April 17, 2014

Sweet irony: Florida man named "cocaine" arrested on drug charge

Florida drug defense lawyer.jpg Talk about bad karma...Florida native Edward Cocaine was arrested earlier this week on felony drug possession.

Per the Pembroke Pines Police Department report, Mr. Cocaine was stopped for a traffic violation as he had an obscured tag.

The Florida police officer went to speak with the suspect when Cocaine requested a talk outside of the car. This proved to be a bad mistake for him as the officer noticed a Xanax pill (NOT cocaine as one might have guessed) in plain sight, tucked in the vehicle's door pocket.

Under questioning from the police, the defendant further hurt his case by both admitting to not having a prescription as well as admitting to another alprazolam pill, saying he bought them off a man for $5.00. 798516-drug-offenses.jpg

With that, Mr. Cocaine, whose prior criminal record is unknown, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, a third-degree felony. This is punishable by up to five years in prison though Edward most likely will have other options available. These options may consist of drug court, probation, pre-trial intervention ("PTI") or a combination of these.

When the ironically named defendant appeared in front of the judge at first appearance, he laughed and released him on his own recognizance ("ROR'ed). This means that he did not have to post bail to be released from jail.

Continue reading "Sweet irony: Florida man named "cocaine" arrested on drug charge" »

April 9, 2014

St. Petersburg teacher arrested after drunken rampage

Clearwater DUI defense.bmp From the BayNews9 website, a local teacher is facing felony charges after going on an alcohol binge...

30-year-old Keesha Graham will not want to bring this up at her next show-and-tell. The St. Petersburg second-grade teacher was arrested by police after what witnesses call "an alcohol-fueled rampage".

Clearwater police arrested Ms. Graham for burglary and disorderly intoxication after Ms. Graham was walking in and out of traffic and trying to enter a locked vehicle (a potential burglary of a conveyance charge). Police told her to leave the location but she had other ideas...

The intoxicated teacher later walked into a home on Gulfview Boulevard uninvited and police were called after the homeowner asked her to leave.

The suspect refused to leave and sat down on the homeowner's couch. With that police finally had enough and arrested the defendant.

Ms. Graham is (was?) a teacher at John Sexton Elementary School and parental outcry was quick. One of the parents interviewed by Bay News 9 was shocked that the events occurred and was grateful that this did not happen at the school.

"Your children are supposed to be everything to you and you're sending them to the most safest place that you think during the day and then you find out stuff like this," the shocked parent said. "It just makes you wonder."

As of this writing Ms. Graham has been released on $5,100 bond and charges are pending.

FLORIDA LEGAL ANALYSIS798514-burglary.jpg

The disorderly intoxication is a misdemeanor but the burglary of a dwelling, Florida Statute 810.02, is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. What makes it worse for Ms. Graham is that because the house was occupied, the charge is now a "PBL" or punishable by life!

It is obviously too early to know what may happen with these charges. Based on just the report, it sounds like Ms. Graham was not attempting to commit a crime when she went into the stranger's home. If that is correct, the state may be better off filing a trespass charge instead.

This is one of those cases where it is vital to have a criminal defense attorney on this case before charges are filed. A burglary defense attorney would be able to talk with the state before charges are filed and perhaps convince them to lessen these serious cases.

No matter what becomes of this case, the defendant has already suffered embarrassment and possibly the loss of her employment. The last thing she needs is a prison sentence for what appears to be a bad mistake.


Continue reading "St. Petersburg teacher arrested after drunken rampage" »

April 4, 2014

Pinellas Park man attacked, three teens arrested

Pinellas violent crimes defense lawyer.bmpA local crime story from the Tampa Bay Times that brings up some interesting questions about juvenile crime versus adult criminal charges.

16 year-old A. Peterson made his first appearance in the Pinellas county juvenile court yesterday following his arrest for attacking an 83-year-old man. He stood straight while the judge explained his charge, an aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. The teen turned himself in to the police and admitted to stealing the man's car but denied attacking him.

He was one of three people charged in the attack of the man. His 13-year-old brother was charged with grand theft. A 15-year-old female friend of the brothers was also charged with a battery on an elderly victim.

