handcuffsIf you enjoy “Law and Order” or other police dramas on television, the chances are you’ve heard the words:  “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.” This statement is known commonly as a Miranda warning (because it originated from a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Miranda v. Arizona). In real life, the issue of a criminal suspect’s receipt of a Miranda warning can be a very important part of the case. An experienced Florida sex crime attorney can help analyze your case and determine if your rights have been violated and what that can mean for you.

One recent Tampa Bay area case in which the Miranda warning was critical was a case of the alleged molestation of a young girl. The girl told her father that her former stepfather had sexually assaulted her multiple times at a home in Palm Harbor when she was nine years old. Law enforcement in Pinellas County brought in the alleged abuser for an interview.

A detective began the interview by giving the man his Miranda warning. He went through each element of the warning, and the suspect said he understood every part. However, the man also observed, “I can’t afford a lawyer anyhow.” Without doing any more inquiry regarding whether the man understood that he was entitled to have an attorney provided to him at no cost if he wanted, the detective simply went forward with the questioning.

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How Long Does It Usually Take To Get A Decision?

Generally it happens right away. Once the court reviews the documents, generally a decision is made on the spot as to whether the financial records are legitimate or not. Oftentimes, the court may require additional proof and then usually an experienced criminal defense attorney like Blake & Dorsten will get a quick reset. Obviously time is of the essence because the client is in jail and  unable to bond out so we generally like to get a reset within a few days, oftentimes less than a week. Once the hold is removed  the client can bond out right away, usually within a few hours.

Can Someone Handle A Nebbia Hold By Themselves In Court?

barOne of the protagonists from a famous 2009 movie encouraged others to “enjoy the little things.” In the law, it is less about enjoying the little things than it is about paying keen attention to the little things because sometimes the little things can make a huge difference in your criminal case. That was the case for one defendant who was facing sexual assault charges and who won a reversal of his conviction because the trial court, in issuing jury instructions, misstated the crime with which the state had charged the man. These and other minute but highly important details are examples of the types of areas in which experienced Florida sex crime attorneys can help you.

In the case, recently decided by the Fifth District Court of Appeal, the defendant was accused of trying to take advantage of an inebriated woman. Specifically, the defendant, the victim, and several of the defendant’s co-workers had spent the night drinking, and the victim ended up passed out in a field next to the bar’s parking lot. Eventually, several of the group got the unconscious woman to a van owned by one of the group. Even though the victim was “essentially non-responsive,” everyone except the victim went back inside the bar. After that, the defendant went back outside, purportedly to check on the victim. Then, sometime after that, the van’s owner went out to check. She discovered the victim, still largely not responsive, in a “half-naked” state and the defendant, with no pants on, standing over her.

At trial, the jury heard replays of phone calls, made by the victim but recorded by the police, during which the defendant “admitted that he attempted and probably did try to have sex” with the victim. Eventually, the case went to the jury, and the jury convicted the man. With facts like these, the case against the defendant might seem, to a layperson, to be ironclad. However, in many aspects of the law, from contract law to criminal defense, the difference between a favorable and an unfavorable outcome can be the smallest of details and knowing how to present those details to the courts. Additionally, even with alleged facts that are offensive and potentially triggering for some, the law still requires that all defendants receive a trial that comports with all of the fundamental elements of fairness.

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A new article from the Tampa Bay Times discusses new changes that makes getting a DUI in Saint Pete even more costly.

Just passed by the city council, a new ordinance now calls for a $500 fine plus towing/storage costs for drunken drivers if they want to get their vehicle out of the impound lot post-arrest.  The SPPD will need additional training in this matter before they start enforcing this new rule.  It is not known when it will go into effect.  Also not known? If a person who is later found to be not guilty or not under the influence at the time will be able to have their money refunded.

A city council member remained unmoved. “Difficult consequences to poor decisions is what changes behavior. “Call Uber, call a taxi, save a whole lot of money and probably a life. There’s just too many easy ways to save the $500.”

With this ordinance, Saint Petersburg becomes the first city in the Tampa Bay area to add a fine to get your car back from impound.  Hillsborough and Pasco officials both denied wanting a similar law in their area.

With over 445 dui arrests in Saint Petersburg so far this year, members hoped this new law will make tipsy drivers think twice before getting behind the wheel.  City council voted 6-2 on this new law with the two members who voted against the ordinance stating worries about due process and an extra burden on certain driviers who could not afford the additional expense.

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Is There An Amount Of Bail That Encourages A Nebbia Hold To Occur?

It is the type of crime that generally warrants the Nebbia hold, so obviously a fraud case where it is alleged that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been taken, the court wants to know that those illegal takings are not being used to then bond the person out, or similar to the drug trafficking cases. They want to be sure that if you can imagine someone like drug dealer Pablo Escobar, he just had just garbage cans full of money and so it is easy for him just to bond it out with cash.

