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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

Florida has one of the broadest public records laws in the nation, which means one of the most powerful bargaining chips Florida prosecutors have – particularly in sex offense cases – is shame. There are the initial mugshots, incident and arrest reports and identifying details all available for public release – and that’s even before a person is convicted.Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer

Now, a new Florida law will have those arrested for misdemeanor prostitution solicitation in Florida facing additional public ridicule – with potential to even further impact one’s employment, housing, education and financial situation – not to mention personal relationships.

Those arrested in Florida for misdemeanor prostitution (often overlooked as a sex offense) may be tempted to simply plead guilty, pay the fine and enter a diversion and/or complete other requirements so they can quickly put it all behind them. That’s generally not advisable, but because of the potential long-term implications, Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys especially warn against doing so until you’ve spoken with a a lawyer experienced in defense of prostitution solicitation crimes. Continue reading

Police recently arrested a hit-and-run suspect in Sunrise after the man allegedly struck a bicyclist who was on her way home fro work. The suspect comes to court as an experienced defendant, as this offense represents his sixth traffic violation just this year, including prior misdemeanors and felony counts. That was double as many as he had in 2015, when he was cited three times for traffic crimes, including a single-car crash. criminal defense attorney

According to The Miami Herald, he also has prior offenses for resisting arrest without violence, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and speeding. He is now facing a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident with serious injuries. Per F.S. 316.027, it carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. He is just 21-years-old.

In order to qualify as a “serious injury,” alleged victim must have suffered a physical condition that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement or a protracted loss or impairment of an organ or bodily member.  Continue reading

Fingerprint matching has long been considered a critical investigative tool. However, despite its longtime claims of being infallible, the practice started to fall out of favor over the last few years with emerging science indicating that finding a “match” on a fingerprint was more likely to indicate a concordant connection than one that is without a doubt identical. criminal defense lawyer

As noted in a 2014 study published in the journal Public Library of Science, examination of latent fingerprints is often a complex task, even with advanced image processing. In many cases, fingerprints gathered at crime scenes contain less information than those collected under controlled conditions. They can be distorted and might only contain part of the total fingerprint. So despite assertions that fingerprint analysis is “infallible” or has a “zero error rate,” there are many cases in which errors are found and we find that certain assertions of infallibility were implausible.

Despite this, police and prosecutors in South Florida are increasingly relying on fingerprint evidence and analysis in making their cases against criminal defendants in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas. Continue reading

A 45-year-old man from Pembroke Pines is accused of attempting to solicit a 15-year-old boy for sex.
However, as Kevin Jackson would later learn, the “boy” was in fact an undercover detective posing as a youth. Now, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports Jackson was being held on $250,000 bond.

Adding to the severity of the allegations is the fact Jackson allegedly has a very dangerous communicable disease with which he was diagnosed in 2000. He was still receiving treatment for it at the time of his arrest. Although the report does not specify which disease it was, Jackson – who reportedly admitted his guilt to detectives – said it was his intention to inform the minor of his condition prior to engaging in a sex act.
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Consensual encounters with police have been the subject of numerous Florida court decisions and muchpublic debate. A central point in these discussions is whether such an encounter is ever truly consensual, where one of those parties is armed and has a great degree of authority.pills1.jpg

Our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys know it can be difficult for the subject of these encounters to differentiate between a consensual encounter, where one is free to go, and a non-consensual encounter, where one is essentially detained.

The reason the difference is important is an officer does not need to have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to initiate a consensual encounter with a member of the public. Whatever answers or evidence you offer during these exchanges can’t be challenged on due process grounds because they were given of your own free will. If you aren’t sure whether a police encounter is consensual, the best way to find out is to ask, “Am I free to go?” If so, it is likely consensual. Take advantage of the opportunity to exit the scene, so as not to make any potentially incriminating statements.
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Historically, courts have given a broad leeway to police officers when it comes to traffic stops, often granting a greater weight to public safety than to the rights of the accused.

However, these powers are not limitless. If a police officer didn’t at the very least have reasonable suspicion of a crime prior to initiating the traffic stop, Fort Lauderdale DUI defense lawyers know that evidence gained thereafter is subject to suppression.
Reasonable suspicion is defined in the 1968 case of Terry v. Ohio, and it holds that an officer has to be able to show specific and articulable facts which, when taken together with rational inferences, justify the intrusion.

This is a fairly broad definition, and police have a tendency to stretch it as far as they can. In some cases, when officers can’t find fault with a person’s driving, they may look to minor deficiencies in the vehicle as grounds to initiate the stop. This can be anything from a burned-out taillight to a dragging muffler.
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The law recognizes that in any traffic stop, the balance of power is skewed in favor of the police. This is why there are very specific legal protections in place for those who are the subject of these stops. driverglance1.jpg

When police fail to follow the rules, it could mean that whatever evidence was collected as a result must be suppressed, leaving prosecutors with little left to press forward in the case against you.

Our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys have been successful in these cases in having the charges significantly reduced or even dismissed.

A recent case reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit illustrates why officers must follow the letter of the law. In Huff v. Reichert, the primary question was whether the officer had qualified immunity in a civil case alleging Constitutional violations for unreasonable search and seizure. The court’s response? He did not, and the civil case against him could move forward.
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