Texting and driving gets a lot of attention around the country, particularly as a cause of far too many auto accidents and related injuries.
In Florida, it is a violation of s. 316.305 of the Florida State Statutes to text while driving, although, as our Palm Beach and Broward County traffic ticket defense lawyers know, there are some exceptions to this rule.
Knowing that there are exceptions to the rule does not mean that texting and driving is safe; doing is makes you 23 times more likely to crash your car than you would otherwise be. Still, knowing the specifics of the relevant law can make you more able to assert your rights should you ever have to.
Hearing that a 17-year-old was caught selling crack cocaine to an undercover officer might cause one to jump to the conclusion that this individual should spend years in prison. But looking more closely at the situation will show you that it’s just not that simple.
To begin with, as our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know, this boy is hardly a hardened criminal. To put things in perspective, at 17-years-old, he isn’t old enough to vote and his brain won’t be fully developed for at least another 7 or 8 years.
So, what do we make of the fact that this boy was caught selling drugs and allegedly robbing someone he thought was a drug dealer? Our years of experience in criminal defense law have taught us that children far too often get tied up in the world of drug running and that remedying this problem takes education and treatment, not strict jail time and harsh sentencing, which only make the problem worse.
Over these past few summer months, as temperatures not only in South Florida but also around the country have been soaring, the offense of leaving one’s child in a hot car has been getting a lot of attention.
From a Georgia man being charged with murder in his son’s “hot car” death, to a woman being arrested for leaving her children in a car when she went into a building for a job interview, people all around the country have been opining about what should be done to stop this crime and what should be done to those by whom it is committed.
Our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know that this issue receives a bit of a twist in South Florida, where temperatures can be scorching year-round, meaning anytime a child is left in a car (even for a few seconds) the parent or caretaker could theoretically be charged with child neglect.
The right to an impartial jury during one’s criminal trial is fundamental; it is guaranteed by the 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This right is of such importance because it must be the case that those who render verdicts, which profoundly affect (and sometimes end) lives, must be unbiased and solely basing their judgments off the facts of the case.
This, especially in today’s media-saturated word, is no easy feat, as our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know from experience.
This issue, and efforts to remedy it, have been brought to light in the pre-trial filings and hearings of the manslaughter case of Palm Beach polo magnate John Goodman, for which the Judge has sent out jury summonses to individuals in Tampa Bay, not wanting to run the risk of a pool of Palm Beach jurors having already made up their minds about Mr. Goodman.
The United States has come a long way since the days of Jim Crow, and certainly since the times of slavery. Nevertheless, just as we cannot wash away the stains these horrible eras have left on our national history, we cannot deny the fact that racism, whether deliberate of subconscious, still plays a profound role in the operation of our criminal justice system.
To put it plainly, blacks in this country are targeted and punished fare more aggressively than are whites.
Our criminal defense lawyers know from experience (and from facts to be laid out in this post) that unspoken feelings toward race far too often govern the outcome of criminal cases; they influence the choices of arresting officers, the decisions made by the prosecutors and the verdicts rendered by the jury.
Florida Criminal Lawyers