Per the police report, the two Saint Petersburg brothers and the girl attacked the elderly man Tuesday morning as he was in his car at his Pinellas Park condo. The senior citizen fought back and says the oldest brother slashed his arm with a knife. The teens made off with his keys and his car was stolen that night while he slept. There were multiple bikes that were found at the scene of the crime.

The elderly man has some bad injuries from the battery including a fractured cheek bone, multiple stab wounds and a bruised rib. For his part, the man is glad the teens are all in jail as he felt he could have been killed!

At the juvenile hearing, the boy's father and grandmother were in attendance and expressed remorse for the victim's injuries.

The juvenile judge assigned a public defender to the defendant and would not release him from custody. Rather, she set another court date.
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LEGAL ANALYSIS
It seems very likely that both the 13 and the 15-year-old will be charged for juvenile crimes and not charged as an adult. This means that any sentence they receive will be much lighter then adult sanctions. In addition by staying in the juvenile system, the teens will be more likely to get the cases dismissed.

The bigger question is what happens to the oldest teen. If he stays in the juvenile court, he cannot be held past the age of 21. As the charge is serious and the teen is older, there is a legitimate chance that the Pinellas State Attorney's office may file this charge as an adult.

As an adult, robbery with a deadly weapon, Florida Statute 812.12(2)(a) is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison or life ("PBL") if certain criteria is met.

The next few weeks will be very important to this young man, as decisions that could put him in prison for life will be made.

Continue reading "Pinellas Park man attacked, three teens arrested" »

March 27, 2014

When a DUI is not a DUI...

St. pete DUI defense lawyers.jpg An interesting case from South Dakota, where a man is appealing his Driving under the Influence conviction on the grounds that he was not even driving! How may this affect Florida DUI law?

To DUI or not to DUI...for 54-year-old Donald Nekolite, THAT is the question. The defendant admitted drinking at a local bar back in September 2012. He went outside to grab cigarettes from his truck when he accidently bumped the gear shift into neutral. Without the emergency brake on, the truck rolled back into another car.

Police were called out and investigated. It was determined that Nekolite had a B.A.C. of 0.284, over three and a half times the legal limit in either Florida or South Dakota. His companion/designated driver however, was not drinking. Never the less, police arrested Nekolite for driving under the influence. Police claimed that he was "in actual physical control of his vehicle".

His conviction is now being appealed to the South Dakota Supreme Court. The ruling is expected to shed more light on the legal definition of physical control.
dui 3.pngLEGAL ANALYSIS
In Florida along with a few other states, to prove a defendant is guilty of a DUI, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that: 1. the defendant was under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance to where his normal faculties were impaired (and/or a 0.08 B.A.C. or above), 2. while he was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle.

Unlike South Dakota, in Florida, if the defendant did not have keys in the ignition or at least readily avaliable (such as in his pocket while he was in the driver seat), there would most likely be no DUI charge, let alone a conviction. Florida caselaw requires actual ability to DRIVE the vehicle. No car keys or ability to start the vehicle, most likely no Florida DUI conviction.

While it will be interesting to see what happens in South Dakota, here in the sunshine state, he would almost certainly have his conviction overturned.

Continue reading "When a DUI is not a DUI..." »

March 14, 2014

Update on Justin Bieber's Florida DUI arrest

Pinellas dui defense lawyer.jpg We had mentioned pop star Justin Bieber's DUI arrest in a previous blog post. By now, the whole world knows about his arrest for driving under the influence and his disaster of a deposition for his upcoming civil suit he took. There is now an update on his criminal cases.

After being charged in Miami, Florida for a DUI, resisting arrest without violence and a No Valid Driver's License (NVDL), Justin Bieber finally gets a trial date.

A judge has set trial for May 5 as the singer had previously pled "Not Guilty" to the charges. Per both the prosecutor and his criminal defense attorney, no offer has been made on the case.

There had been a previous trial date but it was continued due to publicity surrounding Bieber's urine test that was caught on video.

