This past week, a Broward jury found former MMA fighter Fernando Rodrigues not guilty of three counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. If found guilty, according to Florida law, Mr. Rodrigues would have been convicted of a second-degree felony and would have faced a minimum of 10 years in prison.
The case stemmed from a case of road rage on North State Road 7 in Coral Springs, which ended in a roadside brawl that involved Rodrigues and two pool service workers. When police arrived at the scene, all three men were handcuffed and one of them, Rodrigues, was arrested. Ostensibly, Rodrigues was arrested because it was the other two individuals in the fight who seemed to have sustained the most injuries from the fight.
Our South Florida criminal defense attorneys know that Florida law gives people the right to protect themselves – and that is just what Mr. Rodrigues did. Thankfully, a jury of his peers recognized the validity of his argument; as a result, a law-abiding citizen who served his country in the Marines will avoid being wrongfully thrown behind bars.
The accuracy of Florida DUI breathalyzer tests has long been the subject of debate.
It doesn’t appear that debate is going to end anytime soon, despite the conclusion of a four-year battle to have the machines thoroughly tested by third-party consultants. With both defense lawyers and prosecutors analyzing the same results, one said says the machines “passed with flying colors,” while the other says certain flaws and inconsistencies were identified.
The discrepancies will ultimately continue to be analyzed in future Florida DUI cases for years to come.
Our South Florida defense attorneys applaud a Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that law enforcement officers must first have a warrant (based on probable cause) in order to attach a GPS tracking device to a suspect’s vehicle in order to track his or her movements.
Protection of the innocent is at the bedrock of our criminal justice system, and according to the system, everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Police can’t just go around attaching GPS devices to vehicles of people they think are suspicious. They are no more allowed to track the movements of a suspected bank robber (without a warrant) than they are to track the movements of their next-door neighbor who they happen not to like.
In this particular case, as reported in this Washington Post article, police had attached GPS tracking devices to the van owned by a trio of brothers who were suspected of involvement in pharmacy burglaries in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. Before attaching the GPS to the van, police consulted a U.S. Attorney’s office, but they did not obtain a warrant for the practice, which the Supreme Court had ruled is a form of “search and seizure.”
The label “criminal defense attorney” implies that such a person is an attorney who defends criminals. Very often it is the case that criminal defense attorneys such as those at Leifert & Leifert are representing innocent individuals who have, through no fault of their own, been dragged into the messy world of criminal justice.
Did you know that Florida resident Carlos Gomez opened up a Wells Fargo bank account through which money was laundered? No? Well, neither did he. And that’s because he didn’t open the account. Back in 2011, Carlos Gomez was yanked out of his house at 5 A.M. and tossed in jail for two weeks, because a major U.S. bank had told investigators that a bank account used for laundering money was opened by Gomez when, in fact, it was not.
Accusations are made all the time, many of which lead to arrests, which are carried-out far too often. According to the FBI, 12,408,899 individuals were arrested in 2011 alone (the last year for which there is data). To put that in perspective, that’s about 4% of the entire U.S. population. Does this mean that 4% of the entire U.S. population should be in jail for committing crimes? No, because many of the people arrested are, in fact, innocent, just like Mr. Gomez. This case should demonstrate that just because someone is accused does not mean they are guilty. Often times, arrests made by law enforcement inflict far more harm than they prevent.
As reported by the Sun Sentinel, on October 11th of this year, a 19-year-old from Palm Beach Gardens was arrested on for the illegal killing of an alligator, a slaying for which he used a machete.
Given what we know of the case at this point, the criminal defense attorneys at Leifert & Leifert have determined three major “don’ts” that the man demonstrated in this one incident, which you should take note of.
First, and most obviously, you should not kill alligators, especially illegally. Florida state law requires special permits and weapons to kill alligators, and the killings may only take place on certain state land regulated for that purpose. Second, you should never document yourself doing something that might be a crime. Third, you should not point the finger at an innocent person, or you will only add to the charges that can be filed against you.
Florida Criminal Lawyers