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Florida_mug_shot.bmpThe Miami Herald and Palm Beach Post recently explored the issue of posting mug shots online. For several Florida newspapers, mug shots draw a high volume of traffic to their websites. In fact, the booking blotter on the Palm Beach Post’s website generated about 52% of the 45.2 million page views in May.

However, some journalism watchdogs and ethicists worry that publishing mug shots doesn’t tell the whole story, since there are no follow-ups to the original post. In at least a quarter of all felony cases, the charges are never filed, are dropped, or the defendant is acquitted at trial, yet the daily blotter rarely (if ever) reports on this.

A few Florida defense lawyers are less concerned. Some see it as a chance to find prospective clients and point out that news shows like Law & Order have created a public fascination inthe criminal justice system. Others note that social networking sites like Facebook have already made people’s private lives public.

Publishing of mug shots on newspaper websites stirs debate, Miami Herald, June 28, 2009 Continue reading

Boca_Raton_traffic_lawyers.JPGEarlier this week, Boca Raton’s City Council approved plans to add red-light cameras at 10 intersections in Boca Raton, plus install parking meters at the beach and Mizner Park. Many cities in Florida and around the country already have paid parking and red-light cameras to catch and fine those who run traffic lights.

Adding red-light cameras to several Boca Raton intersections is expected to generate an additional $1 million for the city at a time when council members are struggling to close an estimated $4 million budget gap for the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

The council was divided on the issue, because some worried that fining drivers who run red lights would make the city appear less welcoming to visitors. Some also voiced concerns that the city might face lawsuits from Florida drivers involved in rear-end collisions.

Boca Raton approves red-light cameras, South Florida Sun Sentinel, June 23, 2009
More cash or more crashes? Boca Raton considers red-light cameras, parking fees to close $4 million budget gap, Palm Beach Post, June 23, 2009 Continue reading

Hallandale, FL – Hallandale criminal lawyer Brian S. Leifert has learned that the city of Hallandale has announced that they will be conducting enhanced DUI patrols. Hallandale police officers will conduct DUI enforcement patrols this weekend, from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday.

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Hallandale police on DUI patrol this weekend, South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

If you have been charged with DUI in Hallandale, Broward County or anywhere in South Florida, call a Broward DUI lawyer at Leifert and Leifert for immediate assistance.

Florida_crime_stats_FBI.jpgAccording to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, violent crime decreased last year across the county, but it is on the rise in some South Florida cities.

Homicides went up six for a total of 18 in West Palm Beach, while the overall number of murders nationwide declined. West Palm Beach rapes also increased, though West Palm Beach’s population shrunk by around 2,600 people last year according to state statistics. A spokesman for the West Palm Beach police said that overall, crime was down 17 percent; despite increases in certain types of crimes, there were 193 fewer violent crimes last year.

In Fort Lauderdale, rape increased by 17 to a total of 73, while robbery rose 112 to a total of 848. The population in Fort Lauderdale remained roughly the same. Burglaries also increased in Fort Lauderdale. The FBI noted that with the economy in a slump, more people are turning to non-violent crimes like burglary or larceny.

FBI: Violent crime down nationally, up in some South Florida cities, South Florida Sun Sentinel, June 2, 2009 Continue reading

Florida_traffic_court.jpgUntil recently, South Florida drivers could simply go to the clerk’s office and pay their ticket without seeing a judge or having their driving record impacted. But a change in state law has meant that Sun Pass violators must now appear in court to avoid points against their driving record.

The result is that Miami-Dade Traffic Court is seeing double its normal caseload. In fact, last year Sun Pass violations amounted to almost a third of all traffic citations. Judges and other officials worry that this will strain the resources of the Miami-Dade Traffic Court.

The Turnpike says it is working to reduce court filings with a campaign to ensure that drivers pay violations during a 51-day grace period. They are also scouring more databases and post office lists for current address of delinquent customers, since out-dated addresses has been an issue in the past. Some elected officials in both Orlando and Miami are working to remove penalties against the driving records of from SunPass violators.