The defendant and Khalil Sharieff, another singer, were arrested in January for closing down a street to race sportscars. Police investigated and later made an arrest on the above charges. There are several interesting angles in this story. Bieber's blood-alcohol content was below the 0.02 level for underage drivers. However he underwent further tests which found marijuana and Xanax in his system, potentially complicating his defense.

Continue reading "Update on Justin Bieber's Florida DUI arrest" »

March 13, 2014

Battery or self defense? Pinellas Park mother accused of child abuse against daughter

Pinellas violent crimes defense.bmp Claiming self defense, a 39-year-old Pinellas Park mother is pushing back against an arrest that charged her with aggravated child abuse.

Police claim the mother of four struck her 16-year-old daughter with a baseball bat, leaving the juvenile dazed and bleeding.

The defendant told the judge at a court appearance Wednesday that she was innocent of the charge. "I am not a child abuser". Rather, the mother claims that her daughter attacked her multiple times and the victim was hit by mistake.

Police were sent out on a disturbance call to the mother's Pinellas Park home. They arrived to see the victim bleeding from the head and the suspect still holding on to a baseball bat. The victim told the police that her mother went crazy during an arguement about doing the dishes and committed the battery on her.

The suspect denied this and claimed that her daughter walked into the handle part of the bat.

Initially held without bond, the judge took mercy on the suspect after the DEFENDANT'S mother offered to watch the victim and the defendant claimed that she had three other children at home with nobody to watch them. The judge set the bail at $15,000 and ordered no contact between the two parties.

A look at the defendant's Pinellas criminal record shows multiple priors spanning almost 20 years for charges that include felony theft, worthless checks, drug charges and violations of probation among others. Ironically, she also had a contributing to the deliquency of a minor charge. If this newest allegation is true, she went from contributing to the deliquency of a child to actually harming a minor!

LEGAL ANALYSIS931789-Crimes-of-Violence-callout-08-20-10.png As it is now charged, aggravated child abuse is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison!

In addition, it is a level nine offense which means it scores so high that the defendant is looking at a mandatory prison sentence. Depending on how the state chooses to proceed, her criminal defense attorney may be able to claim self defense or negotiate a lower sentence with the state attorney or the judge. There could be parenting classes, anger management courses, counseling, jail and/or probation as possible plea alternatives.

Continue reading "Battery or self defense? Pinellas Park mother accused of child abuse against daughter" »

March 7, 2014

Florida Burglary suspect "tripped up" by his pants

Pinellas burglary defense.jpg From the smoking gun website, a Palm Beach man was arrested for burglary after his pants aided the Florida cops in making the arrest...

19-year-old Jordan Bodden was arrested by Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies on suspicion of car burglary. This came to light when two witnesses ID'd him as the man who broke into multiple vehicles. One witness saw two males, one matching Bodden's description pulling on door handles and entering the cars (burglary of a conveyance). Another witness came forward and saw the suspect and a co-defendant enter several cars looking for money and valuables.

Bodden was identified by both witnesses and was handcuffed during the investigation but the suspect broke away from the police and tried to run away on foot.
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His pants had other ideas. An Officer grabbed at Jordan's pants as he began to flee, which might have popped open a button. The result was his pants falling to his ankles and the criminal suspect falling hard on the cement. Apparently he didn't learn his lesson as once down, he continued to fight the deputies.

Jordan Bodden was charged with resisting arrest without violence, escape and three counts of burglary. As of this writing, the fashionista was still locked up in the Palm Beach County jail on $31,000 bond.

Continue reading "Florida Burglary suspect "tripped up" by his pants" »

February 26, 2014

Personal Injury Claim - Understanding the Damages

Clearwater personal injury lawyers.jpgEvery year there are millions of people who are injured in personal injury accidents - on the road, at work, at home or outdoors. And more often than not, they are not at fault for these mishaps, in which case they deserve to be compensated for their agony and loss. Personal injury claims help these victims to achieve this compensation. But before deciding on going about a personal injury claim, how will you evaluate if your claim is worth pursuing? The answer to this key question lies in 'Damages'. So what are damages? What are the different types of damages? How do you evaluate these damages?

