Articles Tagged with Fort Lauderdale defense lawyer

When someone is facing a South Florida misdemeanor domestic violence charge, it’s worth exploring whether they qualify for a diversion program that would allow them to avoid a conviction. Florida domestic violence lawyer

As our Broward domestic violence defense lawyers can explain, not every defendant is going to qualify and it may not be the best strategic move for every case. But it’s important to discuss the possibility with your attorney.

What is a Domestic Violence Diversion Program?

A diversion program is a type of pre-trial intervention that essentially diverts the criminal case away from the usual track (which can end in conviction, jail, and fines) and instead allows qualifying defendants to complete educational courses and/or service requirements. When the program requirements are successfully met, the charges in the criminal case get dropped and the case is dismissed.

Some of the offenses that disqualify a defendant from a DV diversion program include:

  • Battery in which the defendant is accused of using substantial force to slap, punch, kick, or push an alleged victim to the ground.
  • Any battery that involves “degrading acts,” such as urinating or spitting on the alleged victim.
  • Any battery that involves alleged strangulation or choking of the victim.
  • Violations of domestic violence injunctions.

In general, domestic violence diversion program offenses are those involving minor intentional touching but don’t result in serious physical injury. If a defendant has a prior conviction or arrest for a felony as an adult, more than one misdemeanor adult conviction, or any prior domestic violence arrests, convictions, or pending charges, he or she will be ineligible for the domestic violence diversion program. No one is allowed to enter the diversion program more than once in their life.

It’s important to note that domestic violence charges – even those that are dropped due to a diversion program – generally cannot be sealed or expunged. Evidence of the arrest still shows up on your record. That’s why if there is a decent chance that your Broward domestic violence defense lawyer can successfully fight the charges against you, that may be in your best interests. But diversion programs can be an excellent alternative when there is a fair amount of evidence against you in a first-time, misdemeanor Florida domestic violence charge.

What to Expect in a Florida Domestic Violence Diversion Program

Continue reading

A Florida domestic violence conviction can carry many substantial, long-lasting consequences – not the least of which being restrictions on the Second Amendment right to bear arms. This is why it’s so important to work with an experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer from the very start of your case. Even if the evidence seems stacked against you, we may be able to deploy legal strategies that could reduce the charges or lessen the impact. Fort Lauderdale domestic violence arrest

The high stakes of these cases were recently underscored in the Congressional action to close the so-called “boyfriend loophole” in gun legislation.

Federal law prohibits anyone convicted of domestic violence in Florida or in any other state from possessing guns. However, that provision was only applicable to individuals who were married to, lived with, or had a child in common with the alleged victim. People who were merely dating (not married, living together, or raising a child together) were not subject to this federal provision.

The new bipartisan gun law changes this, closing the “boyfriend loophole.” Proponents of the measure say this was necessary, given that people spend much more time dating now than they did in the past, carrying on romantic relationships for years or even decades without officially tying the knot.

Additionally, the new federal law allows for expanded background checks on young adults purchasing firearms and gives authorities the power to access certain juvenile criminal records. Lastly, the law allows states to use federal funding to enact and enforce “red flag laws” that give authorities the right to remove guns from anyone they suspect may be a harm to themselves or others. This could potentially be someone accused of domestic violence in Florida.

As it stands, 31 states have some rule on the books barring those convicted of domestic violence from possessing guns. Of those, 19 do cover dating partners convicted of domestic violence. Florida does not have any such provision in its laws, so the new federal law will have a direct impact. Those with misdemeanor convictions who have stayed out of trouble for five years may be able to have their gun rights restored. However, there are exceptions for spouses, parents, guardians or co-habitants – all of whom may still face lifetime firearm restrictions.

Florida Domestic Violence Penalties

Continue reading

Cops can be intimidating. It’s fully intentional on their part. After all, it can be quite effective in terms of compelling suspects or persons of interest in criminal cases to talk freely during the investigation. But failure to exercise the right to remain silent until there’s a South Florida defense lawyer at your side can quickly cost your freedom. That’s not to say you won’t spend the night in jail if you stay mum. However, defendants almost always benefit long-term when they wait for defense attorney advice and advocacy. Fort Lauderdale defense lawyer

You are probably familiar with the term “Miranda Rights” and “Miranda Warnings” and the paragraph that starts, “You have the right to remain silent…” They’re derived from the 5th and 6th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. If an officer reads them to you, you are considered “Mirandized.” It stems from the 1966 case of Miranda v. Arizona, and the purpose is to ensure you are made aware that you do have the Constitutional right not to speak to the officer and to have your own attorney present on your behalf before you answer any questions.

What occurs only belated to a lot of criminal defendants is that these rights are in place before they are ever read aloud- or even if they are never read at all. Miranda is only applicable in custodial interrogations, meaning police don’t have to recite those rights every time they talk to or question someone. In fact, much of the evidence used against defendants in Florida courts are statements they made to authorities prior to formal detention or interrogation by police. It’s important to understand that voluntarily opting not to speak to police about a criminal matter is not a crime – no matter how much pressure you might feel. Continue reading

If you are questioned by police in connection with suspicion of a crime, should you talk? What if you’re innocent? Even if you aren’t, won’t it look worse if you refuse to cooperate?Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer

As a Fort Lauderdale defense lawyer, we generally assert that where possible, communication with law enforcement in almost any circumstance should be polite – but extremely brief. The exact amount of information to divulge – or not – can be tricky, especially if you are sure they could glean the information elsewhere. If you have any doubt, politely but firmly decline to offer any further information before speaking to an attorney.

