Articles Posted in Florida Law Enforcement

Previously on this blog, we have written about how misuse of the 911 emergency line can lead to arrest and criminal charges. The 911 system is designed to keep communities safe; when a community’s 911 lines and resources are tied-up with non-emergency matters, the safety of that community is compromised.
As our Delray Beach and Hollywood criminal defense lawyers know, you should always feel comfortable dialing 911 in the event of an emergency. However, as one man from Palm Beach County recently learned, dialing 911 when there isn’t an emergency can get you arrested.

Earlier this month, a man in his late fifties apparently dialed 911 from a parking lot on Military Trail just west of West Palm Beach. When authorities arrived, his story of an alleged assault didn’t quite add up; neither did the the strange request he made toward the end of the encounter.
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Being arrested isn’t fun, and there probably isn’t anyone out there who’d tell you that when you’re arrested, you should expect gentle treatment and a nice, relaxing atmosphere.
That said, as our Delray Beach and Hollywood criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert know, if you’ve been arrested, you do deserve to be treated safely and with respect.

As one Palm Beach County police officer recently learned, beating a suspect and lying about it can land you in some hot water in the form of serious criminal charges.
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Our Hollywood and West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers know that law enforcement departments all across the country are adopting use of body cameras as a means by which to combat the tension stirring between police officers and the communities they patrol.
With police wear body cameras, advocates argue, people will get to see exactly how a police-civilian interaction went; this will both hold police officers accountable and protect them from frivolous accusations of misconduct.

One thorny problem, though, is who gets to see what the body cameras capture? What if it’s your arrest or altercation that’s filmed, and what if that footage is circulated on the Internet?
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Our Hollywood and West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers know that the events which took place in North Charleston, South Carolina, last weekend have shaken the country.
The fact that a uniformed police officer fired 8 bullets at the back of a suspect fleeing on foot, fatally killing him, has raised questions of morals, ethics, and responsibility. But we know that this incident raises an important legal issue, namely whether or not this type of shooting is ever authorized and legal.

The fact is that there are situations in which a police officer would be justified in fatally shooting a fleeing suspect. That said, given what authorities know about the North Charleston incident, the police officer has been charged with murder.
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In the wake of national scandals concerning questionable use of force by law enforcement officers, West Palm Beach police will today begin wearing body cameras.
As our West Palm Beach and Delray Beach criminal defense lawyers know, the hope is that the footage captured by these cameras will remove doubt and be the definitive word in a potential he-said, she-said-type controversy, as we saw gave rise to months of violent clashes in Ferguson, MO.

Though quite small, these tiny cameras (which can be clipped onto sunglasses, caps or collars) are expected to make a big difference by improving relations between police officers and the civilians they’re meant to serve. That said, we know there is a major issue with the implementation of the program, one which could potentially render it useless.
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This past week, the Sun Sentinel reported on a story that’s been making national headlines ever since: a Broward County Deputy dragged a woman through a courthouse by her feet.
The officer, who pulled the woman by the shackles around her ankles, has been placed on restricted duty while an internal investigation is being conducted.

The woman, especially in light of the fact that a court had recently determined she was “mentally incompetent,” deserves better. Our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know that just because you’re a defendant in a case doesn’t mean you’ve lost your rights.
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When you’re pulled over by a police officer, you should reasonably expect a few things to happen: they will probably ask for your license and registration and they may even ask you to step out of your vehicle for further questioning. You should not expect the law enforcement officers to seize your cash, especially when you’re not charged with a crime.
All over the country, law enforcement officers from thousands of departments are regularly seizing cash from motorists they pull over — and it’s a federal government program that’s allowing them to do so.

As our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know, in the last 13 years, over $2.5 billion has been taken away from people who were never charged with a crime; most of that money, which was taken from innocent motorists, was spread out among state-level law enforcement agencies for their own use.
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As our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defenese lawyers know, this story is making national headlines: a Ft. Lauderdale teen helped save the life of a police officer who was booking him into jail.
17-year-old Jamal Rutledge, who had just been arrested on suspicion of violating the term’s of his probation by committing burglary, was waiting to be booked into jail when he saw the booking officer, 49-year-old Franklin Foulks, keel over and fall off his chair. Acting quickly, as surveillance video shows, the arrested teen (while still handcuffed) ran over to the security fence and started kicking it, yelling for other officers to assist.

Thankfully, the other officers made it over in time and were able to resuscitate Foulks. Later, doctors informed the officers that it was in large part due to the actions of the arrested teen that Officer Foulks’ life was saved.
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There’s a naked man with a gun and a bomb in a dumpster — at least that’s what a young man from Boynton Beach called to report to police.
Our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert know that making false police reports is a serious crime; not only is it illegal and taken seriously in the court of law, but it is not a victimless offense, as we will discuss in this blog.

This story, of a man reporting fake crimes as a way to alleviate boredom, should serve as a reminder that making false reports to the police, whether by way of making false statements on a police report or actually dialing in to 911 to report a made-up crime, is a serious offense — one that can lead to the existence of a real police issue: your arrest and prosecution.
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Police officers are supposed to enforce the law, to ensure that it is upheld, and to protect the safety and welfare of the public. That’s what, among other things, they’re paid taxpayer dollars to do. What they are most certainly not paid to do is rape individuals while on duty.
Our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert know that Boynton Beach law enforcement officer Stephen Maiorino has been accused of and charged with raping a 20-year-old woman, at gunpoint, while on official police duty.

When police officers undermine the law in the manner described above, it raises questions about how fit they are to hold other people responsible for breaking the law. What seems so disturbing about this case is that not only is the officer accused of the heinous crime of rape, but he allegedly forcefully raped the woman and used his official status as leverage in committing the crime.
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