1. Compensatory Damages:

When it comes to personal injury claims, most damages would fall under the category of compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are damages that can be evaluated and monetarily compensated. While it is easy to put a value on some compensatory damages like medical expenses, loss of property etc., it is difficult to put a value on the pain that one has suffered because of the accident. These loses can be categorized as monetary and non-monetary losses.

i. Monetary losses:

Losses that can be easily evaluated and put a price on are called monetary losses. They are relatively easy to calculate based on evidence or indications such as cost of medical treatment, value of property etc.

Medical expenses:
Almost all claims will cover medical expenses as damages as it is imperative that an injured victim is treated for the injury suffered due to the accident. It not only covers the cost of treatment that the patient already has incurred, but also covers such costs that the patient will be required to incur in future for the rest of his/her life.

Loss of income:
If the accident has resulted in loss of income for the victim then they can claim damages for the same. It not only covers the income that the victim has already lost because of the accident, but also will cover his/her future income as can be calculated. This is termed as 'loss of earning capacity".

Loss of property:
If the accident resulted in the loss of a physical property such as vehicle or any other item of value, then it can be covered as damages. The value can be calculated based on the cost of repair or fair market value in case of irreparable damages.
Florida car accident attorney.bmp

ii. Non-monetary losses:

Losses that are physical and emotional and that cannot be easily evaluated are called non-monetary losses. It is difficult to put a value on non-monetary losses and it may considerably vary between victims.

Pain and suffering:
Most personal injuries involve pain and discomfort and it is imperative that the damages cover this suffering. The damages will cover compensation for physical pain endured during the accident and also during the recovery phase.

Emotional distress:
Damages will also cover the psychological impact of the injury. This includes anger, fear, loss of sleep, anxiety, frustration etc. that is associated with the injury.

Loss of enjoyment:
If the injury resulted in the victim's loss of interest and enjoyment in life such as hobbies or other recreational activities, the damages can cover this.

Loss of consortium:
Loss of consortium is provided to the spouse who is affected because of the victim's inability to indulge in the relationship. It includes loss of companionship, loss of affection, loss of sexual relations etc. Traditionally, these types of damages are lightly compensated.

2. Punitive damages:

Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for their outrageously careless act that resulted in the injury in the first place. Punitive damages are awarded on top of compensatory damages and are designed to provide some kind of emotional closure to the victim. They can act as deterrents in future. However, punitive damages are not awarded in all personal injury cases and they are reserved for serious acts. Also most states have a limit to the amount that can be claimed as punitive damages to avoid excessive claims on this account. Some common examples of punitive damages are injuries that result from reckless or wanton behavior such the Defendant injuring the Plaintiff in a DUI or a wrongful death case when the Defendant had knowledge of the danger and took no steps to correct same.

It is imperative to be aware of the different damages that one can claim for a Clearwater auto accident lawyer or a Miami personal injury attorney. Also it is important to ensure that the claimant is not negligent on actions that they have to take, in order to mitigate the impact after the accident, as this will have a bearing on the damages awarded.

Continue reading "Personal Injury Claim - Understanding the Damages" »

February 19, 2014

St. Pete man in trouble for facebook threats against police

St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer.bmp From the BayNews9 website, a local Saint Petersburg man finds himself in hot water after posting a threat to local police online...

Here is how not to do it: 35-year-old Bruce Santee of Saint Petersburg was arrested and charged with a felony after offering $100 to anyone who killed the police officer who pulled his ride over on a traffic stop. Local police were not amused...

It started over a simple traffic ticket. Santee was a passenger in a car that was pulled over by a Pinellas Park police officer when the driver failed to yield. Instead of just watching the driver pay the ticket or hiring an attorney to fight it, the defendant had other plans.

Arriving home late Monday night, Santee instead sounded off on Facebook. In the late night post Santee proceeded to name the officer by name, threatening him and offering $100 to anyone who would kill him.