The main thing to keep in mind: Information gleaned against your will or without your cooperation might be successfully challenged later by your attorney with a motion to suppress. However, information you offer freely can be much more difficult for your attorney to suppress. Continue reading

In Florida, sex on the beach is typically understood as a cheeky, sugary cocktail with peach schnapps. It’s romanticized in a classic scene in the 1950s film, “From Here to Eternity.” However, having actual sex on a beach in Florida can land you in handcuffs (and not in a good way). As a Fort Lauderdale defense lawyer, it seems an important fact to address because locals and tourists alike continue to run afoul of public indecency and lewd lascivious laws – and prosecutors don’t seem intent to cut them any slack.criminal defense lawyer

Most recently, a married couple from Vermont vacationing on Sanibel Island were arrested by police, who had received complaints the pair were naked on the beach. Officers saw the woman naked in the water, summoned her over to them and gave her a towel. The husband walked up and asked why they could not be naked, as “we are all human.” Officers explained Sanibel is not a nude beach, and it’s against Florida law to be on a public beach with no clothing. Witnesses said they pair may have been having sex. The two were arrested on charges of indecent exposure. F.S. 800.03 states it is unlawful to exhibit one’s sexual organs in public (or on private premises so near as to be seen by those on public property) in a manner that is vulgar or indecent. It’s a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail. (Mothers breastfeeding babies does not count.)

Although these two were charged with a misdemeanor, Fort Lauderdale defense attorneys have seen prosecutors pursue felony charges for Florida sex on the beach. Continue reading

In a single recent year, Florida law enforcement agencies received 105,700 reports of domestic violence. More than half of those, 63,200, resulted in an arrest. It’s known to be a relatively under-reported crime, but there are a fair number of cases that go to trial wherein the alleged victim refuses to cooperate or testify. It is a myth that prosecutors cannot move forward on these cases or that they cannot sometimes win them. It often depends on the independent evidence available – and the strategy employed by your Florida domestic violence defense attorney. domestic violence defense lawyer Florida

Let’s consider the case of Baker v. State, an appeal before Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal back in 2007. Defendant had been convicted of felony battery for accusations that he attacked his girlfriend, who had called 911 to report the defendant had bitten her and took her phone “and stuff.” She said she did not require medical attention. A police officer was dispatched, observing and photographing what appeared to be a small bite mark on victim’s arm.

Would this be enough to secure a conviction?  Continue reading

You may be aware that sealing and expungement is available for certain first-time offenders convicted and adjudicated guilty. Did you also know it’s important for those found NOT guilty to seal and expunge their records too? criminal defense attorney

This specifically involves cases where a defendant reaches a plea deal that involves a judge withholding adjudication, meaning the defendant isn’t formally convicted. However, the arrest will still pop up on a Florida criminal background check, which all but eliminates whatever benefit might have been derived from avoiding conviction in the first place. Florida law – specifically F.S. 943.053 – makes adult criminal history records public (with special restrictions for access) unless those records have been sealed or expunged. This encompasses not just your conviction and/ or case disposition, but your original arrest and charges. That’s why it’s so important after a case outcome wherein adjudication was withheld to determine whether you qualify for expungement or sealing of your record. The benefit of this is you can legally deny/ fail to acknowledge an arrest covered by that record (with exception for those seeking a change in immigration status or certain types of jobs, such as with a law enforcement agency or the Department of Children and Families).

The Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney team at The Ansara Law Firm can help you with both. It can be a somewhat confusing process, but markedly less so when you hire a lawyer to help you navigate it. (Note that Florida allows for automatic expungement of certain juvenile records when the minor reaches age 21, though you’ll want to check with an attorney to be certain and determine if other action must be taken.)  Continue reading

Makers of a device called the “Breathometer” promised that their product could help drinkers determine when they’d had too much to drive. driver

The product concept was first pitched on the television show, “Shark Tank,” and it involved an app-supported smartphone device that would help consumers make smarter decisions about whether to refrain from driving after consuming alcohol. By breathing into the app device attached to their phone, users would be able to tell whether they were over the legal limit of 0.08 alcohol concentration.

However, the Federal Trade Commission recently slammed the company, ultimately negotiating a settlement, amid charges the device didn’t actually work as promised. Specifically where the FTC was concerned, the company lacked the scientific evidence to support the claims made in advertising.  Continue reading

The 30-year-old suspect was likely going to be facing drug trafficking charges. He didn’t want to confront that possibility. Instead, he fled from police in an attempt to escape. But he lost control of the car. The vehicle overturned and careened into a nearby canal and started to sink. Defendant swam out through a window, but police caught him within minutes.carwater

What the suspect didn’t inform police of until it was too late was that there were two other people still trapped in that submerged car. It wasn’t until officers asked that he offered up the information.

Now the Sunrise man is facing two second-degree murder charges in those deaths. He is being held without bond, and faces up to life in prison if convicted. Continue reading

This past election season was a contentious one and emotions were high. No matter who won, it was bound to rile some. While the U.S. Constitution extends a fair amount of latitude to private citizens who use their First Amendment freedom of expression to voice disdain for leadership, there is a line that can be crossed that could result in criminal charges.computerkeyboard

That’s what a Broward County man recently discovered when he was arrested by federal authorities for making threats against then-President-Elect Donald Trump.

The Sun-Sentinel reports the 59-year-old suspect, who lives in Pembroke Pines, is alleged to have made threats to either harm or kill Trump. He was arrested at his home after local law enforcement authorities notified the U.S. Secret Service, who have the duty of protecting Trump. Continue reading

Contact Information