Since it was so easier for him to bond out, he is not going to have any incentive to come back to court or to face these charges because he has so much illegal money that he did not get from a legitimate source that if the court takes the bond money, he or she does not care and they will not come to court because all the money came from the alleged crime itself.

jail cellsIf you or a loved one are facing criminal charges in Florida, there are many things with which you’ll likely need to concern yourself. However, one thing that you likely won’t expect to have to address is being found in criminal contempt of court unless you engage in some very improper behavior. In the case of one man facing drug charges, the Second District Court of Appeal reversed a contempt finding against him because he neither disrupted nor embarrassed the trial court. For all of the twists and turns of your criminal case, it is important to have an experienced Florida drug crime lawyer defending you at every step along the way.

The case began when Ulysses was arrested in Hillsborough County on multiple drug charges, including cocaine possession, marijuana possession, and drug paraphernalia possession. On the morning of the man’s scheduled hearing, the man’s lawyer asked the court to “pass the case” (meaning to delay it briefly) because he and the prosecution were working on a plea deal, and he needed to discuss the terms with his client. Eventually, Ulysses’ attorney informed the prosecutor that he couldn’t ethically go forward with discussing plea deal terms with the defendant because the lawyer was concerned that the defendant was impaired.

The judge called the lawyers to the bench, where the defense lawyer acknowledged, under questioning from the judge, that he smelled alcohol in the vicinity of the defendant. The judge then put the defendant under oath and asked him if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Ulysses said no. The judge then ordered the defendant taken into custody and tested for drugs or alcohol.

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What Is A Nebbia Hold In Florida?

A Nebbia Hold or a Nebbia requirement are bail source hearing as it is often called is the ability for the court to inquire the source of the bail money. It oftentimes happens in drug trafficking cases where the accusation is for a large quantity of drugs with a large quantity of payment.  The rationale behind it is that the court feels that if you have a lot of money and it is easy to bond out that you will not come back for your court appearance. So the state attorney’s office often places a Nebbia Hold on the client and the client cannot bond out until a Nebbia Hearing has been scheduled.

At that Nebbia Hearing, it is up to the defendant to prove to the judge that a source of the bail money is from a legitimate source. The term Nebbia came from a court case, it is called U.S. vs. Nebbia and it is cited at (357 F.3d 303, it is at 2nd Circuit 1966). Essentially it involved several kilos of heroin and the judge ruled that because there was such a large amount of money that the defendant may not appear to court until legitimate sources of funds be used. So the name comes from a court case that basically dictated that the court does have the authority to inquire the legitimate source of bail money.

CourtroomIn a criminal case, there are many technical and procedural rules that can affect your case. Sometimes, those rules may serve as an impediment to your case, but, at other times, those rules (and the proper utilization of them by your Florida drug crime attorney) can be massively beneficial to your case. For one man facing drug charges in DeSoto County, the rules related to determinations of mental competence and plea bargains gave the defendant a renewed opportunity in his criminal case to escape from the plea deal he’d previously made.

The defendant, George, was arrested in December 2013 and charged with multiple crimes related to drugs and to resisting police officers. Eighteen months later, George was determined to be not competent to proceed. Some time later, two doctors determined that the defendant was competent. The court set a trial date, and, on the day of trial, the defendant agreed to a plea deal. He pled guilty to four charges and received a sentence of 36 months plus 24 months’ community control.

The defendant later sought to invalidate his plea agreement. The defendant noted to the court that, although two doctors had found him to be competent, there had never been a court order entered in which the judge declared him to be legally competent, so his plea deal was involuntary. The trial judge rejected these arguments and declined to void the plea agreement.

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Common Questions When Defending Domestic Violent Cases in Florida

What Strategies Are Used To Defend If Someone Is Going To Agree To Some Level Of Guilt? Also, What If Somebody Simply Didn’t Do Anything Wrong?

The lawyers of Blake & Dorsten P.A. have over a hundred combined jury trials and can be very aggressive in litigating cases. If someone’s innocent and they maintain their innocence, that they didn’t do anything wrong, it’s vital to preserve your constitutional rights.  If need be, set the case for trial, get the police reports and let the jury decide the outcome. So, that’s one possible scenario.

How Often Do Domestic Violence Cases In Florida Involve Alcohol and Drugs?

How Often Are Domestic Violence Cases Related To Alcohol And Drugs?

Oftentimes when a situation turns physical, it’s because the emotions are running hot and alcohol and potential drugs act as fuel to the fire of those emotions.  Drug or alcohol-related domestic violence cases are common because drugs and alcohol tends to exaggerate a situation that may already be a little bit emotional.

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