Minors tend to think their social media habits are harmless. However, our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers recognize that social media videos, snaps, timelines, messaging, and more have become pivotal evidence in some very serious criminal cases in Florida, particularly those involving juveniles. juvenile detention lawyer Fort Lauderdale

Snapchat, in particular, is a social media network that has exploded in recent years. It started as a private, person-to-person photo sharing app, but it’s now used to send short videos, initiate live chatting, messaging, and story sharing, as well as the creation of caricature-like avatars. The wide arrange of free filters also make it popular, and it’s used by more than 250 million people daily.

It’s also had a noted connection to a number of recent alleged crimes. Among those:

  • Three teenage boys from the Florida Keys are facing charges of lewd and lascivious battery, obscene communication by transmitting child pornography and cruelty toward a child by promoting material involving the sexual act of a child. The video in question reportedly depicts two of the boys (both 16) engaged in sex acts with a 12-year-old girl. The third boy, age 14, reportedly shared the video at school. The boy who shared the video said he had no knowledge of it, but detectives reportedly found numerous incriminating videos saved in his Snapchat account, according to the Miami Herald. Lewd and lascivious battery is a serious felony charge, but so too are the others that involve disseminating the material on social media. F.S. 827.071, which pertains to sharing material that shows a child engaged in a sex act. Depending on one’s degree of involvement, the charge can be a second- or third-degree felony, with maximum penalties of between 5 and 15 years in prison.
  • Three teens were arrested in Wesley Chapel, FL (north of Tampa) over videos on Snapchat that depict them with guns in a grocery store bathroom. The teens were arrested while still on site at the store, in the dairy section. Authorities allegedly found stolen handguns, ammunition, and a stolen credit card.
  • Three middle school students were arrested for alleged threats made on Snapchat against their school. Specifically, they are charged with making a written threat to do bodily harm or commit an act of terrorism. As outlined in F.S. 836.10, this is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

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You can take video of police officers in public without risking a Florida arrest, an appellate court ruled this month. The decision pertains to a 2009 case of a woman who filmed officers detaining her son outside a Boynton Beach movie theater. As our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers recognize, however, it has particular relevance in the post-George Floyd era.Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer

The ruling in Ford v. City of Boynton Beach reversed an earlier trial court decision that found police had an expectation of privacy when they were filmed outside the movie theater. In sworn testimony, she indicated she took a digital camera with her when she went to get her son, who had been stopped by police for allegedly trying to sneak into a movie theater. Her intent, she said, was to ensure the police would be honest and truthful during the encounter.

When police demanded she stopped filming, she refused. Although it was undisputed that she never tried to physically obstruct or in any way impede the officers’ detention of her son, she was arrested on charges of intercepting oral communications and obstruction without violence – both misdemeanors. The officers argued she had invaded their privacy, justifying the charges. The State Attorney’s Office, however, declined to pursue the charges ages ago. The ruling in this case stems from a civil lawsuit she later filed against the department. Continue reading

Misdemeanors are criminal charges that categorized as less serious than felony charges, with lesser penalties and lower fines. For this reason, many people choose to forego hiring a defense lawyer and take their chances. However, there are many reasons this is inadvisable. Hiring a defense lawyer for a Miami misdemeanor can often help to significantly reduce the lasting consequences of a permanent criminal record.Miami misdemeanor defense lawyer

Our goal as your lawyer is to work toward a resolution that is going to leave you with as few longstanding ramifications as possible. What we will first do is look for any way to have the charges dismissed outright. If that isn’t likely, our strategy is to minimize the damage, possibly negotiating a plea to lesser charges and arguing for the minimum incarceration and fines.

Examples of misdemeanor crimes in Florida include:

  • Shoplifting.
  • Trespassing.
  • DUI.
  • Solicitation for prostitution.
  • Disorderly conduct.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Criminal mischief.
  • Simple battery.
  • Underage possession of alcohol.

What many people don’t understand is that just because a charge is a misdemeanor doesn’t mean a conviction will have a minor impact on your life. Never assume that this will be a “slap on the wrist” that you can easily move past. Continue reading

Florida domestic violence criminal defense requires an attorney with extensive experience and a history of success in these cases. This is especially true considering there are increasingly serious consequences to domestic violence arrest and conviction, even outside of the criminal justice system. The professional damage, for instance, can be substantial. Fort Lauderdale domestic violence arrest

Recently, a report on the NFL’s evolving response to players’ alleged domestic violence made national headlines, though there isn’t great consistency. In one instance, a Minnesota Vikings cornerback accused of felony assault against his girlfriend hasn’t lost his job. He’s been kept on the roster after being selected in the first round of the NFL draft last year. By contrast, an undrafted offensive tackle from Seattle charged with felony assault was cut from the team the same day. This is despite the fact that he hasn’t even been convicted.

The football league’s approach to domestic violence cases has shifted since the Ray Rice elevator video involving his then-fiancée went viral in 2014. The number of second chances extended to players arrested for domestic violence has been significantly curbed. Prior to that incident, USA Today reported 85 percent of NFL players arrested or convicted in domestic violence cases got second chances from the league. Since the Rice video, that’s been reduced to about half – regardless of whether those individuals were later convicted or cleared. Continue reading

There is a reason insurance costs double when you add a teen driver to your plan: They’re high risk. Inexperienced, irresponsible and prone to distraction, they’re far more likely to make errors and behind the wheel. They’re three times more likely to cause a fatal crash per mile driven, according to the CDC. Sometimes, poor choices may lead them on the wrong side of the law, requiring the services of Broward juvenile defense lawyers.Broward juvenile defense lawyer

A recent survey by auto research firm Co-Pilot indicated Florida teen drivers are among the riskiest in the nation.