Police responded with a late night arrest, charging him with a violation of 836.10- written threat to kill/do bodily harm. While at first glance the allegations seemed laughable, the charge is nothing if not serious. The crime, a second-degree felony, is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and an automatic conviction. At least in Pinellas county, Santee appears to have no prior criminal record. To potentially be a convicted felon after what at first glance appears to be blowing off steam (in a perhaps foolish manner) would be a tough pill for him to swallow.
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LEGAL OPTIONS
Are there potential options for first time offenders? Is it possible to avoid a conviction and perhaps get the case dismissed? With early intervention and the help of a criminal defense lawyer, there may be several option to help first time offenders! Options may include, but are not limited to: pre-trial intervention (PTI), a negotiated plea with the state,and a departure hearing (if otherwise qualified) among others.

Continue reading "St. Pete man in trouble for facebook threats against police" »

February 13, 2014

Driver Texting Leads to a Murder Charge?

Florida dui defense lawyer.jpg From the Insurance Journal, a North Carolina woman has the unusual distinction of being charged with murder for a texting and driving accident that killed an elderly woman.

45-year-old Belinda Strange Hudspeth was arrested las tweek after Highway Patrol troopers claim Ms. Hudspeth was texting while driving and ran off the road striking 75-year-old Lavon Ramsey. Ms. Ramsey later died at a local hospital.

Now Ms. Hudspeth sits in a local jail, charged with multiple offenses including second-degree murder, driving under the influence, texting while driving, careless and reckless driving, and driving with a suspended license.
Clearwater dui defense.jpg
Per police reports, the suspect was traveling east on Perfection Avenue in an SUV on noon last Saturday when the vehicle ran off the right side of the road. The vehicle struck several objects including a fence, garbage cans and a mailbox. The vehicle then hit Lavon Ramsey, who was on the lawn at a residence on that block when she was hit. It looked like the victim was walking to her neighbors when tragedy struck.

LEGAL ANALYSIS

In Florida these charges may well be different then they are in North Carolina. If this took place in the Sunshine State, the suspect would most likely still be charged with the DUI, careless driving, reckless driving and DWLSR.

However, a good Pinellas DUI attorney may be able to avoid the second degree murder charge. In Florida this would most likely be a DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide or manslaughter charge instead.


Continue reading "Driver Texting Leads to a Murder Charge?" »

February 6, 2014

Man claims he is an owl to avoid a DUI

Pinellas dui lawyer.jpg
I am sure that this worked. A Massachusetts man did not give a hoot about logic after he led police on a long chase...

37-year-old Troy Prockett was arrested and charged with multiple offenses this week including felony DUI, resisting arrest, leaving the scene of an accident with property damages and numerous traffic citations. How he got there made for an interesting story...

Per the police report, a state trooper was driving on I-290 in the evening when he saw a car, driven by Prockett, spinning out of control between travel lanes. The car eventually spun out of control, crashing into a snowbank and coming to rest between the first and second lane of traffic.

The state trooper testified that three other vehicles had to swerve out of the way of the suspect to avoid being hit. The trooper responded by turning on his lights and siren.

The suspect, now driving a heavily damaged car, proceeded to pull out of the road into oncoming traffic and drove almost a mile in the breakdown lane...with the trooper in hot pursuit.

The car eventually did stop but only so the suspect could jump out of the driver's seat and run off into the woods. The defendant was not a master criminal as the trooper found his wallet still in the car and started tracking him thorugh the snow by following his footprints.

With the help of a K9 unit, the man was found after a hour of searching in single digit temperature. The man was found in a tree and gave a very slurred defense to his fleeing and eluding.

Prockett began speaking in a slurred speech, claiming that he was an owl. He also asked officers if they caught the guy who was driving his vehicle, even as he started climbing higher up the tree. When police pointed out that there was only one set of footprints in the snow, the man changed stories and claimed that he was carried by the mysterious driver. Per the police report, the suspect then
"continued speaking about what a good guy he was and rambling on about being an owl in a tree. "He continually refused commands to climb down and instead climbed even higher, shaking the branches and saying, 'Look it's snowing.'"dui 3.png

Police on the scene received new information that the suspects daughter was riding with him during the accident. The drunken man did not calm their fears, rather he admitted having a daughter but gave false information as to where she was.

