If you watch enough TV cop-and-lawyer shows, then you’ve likely heard one or more of the police characters talk about “the right to remain silent,” and the lawyer characters speak about “hearsay.” That’s because these are legitimately very big deals. If a piece of prosecution evidence qualifies as hearsay, then it is probably not going to be admissible under the rules of evidence. Similarly, if the police improperly coaxed a statement out of you after you invoked your right to remain silent, then the potentially incriminating things you said after invoking your rights may also be excluded. A skilled Tampa Bay criminal defense attorney has extensive experience in making – and winning – these kinds of arguments on behalf of the accused.

These issues of hearsay evidence and improper police questioning were on display in a recent felony case from Charlotte County. According to a 911 call, the alleged victim (who was also J.T.’s ex-girlfriend) was hiding from J.T. inside a camper when J.T. decided to hitch the camper to his vehicle and start driving it down a rural Charlotte County road.

Law enforcement caught up to J.T., and the alleged victim told the officers that J.T. had sent her threatening text messages. A detective reviewed the messages on the alleged victim’s phone.

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One of the biggest things you can do to strengthen your defense position in a criminal case is to find ways to get the state’s evidence that was obtained from a search warrant thrown out. This evidence will probably be critical to the state’s case, so if you can get it suppressed, then you have a vastly better chance of obtaining an acquittal. This often means knowing how to attack your search warrant the right way. To give yourself the best chance of attacking a search warrant successfully, be sure you have an experienced Tampa Bay criminal defense attorney handling your case.

As an example, consider the case of D.G., a man suspected of possessing and distributing child pornography. The police’s suspicion arose after receiving a tip from an internet chatroom service, which reported that an image depicting child pornography had been uploaded to one of its chatrooms in October 2017 and that it came from a computer registered to D.G.’s home.

During their investigation, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office also learned that a similar anonymous tip about another single image of suspected child pornography from the same computer had been lodged in August 2016.

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When you’ve been accused of a crime, there are several things that can potentially make the prosecution’s case much weaker and your defense position much stronger. One of those is compelling evidence that the alleged victim or another of the state’s key witnesses has a very real reason to lie about you on the stand. If that’s a factor in your case, you need to make sure you have a skilled Tampa Bay criminal defense attorney advocating for you because the difference between getting an acquittal versus a conviction may rest on whether or not you get that evidence of bias before the jury.

Although there are limits to the evidence of bias you can use, the law generally gives you wide latitude in presenting this part of your defense. Recently, a man from Hillsborough County, V. A.-C., was on trial for sexual battery and believed he had strong evidence of bias. The man lived with several other people, including V. A.-C.’s girlfriend, the girlfriend’s sister and the sister’s boyfriend. The sister was also the alleged victim of the sexual battery.

At his trial, the accused man sought to put his girlfriend on the stand to testify about the accuser’s bias. The accuser had a former husband who had been jailed and later deported based on an allegation of sexual battery made by the daughter of V. A.-C.’s girlfriend. The accused man’s theory was that his accuser was bitter about that deportation and developed resentment and bias against her sister (a/k/a V. A.-C.’s girlfriend) and, by extension, V. A.-C as well.

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dui-3Here’s a troubling statistic: while drivers under the age of 21 only represent 10% of licensed drivers in the United States, they are responsible for at least 17% of fatal alcohol-related crashes. No wonder some parents install an interlock install device to keep their teens from driving while intoxicated.

Below are other sobering statistics you need to know before you hand over your car keys to your teenager:

  • According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), many young people abuse alcohol more than any other substance, with 12 to 20-year-olds accounting for more than 10% of the total consumption.

In Florida criminal cases, details matter. Sometimes, seemingly small details may make a big difference. That’s why you need to be sure you have legal representation from a skilled Tampa Bay criminal defense attorney. A skilled advocate can spot all those details, great and small, and make sure that you are protected from the harmful ones to the maximum extent possible, and that you are using all of the beneficial ones to your maximum advantage.

As an example, we can look at this recent case from the Keys. K.K. was arrested and charged in the break-in of a home in Islamorada. Among the items stolen from the home were four Rolex watches and “rare, historic jewelry from Tibet.”

At trial, K.K. faced a charge of grand theft over $20,000. That’s a very serious charge. Grand theft of more than $20,000 is a second-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment of up to 15 years and a $10,000 fine, and K.K. was convicted of that crime.

