Our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know that despite Supreme Court rulings that a warrant is needed for law enforcement officers to search your computer, what you type into search engines in the privacy of your home can come back to hurt you in a court of law.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen many high-profile criminal cases in which what the defendant allegedly typed into a search engine on their computer was brought up in court as evidence. Recall how, in the Casey Anthony trial of 2011, a search for “chloroform” 84 times on the Anthony family computer raised eyebrows in court — prosecutors alleged that this was evidence of Casey researching how to kill her baby daughter using chloroform.
Now, a murder investigation into the death of a Georgia toddler — who died after being left in his father’s SUV in the blazing sun for seven hour — has grown to include searches of the comuter belonging to the father, who is now the suspect in what is being called a “homicide.” Police and forensic experts have announced that seemingly suspicious internet searches draw an eerie connection between the interests of the father and the circumstances in which the son died.
In a landmark ruling today, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that police cannot search the cell phones of suspects without first obtaining a warrant. As our criminal defense lawyers know, and as CNN reporter Pamela Brown commented, “this is a big blow to law enforcement and a big win for privacy rights.”
The decision, a much anticipated one, grouped cell phones and other electronic devices in with products such as wallets, handbags and motor vehicles, a category of items “subject to limited initial examination by law enforcement,” according to the article.
The importance of the ruling is further highlighted by the fact that the Supreme Court, one which typically rules on cases along strict party lines, issued this ruling unanimously, quashing any doubt about peoples’ right to privacy when it comes to their cell phones.
Large tech businesses produce products and services that we rely on each and every day, including smart phones, home security systems, and wireless communications programs. Moreover, these all converge in a relatively new creation by companies such as AT&T, Apple and Google, known as the “Smart Home,” which allows people to turn off the lights, lock the doors and view security camera footage all remotely from their mobile phones.
Our experienced criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert know that while so-called “Smart home” configurations can prove useful and interesting to the people who own them, they can also end up being used against their owners in legal proceedings.
For instance, video security footage is stored on the manufacturing tech company’s servers; once it is on there, regardless of the fact that it reveals intimate details about the inside of your home, law enforcement agencies contact the tech companies and request access to the data (including video footage) that they have.
Our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know that the impression you leave on a judge can have a strong influence on the outcome of your case, for judges often have a great deal of discretion in making judgments about the validity of charges, the stipulations of penalties, etc.
As one Fort Lauderdale man recently learned, yelling and cursing at a judge can also lead you to be found in contempt of court, for which you can serve jail time. According to the Sun Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale man Christopher Colon was appearing before a Broward judge via videolink after being arrested on a domestic violence charge. When the judge decided to block his release from jail, Colon went on an extended rant that included cursing at the judge twenty times.
In his inappropraite tirade, the 27-year-old man used the “f” word eight times, and then proceeded to tell the judge to perform a sex act on him, demonstrating exactly what not to do when you are in front of a judge. As a result, Colon was found in contempt of court and sentenced to 364 days in jail.
So-called fortune tellers, or “psychics,” purport to be able to see the future in ways that the rest of us cannot. They set up shop in cities, suburbs and strip malls, inviting customers to spend some time — and some money — to have their futures predicted.
Our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know that while this practice might seem logically questionable, it can also lead to illegal behavior.
The relationships that fortune tellers develop with their clients is often a close one; many individuals see fortune tellers multiple times per week, establishing a rapport with their psychic that one might have with a very close family therapist or long-time family doctor. Unfortunately, this relationship often times makes the customer vulnerable to fraud on the part of the psychic.
Florida Criminal Lawyers