Police eventually had to call in the fire department to "rescue" the tree climber as well as cut down tree branches. Police also used a thermal imaging unit in an attempt to search for the girl, only to later learn that she was safe.

This was not Procketts' first brush with the law. The man admitted running from the police because this was his third DUI. As of this writing, the man had made bail and was released.


Continue reading "Man claims he is an owl to avoid a DUI" »

January 29, 2014

Pinellas computer sex sting nets 35 arrests

Pinellas computer crime.bmp From the Tampa Bay Times, a county wide task force puts a dent in sex crimes in Clearwater with an undercover sting...

A large task force from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, St. Petersburg police department, Clearwater police, the FBI and others worked for months in planning the sting. Reminiscent of the old MSNBC show "To Catch a Predator", authorities began Pinellas County's largest child predator sting in years.

Between last Thursday and this Monday (January 27), investigators posted adds on dozens of websites and chatrooms such as AOL, craigslist, and yahoo chatrooms. The officers posed as underage boys and girls between 13 and 15 years old as well as parents offering their children up for sex! They reported that within minutes of opening a chat, they would recive five to eight instant messages.

Eventually photos and text messages were exchanged with dozens of men. Meetings were set up in an attempt to have the men travel in what they hoped was sex with underage children. Once the meeting was arranged, the officers would contact patrolmen to make the arrest, meeting the suspects at various places in north Pinellas.

Travel they did. Suspects soon swooped in from all over the state. One man came to Clearwater from Kenneth City on a bicycle. Fathers, husbands, students. Professionals, homeless and even one man studying to be an elementary school teacher!

The officers have charged the vast majority of these men with various charges such as traveling to meet a minor, seduction of a child over the internet as well as sexual battery.

The men range in age from teenagers to 65 years old. Most are from Pinellas county, Hillsborough and Manatee with one man coming from Miami.

The arrested men had various stories. Some broke down and confessed, some denied and others had horrible stories. One man admitted to "urges" he could no longer control. One man from Tampa, who had traveled in the hopes of meeting a mother who was selling her underage daughter for sex, claimed to have previously slept with a four year old child!

Another man had left his 10 and 12 year-old daughters at home in the hopes of meeting what he thought was a 14-year-old girl for sex. His wife was called at work to pick up their daughters from home!

Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri gave a press conference Monday afternoon. He was pleased with the results but admitted that dozens more arrests might have been possible. He shared his views on those arrested. "They are predators. Nothing but predators. They really need to be eradicated from our county, I view this as the No. 1 public safety issue in Pinellas right now."

Clearwater sex crimes defense
LEGAL ANALYSIS
A Clearwater criminal defense attorney should know the possible penalties on these charges. The traveling to meet a child charge and the seduction of a minor over the internet or electronic device are third and second degree felony charges. This means they are punishable by up to five years on the third degree and 15 years prison on the second degree.

More importantly to both the suspects and society as a whole is the requirement to register as a sex predator or sex offender. These requirements are quite extensive and include registration, updating their information with the Sheriff two to four times per year and exclusion from living in many areas where there may be children. The registration requirements/frequently asked questions are found in the above link.

Lastly, a conviction on many of these charges will include being subject to a potential Jimmy Ryce hearing. This may involve an involuntary civil commitment upon release from prison for treatment in a secured facility.

Continue reading "Pinellas computer sex sting nets 35 arrests" »

January 24, 2014

"Belieb" it! Pop star arrested for DUI in Florida

Pinellas dui defense lawyers.jpg This story has broken wide open in the past 24 hours. To the chagrin of tweens everywhere, pop star Justin Bieber has been arrested in Miami on a multitude of charges. Will the defense of "he is too dreamy to be guilty" be enough?

It has been a rough few years for Justin Bieber. Perhaps desperate to change his bubble gum pop image, he has begun to act out. First there was photos of him smoking marijuana. Then a police search warrant for his house turned up cocaine. Now in his latest stunt, Justin was arrested for a DUI in Miami early this week.