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An IID or ignition interlock device is an electronic tool installed in vehicles and designed to detect if the driver has alcohol on his breath. The device is specifically for DUI offenders, particularly those who have been convicted more than once.

Although there are general penalties, each state in the U.S. follows its own guidelines and ignition interlock device installation laws. For example, in Florida, if a first-time DUI offender registered a blood alcohol level of 0.15 or higher, or if he had a minor passenger at the time of the arrest, the IID should stay in his vehicle for six months. Some states have similar laws, while some others have different penalties for such violations.

If you are a vehicle owner or driver, learning everything you can about DUI and IID laws is a must regardless of which state you reside in. Knowing what to do when you are arrested for driving under the influence is important. Familiarizing the penalties for ignition interlock device violations is also essential.

Florida man” is a social media meme that has rocketed erratically behaving Floridians to internet fame… or infamy. Many of these stories involve encounters with law enforcement; however, it is worth remembering that, just because a person is behaving erratically, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are breaking the law. Sometimes, whether you’re talking about the internet-famous “Florida man” or an average, ordinary citizen, the police may charge a crime when what actually happened does not match the elements that the law requires. When you’re charged with a crime you didn’t commit, you need a skillful legal professional on your side. You need the representation of an experienced Tampa Bay criminal defense attorney.

D.K. was a man who allegedly was having a “Florida man” moment in Brevard County. According to witnesses, D.K. was standing in his driveway. And he was throwing rocks at vehicles as they passed by…. And he was naked. According to ClickOrlando.com, jail records reflected that the man was in jail for “exposure of sexual organs.”

That seems all pretty simple and straightforward, doesn’t it? D.K. was outside in his driveway and he was naked, so his “sexual organs” were “exposed,” right?

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dui-3Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Approximately one person dies every 50 minutes due to drunk driving. That’s equivalent to more or less 30 individuals per day.

In 2018 alone, the number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities was at 10,511, with 980 of these involving drivers under 21 years of age. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA, the numbers have significantly lowered in the past 30 years. Nevertheless, drunk driving remains to be a major problem in the country.

While each state follows strict DUI (driving under the influence) protocols, this has not prevented individuals with suspended licenses from driving again. As a result, federal and state authorities implemented interlock installation policies throughout the country. This technology uses an IID or ignition interlock device to prevent convicted drunk drivers from driving their cars while under the influence.

Many times, your probation may carry with it certain conditions. One common condition is to require that you be at home during certain hours of the day. When you have conditions like that, you can expect curfew checks by your probation officer. If your probation officer makes a check and can’t find you, you may be charged with a technical violation of your probation and have your probation revoked. This, of course, is a very serious thing that should motivate you to obtain skilled legal counsel from an experienced Tampa Bay probation violation attorney. Just because your probation officer came to you home but didn’t find you, that doesn’t always mean that you violated the conditions of your probation. Sometimes, the state’s evidence is simply not enough to uphold a finding of a violation, and your knowledgeable attorney can help you make that case.

For example, take K.E., a Tampa teenager who had been sentenced to one year of imprisonment and three years’ probation. The probation included several specific obligations, including that K.E. be at home from 10 pm to 6 am every day.

In April 2019, K.E.’s probation officer performed a curfew check at 5 am. She twice knocked on the home’s front door and called inside, but no one answered. After 10 minutes, she left. Five days later, the officer returned. This time, it was 5:30 in the morning. The front door was ajar, and she could see a man sleeping on the couch, whom she did not recognize to be K.E. She knocked and called inside, but the man on the couch remained asleep and no one answered the door.

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For many of us, Mom warned of the dangers of hanging around the “wrong crowd.” While associating with people with “checkered” pasts may have the potential to impact you negatively in some ways, simply being around people with legal issues is not, by itself, usually against the law. If you’ve found yourself arrested and charged based largely upon your having been at the wrong place at the wrong time around the wrong people, you need quality legal representation. You need an experienced Tampa Bay criminal defense attorney working for you to get the acquittal or dismissal that you deserve.

D.T.’s case was an example of a man in that kind of situation. Here’s what happened: Polk County detectives, one June morning, approached a Lakeland house that, they believed, contained the suspect in a Walmart robbery from the night before.

Eventually, everyone exited the house and one detective did a “pat-down” search of each occupant. The detective found a gun in D.T.’s pants. Because D.T. had a criminal past, the state charged him with possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. For a person in a position like D.T., this was more than a minor crime. A conviction could mean D.T. doing anywhere from three years to 15 years in prison.

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