Sunpass toll tickets clog Miami-Dade Traffic Court, Miami Herald, June 6, 2009 Continue reading

Broward DUI Lawyer, Plantation, Florida – The City of Miramar is planning a DUI checkpoint for July 3rd and July 4th. This Broward DUI checkpoint will begin 8:00 p.m. on Friday July 3rd and will continue until 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 4th. Members of the Miramar police department along with other officers from various law enforcement agencies throughout Broward County will be conducting DUI enforcement in the at the 2100 block of State Road Seven.

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Miramar DUI checkpoint planned for July 3-4, South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
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Fort Lauderdale, FL – Broward County DUI lawyer Brian S. Leifert has just learned that the city of Fort Lauderdale will be conducting a DUI checkpoint scheduled to begin at 4:00 this afternoon and will conclude at 11:00 this evening. The checkpoint will be located in the 1200 block of Northwest Sixth Street (Sistrunk Boulevard) and the 1600 block of Northwest 19th Street. Fort Lauderdale police officers will be looking for impaired or intoxicated drivers ans well as checking for suspended drivers licenses, warrants and equipment violations.

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3 Broward cities plan sobriety checkpoints, Miami Herald.
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Our South Florida defense attorneys have been following an animal cruelty case out of South Miami-Dade. Tyler Weinman, 18, has been accused of mutilating and killing 19 cats in the region. He had been jailed pending a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation, but was released on Wednesday on $249,500 bond and will face arraignment on July 6. His charges include 19 counts of felony animal cruelty, 19 counts of improperly disposing of an animal body, and four counts of burglary.

Weinman was arrested at a friend’s house on Sunday morning, and prosecutors have not released much information on why the teen is a suspect. His defense attorney was allowed to view, but not keep, the affidavit that outlines the evidence against the suspect.

Weinman was stopped for running a red light on May 15, and police say they questioned him about the cat killings at that point. He was also charged with marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license. One of his lawyers said the police jumped to conclusions about Weinman because of intense public outcry. His lawyers and several families maintain that the teen is innocent.

Accused cat killer Tyler Weinman freed on bond, Miami Herald, June 18, 2009 Continue reading

Pembroke Pines, Florida – Broward DUI lawyer Brian S. Leifert has just learned that a DUI checkpoint will be conducted in the city of Pembroke Pines. The DUI checkpoint is planned for Thursday, June 18, 2009 from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. on Friday. The checkpoint is planned to take place on Pines Boulevard and 74th Avenue, across from Broward College’s South Campus.

 

 

Lauderhill, Florida – Broward DUI Lawyer Brian S. Leifert has also learned that a DUI checkpoint will be conducted in the city of Lauderhill. The DUI checkpoint will begin on Saturday, June 20, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. and will concluded at 3:00 a.m on Sunday. The city of Lauderhill has selected Sunrise Boulevard and 441 as the location for the checkpoint.

Both DUI checkpoints will include assistance from law enforcement agencies throughout Broward County, including the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and members of Broward Sheriff’s Office DUI task force.

Lauderhill, Pembroke Pines plan sobriety checkpoints, Miami Herald.

Police to run two Broward sobriety checkpoints this week, South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
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Yesterday in a Miami-Dade county courtroom, wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth received a 30-day jail sentence after pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter. The 28-year-old athlete could have faced up to 15 years in jail for hitting and killing a 59-year-old pedestrian with his Bentley after a night of drinking at Miami Beach’s Fountainbleauhotel.

Following Stallworth’s release from prison, he will serve two years of house arrest and spend eight years on probation. He must also undergo drug and alcohol testing and perform 1,000 hours of community service.

Stallworth and his defense attorney reached the plea bargain in part because of the family’s desire to have the case resolved and avoid further pain. Miami-Dade State attorney also cited Stallworth’s willingness to accept responsibility and cooperation with law enforcement as factors in the decision. Stallworth also reached a confidential financial settlement with the family of the DUI victim.

 

 

Browns’ Stallworth pleads guilty and gets 30 days, Associated Press, June 16, 2009 Continue reading

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