The metrics used in the study authors’ risk assessment:

Here in Florida, 8 percent of teens admitted to forgoing a seatbelt, 6 percent said they drink and drive and 36 percent said they text and drive. Although they may be juveniles, they can still face substantial criminal penalties for violating traffic and safety laws, particularly if someone is hurt or they cause damage to property.

Some parents assume that they can allow their child to go through the Florida juvenile justice system unaided by legal counsel to “teach them a lesson.” The presumption is the consequences won’t be significant or truly impact the rest of their lives anyway. This is incorrect. There are ways for teens to “learn their lesson” without being thrown to the mercy of the courts without adequate legal representation. Continue reading

If you are arrested for drunk driving in Fort Lauderdale, one of the worst things you can do is try to navigate the legal system on your own. Even first-time offenders can face severe penalties and long-term consequences – some they may not even realize are at stake – when they don’t have someone who knows the law advocating on their behalf. Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney

More than 32,000 people each year are arrested in Florida for drunk driving, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. An analysis based on data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention indicated there was a 30 percent increase in the Florida DUI arrest rate from 2014 to 2018. Although we don’t yet have statewide data on 2020 DUI arrests in Florida, a report by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism indicated alcohol sales spiked sharply during the pandemic (increasing in Florida by nearly 8 percent). That could be linked with an uptick in arrests for DUI.

Our Fort Lauderdale DUI attorneys are committed to helping those accused of drunk driving or impaired driving fight the charges and the most serious repercussions associated with them. Continue reading

If you’re visiting South Florida this spring break, the last souvenir you want to bring back is a DUI charge. If this is the situation in which you find yourself, our longtime Fort Lauderdale DUI defense lawyers can help. Fort Lauderdale DUI defense lawyer

Last spring was fairly abysmal for an annual spring break season in Florida, but this year is looking up. Some hotels are reporting 75-80 percent capacity, as many folks venture out for the first time in more than a year. Florida is especially popular right now because it hasn’t been as rigorous in its enforcement of health and safety measures as other states, and people from all over the country are looking for a more relaxed change of scenery.

South Beach, Fort Lauderdale and the Florida Keys remain a top spring break destination in the U.S. If you are arrested for DUI here, you could be facing substantial penalties, so it’s important to work with a local criminal defense attorney  well-versed in state law and local processes and who has successfully represented numerous people arrested while visiting from out-of-town. Continue reading

A new Florida bill aims to erase minor misdemeanor marijuana convictions, including distribution and possession of less than 20 grams. The bill wouldn’t automatically expunge criminal records, but would make it easier for those with convictions to have them removed, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer
Sponsors noted the many ill effects of “minor” crime convictions, including blocked job opportunities, rejection from certain schools, loss of public benefits and housing. All this of course is on top of the expenses of arrest, incarceration, fines, etc.
Some convicted of non-violent felony drug crimes fare even worse. The Miami New Times reported on the case of a 45-year-old from Brevard who was a 22-year-old college student in 1997 when he was arrested on felony drug charges for having a two-inch plant growing out of a coffee cup in his home. Officers spotted it while responding to an unrelated matter with his roommate. All these years later, it still prevents him from finding housing and employment – despite the fact that the drug is legal as medicine in Florida and for recreation use in 15 states and Washington, D.C.

Firearm charges – even misdemeanors – should be taken seriously in Florida. Conviction could have a lasting impact on one’s ability to drive, secure employment and possibly rent in certain locations. As Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers, we are committed to defending the rights of firearm owners who have found themselves facing gun and weapons charges. Fort Lauderdale firearm defense attorney

A recent Florida transplant from Alabama was charged with several criminal misdemeanors after authorities reported he was driving while impaired with a loaded AR-15 on his lap. The Daily Mail reported the 20-year-old Clearwater resident was arrested for improper exhibition of a dangerous weapon (in violation of F.S. 790.10), drunk driving (in violation of F.S. 316.193). Continue reading

Entertainer Lil Wayne faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced next month after pleading guilty federal gun firearm charges. The Tampa Bay Times reports the 38-year-old rapper admitted during a virtual hearing in a Miami federal court to illegally carrying a gold-plated .45-caliber Glock and ammunition as a felon while traveling on a private jet last year. gun possession defense lawyer

Whether he’ll actually receive 10 years is speculation at this point, though our Fort Lauderdale gun possession defense lawyers suspect that his taking responsibility (under the careful advise of his defense attorney) may result in a lighter penalty. On the other hand, he’s already been convicted of a previous gun possession crime, so the judge may not be feeling charitable.

According to the Times, the artist was arrested in December 2019 after Miami police officers and federal agents, acting on an anonymous tip, searched the jet Wayne had been traveling on and found the firearm (which Lil Wayne explained had been a Father’s Day gift), as well as ecstasy, cocaine, marijuana, heroin, painkillers, prescription-strength cough syrup (i.e., “Purple Drank”) and tens of thousands of dollars in cash. He was not arrested on drug charges, nor was he accused of using or brandishing the gun in any way. The problem was a prior felony conviction that renders his possession of it unlawful. It doesn’t help that in the interim, he has also previously pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. Continue reading

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