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The debate over legalizing medical marijuana is blazing in the Sunshine State. While Floridians will head to the polls and vote on the fate of medical marijuana this November, our criminal defense attorneys know that the wheels of discord are already in motion with still more than five months remaining before the polls even open.
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The legislature is anticipated to pass a a bill that would allow children with intractable epilepsy to use a specific strain of marijuana. “Charlotte’s Web,” a form of marijuana that is very low in THC (the drug that gets some users “high”) is administered as an oil extract mixed with food and has been shown to help children suffering from epilepsy. Still, according to the Sun Sentinel, many people expect Governor Rick Scott to veto the bill.

Furthermore, Florida Sheriffs have recently initiated a campaign to oppose medical marijuana. The Florida Sheriff’s Association hopes that it can influence voters to such a degree that the medical marijuana bill will die at the polls in November.
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Our criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert are pleased to share with you that, according to a recent article in the Sun Sentinel, the crime rate in Palm Beach County extended a recent trend by dropping significantly last year, based on data collected from 2013.
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Perhaps the most significant change is evident in comparing the total number of reported violent and nonviolent crimes in the county in 2003 with the same measurement from 2013: in ten years, that number plummeted from 72,678 to 49,372, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Thanks, in part, to Palm Beach County’s declining rate of crime, Florida now has the lowest crime rate it’s had in 43 years.
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Yes, you read that correctly. According to the Sun Sentinel, a 27-year-old South Florida shop owner was arrested and jailed on Monday for allegedly selling contact lenses to people who did not have prescriptions. Although contact-lens-385768-m.jpg the man suspected of illegally selling contact lenses was released on $3,000 bond, he still faces a felony charge here in Florida.

As our criminal defense attorneys know, you can get injected into the criminal justice system for far less than trafficking drugs and robbing houses. Sometimes, seemingly harmless, even helpful, actions can land someone in jail, as evidenced by this story out of Palm Beach County.
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It has long been known that prison sentences for convictions involving crack cocaine us are disproportionately more severe than those involving cocaine in powder form. In recent years, as our criminal defense lawyers know, the Obama Administration has taken a number of steps aimed at lessening the disparity.
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According to an announcement made on Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the Justice Department will, in effect, make it easier for those sentenced for crack cocaine offenses to make clemency appeals. He further announced that, when the new rules go into effect, he expects the number of eligible clemency petitioners to increase significantly.
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As we get closer to summer, our South Florida criminal defense attorneys know that Supreme Court decisions are just around the corner. In the coming months, we expect to hear a ruling on the case of Hall v. Florida, in which the defendant and his legal team are trying to demonstrate that the State of Florida acted unconstitutionally when they sentenced Mr. Hall, who may be retarded, to death.
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In 2002, the Supreme Court of the United States decided that executing an individual who is mentally retarded constituted cruel and unusual punishment, forbidden by the 8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Freddie Hall, the defendant, is claiming that Florida’s criterion for determining whether or not someone is mentally retarded is flawed and in violation of the aforementioned case entitled Atkins v. Virginia.

If it can be established that Florida’s method of assessing mental retardation is indeed in violation of Atkins, then the finding that Mr. Hall is not mentally retarded would be reversed because of the improper procedures used in making the determination.
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Our South Florida criminal defense lawyers know that your presence on the internet has a powerful impact on your reputation; what you write, post and who you “like” or “follow” can lead to judgments about who you are and what you do. Moreover, some of those judgments can be made by police officers, prosecutors, and judges, who can link you to crimes based on your internet activity.
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Earlier this month, according to the Sun Sentinel, a shop on North Dixie Highway was broken into and robbed of $2,000 worth of e-cigarettes; when reviewing security tape footage of the robbery, the store owner was able to immediately identify the man in the video to police. The owner of Florida E-Cigs and Vapes knew he recognized the robber as someone who “follows” the store on Instagram, the popular photo-sharing smartphone application.
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There is a very fine line between advanced, technology-enabled methods of surveillance and infringement on the right of Americans to not undergo unreasonable search and seizure, a right guaranteed by the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Untitled.pngThat line is now being put under a microscope as law enforcement departments begin to test use of a “Live Google Earth” program that can and will allow police departments to monitor potential criminal activity in real time (and all non-criminal activity).

Although early reports note Persistent Surveillance Systems (PSS) , the technology behind the new sky-based monitoring ability, does not have the ability to zoom-in close enough to identify a single person’s actual face, Constitutionally-conscious individuals all over the country are raising concerns about the practice overall, especially considering the fact that as camera technologies improve, so too will PSS monitoring technology.
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It’s the type of case that our South Florida criminal defense attorneys are certainly familiar with: a pastor is arrested and charged with the crime of child molestation. In recent years, these types of stories have filled newspapers, airwaves, dinner table discussions.
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Nevertheless, the rise in accusations, charges and convictions does not mean that all indictments are warranted; the burden of proof remains on the prosecution, and when there is not ample evidence, the accused cannot be found guilty of having committed a crime.

This was the case of Jeffrey London, a Fort Lauderdale youth pastor who was found not guilty by a jury of his peers in Fort Lauderdale las week. After a trial filled with graphic and heartbreaking testimony (not necessarily to be confused with factual recollections) of lewd text message exchanges and inappropriate touching, London was acquitted of the charges against him, reinforcing the sacred notion that a defendant should be assumed innocent until/unless proven guilty.
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Our South Florida criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert know that law enforcement officers are given the responsibility to enforce the law and to arrest those who don’t abide by it; they are not expected to engage in the illegal activity that they’re specifically supposed to inhibit.
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As this article from CBS news describes, Miami-Dade Police Lt. Ralph Mata, was just recently arrested for and charged with the crime of “aiding and abetting” a cocaine ring.

Members of police departments, such as Officer Mata, due to the nature of their jobs, often come in close contact with individuals engaged in illegal activity for profit: individuals who deal drugs, for example. Some police officers, as we know, take advantage of the access their job provides them to criminal activity, and begin to take matters into their own hands, violating the very rules they are paid to uphold.
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Our experienced criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert represent clients fighting a wide range of criminal charges. Often times, we defend individuals in cases in which a variety of purported criminal acts are brought into question. These types of cases are especially complex and, unfortunately, they are often riddled with unfounded assumptions and baseless accusations.handcuffs-1156821-m.jpg

According to an article published by the Sun Sentinel, a 19-year-old woman was recently arrested in Broward County on charges that she, a supposed “escort,” murdered a client after he attempted to stiff her. According to local authorities, earlier this year, the young woman attacked the man and choked him to death in Lake Worth after he tried to flee without compensating her for the sexual services she had provided to him.
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