious these chases are.

In most cases, the driver is going to face traffic violations, such as speeding, swerving, running red lights, following too closely and other minor traffic infractions. But they’re also going to face charges of eluding and resisting police, possibly with violence, as well as the reason for the initial traffic stop.

Sadly, many of these chases start for minor infractions, such as driving with a suspended license or driving without a license. Young people lose their cool and instead of going to jail, bonding out and allowing the criminal justice system to work, they drive away at high rates of speed. For many, they realize that a new arrest could lead to a probation violation and they’re scared of going to jail or prison.

But fleeing is rarely going to result in any kind of long-term freedom, so it’s typically pointless. Arrest warrants will be issued and eventually, the person will be arrested. It’s better to get arrested without the chase and call an experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer.

In this case, a 22-year-old from Fort Lauderdale tried to get away from authorities, who were trying to arrest him on an open warrant for attempted murder. Police were called to a house for a robbery call and began chasing the man after he ran away from the house.

He allegedly hopped in a car and drove off, causing police to pursue. The man lost control of his car and hit a utility pole and suffered minor injuries. Police said they realized once they got him in custody and checked his identification that he was wanted by sheriff’s deputies on a charge of attempted murder and two counts of armed robbery. He now faces additional charges of resisting arrest and fleeing at a high speed, the newspaper reports.

This is a bad situation that turned worse for this defendant. Being involved in a high-speed chase with law enforcement isn’t going to turn out well. In fact, it’s likely going to lead to more headaches for the defendant, who will face additional charges, some possibly felonies. Being charged with traffic violations or even an outstanding warrant and then remaining silent until speaking with an experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer is the best course of action.
(more…)

Elderly Woman Checks Cable, Becomes Victim of Fort Lauderdale Home Invasion Robbery

An 80-year-old woman was attacked after police say a suspect cut her cable line, causing her to go outside to check it, leading to a Fort Lauderdale home invasion robbery.

NBC News reports that police are still looking for the person who allegedly committed the crime December 30.

Our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys recognize that this is a scary situation and one that police will be diligently trying to solve. At the same time, we would be skeptical of evidence police may have to find a suspect, especially given that the main witness is old and the crime happened at night.

Witness reliability has come up time and time again in courts across the country as police attempt to use shaky witnesses to convict people. Some courts, including the New Jersey Supreme Court, have created rules and allowed for hearings when witnesses may not be so certain of what they actually saw.

Eye witnesses to crimes sometimes have motivations to lie, often put pressure on themselves to tell police what they want in order to try to protect their community. Or they end up being told inaccurate facts through the grapevine before police talk to them, which distorts the truth.

Defendants require a fair trial and for the state to prove the case beyond all reasonable doubt if it is to get a conviction. Sadly, this doesn’t always happen, but an experienced and aggressive Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer will be able to scrutinize all evidence that the state attempts to bring into play at trial.

According to NBC, around 8 p.m. that day, the woman walked outside the back door of her house to check the cable connection. There, she was met by a man, assaulted and taken back into her house, where the suspect went through the house. The woman ran away to her neighbor’s house, where she called police. She was taken to Broward General Medical Center and was later released after only suffering from facial abrasions.

The only additional information CBS News provided is that police believe the suspect was black. It’s unclear if the suspect was wearing a mask or any clothing to conceal his identity. It’s also unclear if the woman was able to provide any meaningful description or whether any physical evidence — such as DNA or fingerprints — were found in the house.

This will be a tough case for police to solve, given the circumstances and, from what it appears, lack of solid eye witnesses. Depending on the layout of the woman’s backyard and whether anyone else could have seen what happened or if any neighbors may have seen a getaway vehicle or anything else, detectives may not have much to work with.

Home invasion robbery cases in Fort Lauderdale come with a felony tag and serious potential penalties, so police must do their due diligence in investigating these cases. An arrest can be a life-changing experience and a conviction even more so, meaning detectives must have solid facts before moving forward against a defendant.
(more…)

South Florida Drug-Sniffing Dog Case Goes to U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court is slated to hear a Miami case and decide whether police drug-sniffing dogs can be used to lead to searches even without evidence of criminal conduct.

This is a major Fourth Amendment issue that our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys will be following closely. Fort Lauderdale drug cases are serious crimes and the evidence that police attempt to bring into a case must be thoroughly scrutinized.

In a Florida court case that will affect all future and possibly past defendants, the nation’s high court will now make a determination about whether this police tool violates citizen’s Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures.

This case started in Miami, where police got a tip that a house was being used for growing marijuana. They took a drug-sniffing dog to the house and the dog sat down, which it is trained to do when it smells drugs. Based on that information, police obtained a search warrant and found 179 marijuana plants inside the house.

This is a real subjective law enforcement tool. Dogs recently hit on Snoop Dogg’s tour bus in Texas. The man has spent a decade talking about the benefits of marijuana and has a medical marijuana card in California. A fish swimming in an aquarium could have “hit” on his tour bus.

It can be little more than an excuse for law enforcement to go on a fishing expedition.

In this case on appeal, the Florida Supreme Court threw out the evidence, stating that they were unwilling to allow dog sniff tests unless police had probable cause of criminal activity ahead of time. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, agreed to listen to the case after Florida prosecutors argued that a dog sniffing for drugs shouldn’t be classified as a “search.”

Eighteen states have backed Florida prosecutors’ appeal, stating that drug dogs are an important tool for police fighting drug crimes in Fort Lauderdale and elsewhere. The high court typically sides with police in search cases, though not always.

Justices will hear argument on the case in April and have said they will make a ruling on drug-sniffing dogs by June. The case is Florida v. Jardines.

Any case that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court is going to have major implications on people everywhere. Simply because it is a case stemming from Florida doesn’t mean that it will affect only Florida law enforcement agencies. It will affect every police agency and citizen.

This case is interesting because it goes to the root of our very rights as citizens. The Fourth Amendment was written so that police couldn’t simply break into a person’s house, without justification, and look for a reason to arrest a person. That is a terrifying thought. Apparently law enforcement thinks its okay to do so as long as they are with a dog?

People have the right not to have that happen, under any circumstances. The interesting thing about this case is that it deals with the tactics police use to obtain a search warrant from a judge. It also could affect the future of the use of drug-sniffing dogs, not only by police, but also bomb-sniffing dogs at airports and other venues.

The Florida Supreme Court was willing to uphold citizens’ rights, preventing them from being searched by police officers who don’t have any clear evidence. But it remains to be seen what the U.S. Supreme Court does. These justices tend to side with police, but how can they allow officers to have little or no evidence before busting into people’s homes?
(more…)

Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer

Florida Criminal Lawyers

1200 S Pine Island Rd #220 Plantation, FL 33324
(954) 424-7433 954-424-2200
2160 W Atlantic Ave 2nd Floor Delray Beach, FL 33445
(561) 922-8103 561-988-8100