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While U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has announced his agency’s intentions to scrap policies resulting in unnecessarily extensive federal prison terms, at the state level, it seems there is ample incentive to keep criminal sentences as long as possible.
Our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers know that it comes down to – what else – money. Specifically, Florida, like a number of other states, has outsourced parts of its state prison system.

As the Huffington Post recently reported, these private contracts require that there be certain “lockup quotas” that must be met in order for these facilities to turn a profit. If a certain number of beds are not filled, the state (i.e., taxpayers) have to pay the prison company. That means taxpayers, in effect, must pay a premium for lower crime rates.
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In Coral Springs, a man accused of possessing some 300 files of child pornography on his computer is preparing to stand trial, where he faces up to 20 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

There is no question that the alleged sexual exploitation of children is one of the most reviled crimes for which you can be accused. Unfortunately, many people – from police to the public – are going to treat an accusation as gospel. These cases are very tough to defend because no one wants to take the chance of a child predator going free. Those accused of child sex crimes in Florida generally don’t receive the benefit of the doubt.

Still, there is ample evidence throughout history that the criminal justice system, for as much as it is revered, does not always get it right.
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A recent assault case out of Palm Beach bore an eery similarity to the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case in Northern Florida last year that captivated the country.
Again, it was another case of street justice gone wrong, though this time, the outcome was not fatal. Once again, it doesn’t appear as if anyone is going to face criminal charges (as was the case at least initially for Zimmerman, who was later arrested and ultimately acquitted at trial).

Our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers know that defense of one’s self is always going to be a valid defense. Where it gets a bit murkier is the defense of property.
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Despite the recent implementation of a retail theft task force in the state, our Fort Lauderdale felony defense attorneys know theft is a crime that is turning increasingly white collar.
The reason is that white collar theft can be highly lucrative and, at least as far as perception goes, not nearly as risky.

For example, if you burglarize a series of unlocked vehicles on a given city block, you may net a few hundred dollars, some electronics and maybe some other miscellaneous items. You also risk potentially being caught red-handed and perhaps even become the victim of vigilante justice.
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Some 70 percent of Floridians support the legalization of medicinal marijuana, and advocates have gathered enough signatures for a state supreme court review of a ballot measure to decriminalize the drug here in the Sunshine State.
However, our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers know that regardless of what voters decide, the issue of marijuana DUI will continue to be a complex one. Even those states that have long approved marijuana as medicine have yet to draft legislation that appropriately deals with the issue.

Some have passed measures treating it like alcohol, allowing that any certain degree of concentration of THC, the active ingredient in the drug, should be considered impairment. This approach is logical on the surface, but it fails to take into account that marijuana is processed differently by the body than alcohol. Specifically, the drug stays in one’s system longer, so higher levels of the drug in one’s blood stream aren’t necessarily indicative of impairment.
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A man and woman from Plantation are accused of human trafficking and forced commercial sex activity, after authorities say they lured women with the prospect of a job and then forced them to work as unpaid prostitutes.
Our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers expect many more of these types of arrest in the future, both for the fact that South Florida is considered the third-busiest human trafficking site in the U.S. and because state and federal authorities are emphasizing enforcement measures.

A recent report by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a national tracking organization, found a fourfold increase in child sex trafficking prosecutions nationwide since 2008. Officials say they have seen a “huge uptick,” but it’s worth noting that the increase is more likely the cause of more aggressive prosecution.
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A South Florida man was recently convicted of rape and false imprisonment after a jury deliberated for just two hours, shortly after hearing testimony directly from the accused.
Our Fort Lauderdale felony defense lawyers know that in any jury trial, it’s always a risky proposition for a defendant to take the stand. It’s a calculated risk that must be carefully weighed by your defense team.

In this case, the defendant had previously been acquitted of an earlier sexual assault that followed a similar pattern. Details of neither that case nor a third similar allegation were allowed to be entered into evidence.
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