Articles Posted in Crime

Around the country, and for good reason, there are laws barring individuals above a certain age from engaging in sexual relations with individuals below a certain age (the age of consent.
In Florida, according to State Statute s. 794.05, it is illegal for someone 24 years of age or older to have sex, as defined in the statute, with someone under the age of 18 (with a couple of exceptions). Based on the exact circumstances of the incident, the crime can be considered a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and/or $10,000 in fines.

As our Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers know, however, these sex offender laws and associated sex offender registries do present serious problems. In today’s world of anonymous dating apps and online match-making, confusion is rampant and thus the likelihood of inadvertently committing a sex crime is higher than it used to be.
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Our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert hope you have an enjoyable and safe July 4th Weekend spent with friends and family.
While the 4th of July – which marks the birth of the United States of America – is meant to be celebrated, we want to caution you that there are a number of activities often thought of as celebratory in nature that are actually criminal in nature, and you can get in trouble for taking part in them.

In this blog, we will detail a couple of illegal things which South Floridians have done in the past as ways to mark the holiday. Read on to see what not to do if you want to spend the weekend having fun, not sitting in a jail cell.
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As our Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers know, the issue of interaction between and combination of criminal activity and mental illness or disease is an interesting one which has profound implications for our criminal justice system.
In our society, how we understand mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, etc., not to mention addiction, has evolved a great deal; we are becoming far more understanding with respect to the fact that millions of Americans deal with powerful and difficult issues such as these.

However, the sentences our criminal justice system hands out do not reflect this sort of progression and that needs to change. Instead of treating the mentally ill as if they’re hardened criminals and tossing them in jail, we need to treat them like patients and offer them hospitalization, therapy and/or other alternative forms of rehabilitation. Doing so will benefit both the mentally ill who commit criminal acts as well as the general public.
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Despite South Florida police departments having prepared, as they do every year, for chaos and mayhem during the holiday weekend that just passed, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, there was a decrease in violations and 911 calls for police service during this past Memorial Day Weekend.
As our Delray Beach and West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers know, decreases in documented criminal incidents likely indicate a decrease in actual criminal activity, especially during a weekend like the one that just passed, when police are out and about looking for people breaking the law.

The decrease in violations is reflected in a number of ways; to begin with, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office revealed that the department issued no citations for county ordinance beverage violations (such as drinking in a county park).
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According to a report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), crimes across Florida dropped to a 44-year low in 2014. At the same time, though, violent crime actually rose in Palm Beach County by 115 incidents (vs. the previous year), although the overall crime rate, including nonviolent crimes, did decrease.
As our Delray Beach and Hollywood criminal defense lawyers know, looking at state crime statistics is a good idea if you want a grasp on the current criminal justice climate. More specifically, local crime stats (such as those dealing with particular counties), paint an even more detailed picture.

In this blog, we are going to explore the particulars of the newly-released reports covering crime drops and increases across Florida, focusing mainly on Palm Beach County which, as noted above, has produced some puzzling statistics.
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People often feel like they’re qualified to offer advice and assistance in areas in which they are not. For example, after watching a legal drama, someone might feel equipped to give a friend legal advice. After watching a medical television show, someone else might feel ready to diagnose a family member’s symptoms.
That said, as our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know, you should never provide professional services requiring a license if you don’t have a license!

Take a lesson from a certain 43-year-old man who was arrested this week in West Palm Beach. Because he offered undercover police officers illegal “dental” services (installing so-called “grills”) at an outdoor flea market, he was arrested and charged with a number of crimes.
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Nicholas Brendon, the actor known for his roles on Criminal Minds and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was arrested on Friday in Tallahassee for apparently trashing his hotel room.
Our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know that this isn’t Brendon’s first recent run-in with law enforcement in the Sunshine State; just last month he was arrested in Fort Lauderdale for similar reasons.

The actor faces charges of criminal mischief and property damage for allegedly causing as much as $1,000 of damage in the hotel he was staying at during a comic book convention.
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As our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know, a couple of ostensibly incomprehensible crimes committed recently in South Florida serve as reminders that the actions we take have consequences.
These offenses, which we will discuss in this post, demonstrate what not to do.

While one details a crime perhaps carried-out with no malicious intent, and another indicates a severe lack of control, both should be regarded as warnings that the law often pays little mind to the reasons for which a crime might have been committed.
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Our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert know that laws against criminal activity exist to protect the public. That said, we also know that some of the laws on the books today actually hurt the public.
Consider the case of Arnold Abbott, a 90-year-old South Florida man, who has been charged with a crime for handing out food to the homeless. The charge stems from a new Fort Lauderdale law “banning public food sharing.”

Supporters of the law, which has pushed this selfless 90-year-old into the criminal justice system, say that feeding the homeless only feeds the cycle of homelessness. Abbott, on the other hand, believes that by doing what is now labelled a crime, he is simply giving food to the hungry.
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Miami has among the country’s strictest regulations concerning where registered sex offenders can reside. Now, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has taken issue with some of the laws’ implications.
One of the most rigid laws that Miami has adopted is one stating that a sex offender cannot be within 2,500 feet of schools, parks, bus stops, or anywhere else that children might congregate. That makes finding a place to live incredibly difficult — so difficult, in fact, that some sex offenders have actually become homeless, drifting from one unsafe place to the next.

The ACLU, as our criminal defense lawyers know, has filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the sex offender laws in place in Miami violate the sex offenders’ fundamental right to safety and to maintain a home.
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