The singer of "Baby" and other pop hits was clearly not using his head. He had his entourage close down a street in Miami so he and his friend could drag race a rented Ferrari and Lamborghini! The locals were not amused. Police were called and when they arrived they found a high Justin Bieber after allegedly consuming a large amount of alcohol, marijuana and prescription pills.

Per published reports, multiple cars were used to block traffic on Pine Tree Drive for the drag race. One of the people that was blocking the street was Justin's 38-year-old father! Officers on the scene noticed signs of impairment on Justin.

Per the police report, the arresting officer said, "I immediately smelled an odor of alcohol eminating from the drivers breath and bloodshot eyes. The driver (Justin Bieber) had slow deliberate movements and a stuper look on his face. The police report can be read in full here.

The pop star did not help matters by reportedly cursing out the police and failing to follow directions. He was arrested for DUI and resisting arrest without violence. His friend and fellow drag racer was also arrested for driving under the influence.

Once at the police station, Justin was reported to be cooperative. He volunteered to undergo a drug test and a breathalyzer.

The next day his first appearance in front of the judge also went well. He was released on $2500 bond, a standard amount in this type of case.

Justin was not the only victim of his own carnage. A last minute report out of Miami mentioned that up to four police officers were suspended for escorting Bieber and his entourage to a strip club!


Continue reading ""Belieb" it! Pop star arrested for DUI in Florida" »

January 17, 2014

Tampa Bay player Akeem Spence arrested for marijuana

Tampa drug defense lawyers.jpgWe have previously blogged about college players getting arrested for a dui, then a former Bucs' player for domestic battery. Now a current Tampa Bay player, Akeem Spence, gets his turn via an article in the Tampa Bay Times.

The rookie defensive lineman was pulled over on a traffic stop in Alabama and arrested for possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.

Police pulled Akeem over for speeding over 100mph. Per reports, the rookie, who finished with over two dozen tackles and a sack, was cooperative. He was charged with a personal use amount and released on $3,000.00 bond.

When asked for comment, new Tampa Bay Bucs' coach Lovie Smith was not pleased. He released a statement that read in part:
"We will wait to get all the facts, but the initial reports are concerning and disappointing..." "I have spoken with Akeem and expressed my dissatisfaction with his involvement in this situation. As a member of the Buccaneers, he will be held to the high standards we have set for all members of this organization."
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LEGAL ANALYSIS
Despite recent changes in certain states such as Colorado, marijuana is still very illegal in Florida. Found under Florida statute 893.13, a small amount of marijuana is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in the county jail, probation and/or a large fine. If one is convicted of a marijuana or controlled substance charge, your driver's license is suspended for two years! There is no license suspension for drug paraphernalia, however the rest of the potential punishment remains.

Continue reading "Tampa Bay player Akeem Spence arrested for marijuana" »

January 10, 2014

Is the "knockout game" coming to Florida?

saint pete violent crimes defense.jpg

The "knockout game"-where one or more people commit an assault or battery against a stranger for no reason- has been all over the news. A series of random attacks in New York, Baltimore, Miami and L.A. among others, has received a large amount of media coverage. Is this a real phenomenon or is this overblown like the "summer of the shark" a few years back?

One good thing about the increased coverage means an increase in the amount of arrests. Per "the smoking gun" website, a suspect in a series of "knockout game" attacks was arrested in New York.

Is chivalry dead? It may be to one New York teen as he was arrested for his part of a vicious, unprovoked attack on an elderly woman.

Juvenile Devin Alexander was arrested for a violation of probation and a battery on an elderly charge last Wednesday. Mr. Alexander first came to light after a video was uploaded to a Facebook page. The video, which can be viewed at the above Smoking Gun link, seems to show Devin bragging to a man that he is going to smack an elderly lady as she walks out of the store. When the woman exited , the suspect proceeded to sucker punch her in the back of the head. The hit was greeted by the man filming screaming out in delight multiple times.

These "knockout game" attacks are getting increased media attention. Unlike many other assaults, there appears to be no motive such as robbery or anger at a known victim. Rather the idea is to find a defenseless man, woman or child and beat them for fun.

Continue reading "Is the "knockout game" coming to Florida?" »