Articles Posted in Robbery/Burglary

Two men in Deerfield Beach are facing robbery charges after their purported plan to hold up a local pharmacy was foiled by a task force of law enforcement that included Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office detectives, a violent crime task force, officers with several local police departments (including Fort Lauderdale) and the FBI.
Although they never actually set foot in the store, authorities say their plans were clear and both suspects provided investigators with a detailed confession, which will undoubtedly be used against them in court. Even if the case never makes it to the trial phase, they may have made it difficult for their defense lawyer to obtain an advantageous plea deal.

There are two important lessons gleaned from this case. The first is that an attempt to commit a felony can be accompanied by the same penalties as if one had actually carried out the crime. Secondly, speaking to law enforcement investigators without an attorney present can seal your fate with extensive prison time. A confession is one of the most powerful tools a prosecutor has, and there is no reason for a defendant to offer up that kind of assistance against his own best interests.

According to news reports of the incident, authorities with the task force were staking out the location after receiving a tip of possible criminal activity planned at that location.
Continue reading

A criminal grand theft case against former rapper Vanilla Ice (AKA Robert Matthew Van Winkle) has been dropped in a plea deal recently approved by a Palm Beach County judge.
Police in Latana had arrested the former “Ice Ice Baby” rapper after it was alleged he had stolen a pool heater, furniture, bicycles and a patio set from a vacant home in the city. Van Winkle, now working in real estate and remodeling – even starring on a show about flipping houses — says the whole thing was a misunderstanding.

Prior to entering the courthouse to sign the plea deal, he told reporters he had no criminal intent. Nonetheless, he signed a document admitting his guilt. In turn, prosecutors agreed to a pre-trial intervention program that requires the former rapper to complete 100 hours of community service over the next year. There are a number of other conditions as well. If he successfully completes all of these, the case goes away.
Continue reading

One of the most valuable tools a Florida criminal defense lawyer can employ is the motion to suppress. If for any reason the evidence presented by the state was gathered improperly or is unreasonably prejudicial without being probative, a judge may grant a motion to suppress that evidence. What that means is prosecutors can’t use it against you.
In some situations, that will bolster a defendant’s credibility/chances of success. It gives defense lawyers more leverage to negotiate a lesser penalty in a plea bargain. It may result in one of several charges being dropped. It could even mean the state lacks sufficient grounds to move forward with the case in its entirety.

In the recent case of Brown v. Florida, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal ruled an erroneous denial of defense motion to suppress required reversal of a robbery conviction and life sentence and a remand of the case for another trial.
Continue reading

Nearly two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement’s installation and use of a Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking device is a “search” generally subject to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement.

But a federal appeals court recently decided that the failure of police to obtain a search warrant did not prevent the use of evidence obtained from the GPS tracking of a Ford Expedition used in the commission of several South Florida robberies.satellite-1389651-m.jpg

While the courts decide the precise rules regarding GPS tracking, understand that our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer has the experience to challenge the legality of every form of electronic surveillance used by law enforcement.

Continue reading

A Fort Lauderdale robbery leaves a 21 year old man shot in the back. As a group of seven men were standing in front of a house located on the 2900 block of Northwest Eighth Court, four men approached and robbed the group at gun point. As the four men fled the scene of the Fort Lauderdale robbery, one robber shot a 21 year old in the back. The man was taken to Broward General where he was treated for his injuries. No names have been released by the Broward Sheriff’s Office and an investigation is pending.
Continue reading


The man accused of being the shotgun-wielding robber in a two-county string of Dunkin’ Donuts robberies repeatedly barked like a dog at a county judge this afternoon during a court hearing.

“I would suggest you take this more seriously,” Judge John Hurley told James Herard, 19, who replied “ruff” several times. Herard barked again after Hurley explained his rights as a criminal defendant. “I’m going to consider your bark as an acknowledgment of what I just told you,” the judge said.

Police said the five men were responsible for at least four robberies last week, three at Dunkin’ Donuts shops and one at a 7-Eleven.

The most violent occurred at a Delray Beach Dunkin’ Donuts on Nov. 26.

Four gunmen in masks, gloves and hooded sweatshirts blasted four people with shotgun rounds, two in the face. A driver also was shot after flashing his high beams at the robbers as they crossed the street in front of him.

Jackson, Herard and Weatherspoon, who have criminal records of varying degrees, confessed to the robberies, police said.


If you have not seen the actual video of this then you must click here to watch it. This video essentially depicts what a magistrate hearing looks like in Broward County. In Broward County our magistrate hearings, or bond hearing as they are sometimes called are done via video conferencing. They are usually held on the second floor of the Broward Main Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale. The Defendant’s are video conferenced from the Broward Main Jail in Fort Lauderdale to a Judge, in this case Judge John Hurley, who is sitting in the magistrate courtroom in the main Broward Courthouse.

At a magistrate hearing in Broward County the judge is likely to review any available police reports. These reports are usually referred to as probable cause affidavits. The judge will then advise a criminal defendant of all their legal rights such as the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, ect. At this point the judge will usually make a bond determination based off of various factors such as the crime charged and/or any other factors the judge determines relevant.

Judge John Hurley is a new Broward County Judge. I am not quite sure
Continue reading

Contact Information