While the news is full of stories of violent and/or repeat offenders, the reality is that a lot of people who get arrested are nonviolent first-time offenders. For people falling into this latter category, the law in Florida has options, including one that may allow you to walk away with the charge(s) against you dismissed. This is called the “diversion program,” and the earlier steps are taken on your behalf, the better your chances of successfully getting placed in the diversion program will be. An experienced Tampa Bay criminal defense lawyer can offer essential assistance in getting that diversion assignment.

People often have lots of items on their “bucket lists.” Sometimes, some of those items are unusual. Rarely, though, does one’s bucket list say anywhere on it “get arrested.”

But that’s exactly what one Florida Keys woman facing felony charges told a Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy. She allegedly divulged that information right after he pulled her over in Key Largo after she avoided stopping for nearly five miles.

Continue reading

Here in Florida (and around the United States,) you have the right to be free of intrusive interactions with the police unless the officers have a reasonable basis for detaining you. If the police confront you without the proper reasoning for doing so, then any incriminating evidence they seized in that interaction may be inadmissible against you at trial. Getting that evidence suppressed requires a properly timed motion, supported by a well-stated argument in support of it. Given how critical these kinds of motions and arguments can be to the success of your defense — and therefore to your ultimate freedom — it is vital that you have a knowledgeable Tampa Bay criminal defense lawyer on your side.

A recent drug possession case from Pasco County shows how the police can overstep their bounds and what you can do when that happens.

In the summer of 2019, New Port Richey police officers responded to a motel where a housekeeper had found a gun in a vacant room. The motel manager provided the names of the man and woman who had last rented the room. The officers discovered that the man was a middle-aged white man named Keith, who was “of average build and height.” They also discovered that the gun was stolen and that Keith was a convicted felon.

Continue reading

In the law, the vast majority of issues are colored in shades of gray. That’s why a knowledgeable Tampa Bay criminal defense attorney may answer so many questions with “It depends.” One thing that is fairly cut-and-dried, though, is the wide latitude the law gives an accused person in putting on a defense at trial.

As an example, we can look at the criminal case of J.A., a police officer in North Miami. In July 2016, J.A., along with a dozen other law enforcement officers, responded to a dispatch call about a man standing in an intersection with a gun in his hand.

J.A. thought the object the man held was a gun and that a second nearby man was his hostage. The officer next to him thought it was a gun. Radio dispatches were not definitive. J.A., a trained SWAT officer, fired three shots.

Continue reading

Men and the homicidal reactions their wives’ adulterous affairs triggered (or allegedly triggered) have long been the grist for the plots of both music (Garth Brooks’ “Papa Loved Mama” comes to mind) and jokes. In one joke, a man confesses to his neighbor (via text message) his numerous and regular indiscretions with the neighbor’s wife. The neighbor shoots dead both the wife and the texter. Back home, the shooter discovers a second text where the confessor informs him that autocorrect had altered his first message and that he had not been indulging himself in the pleasures of the neighbor’s wife, but rather the neighbor’s wifi internet. The joke concluded with the confessor whimsically remarking, “Technology, huh? It’ll be the death of us all.” Most folks read this joke and see irony and humor. An insightful Tampa Bay criminal defense lawyer sees a good opportunity to discuss crime of passion defenses in Florida homicide cases.

Back in November, a Hillsborough County jury rejected a Tampa man’s crime of passion defense, instead finding him guilty of first- and second-degree murder for the shooting deaths of his girlfriend and her 10-year-old son. The jury recommended the death penalty, rejecting the man’s contention that he snapped after the girlfriend insulted the memory of his son who died by suicide. Allegedly, the trigger occurred when the woman told the man “I see why your son killed himself like a [expletive] because you’re a little [expletive],” according to FOX 13.

That Tampa case is a reminder of a very important concept: the provocations that can allow a defendant to invoke a crime of passion defense are varied… and vary by state. Most people immediately think of the sudden discovery of cheating spouses, but provocation can also come from being the victim of certain crimes, or even (in some states, including Florida) being the recipient of a romantic overture from a gay or trans person.

Continue reading

For almost as long as there has been a World Wide Web (and later, smart devices,) there have been people posting adult and/or sexually explicit content online. When someone publishes their own images or publishes images of someone else with proper permission, that’s one thing; when they disseminate others’ images without authorization, it’s quite another. Today, these acts are often taken very seriously by authorities. Engaging in such publication can carry serious consequences, including a felony conviction and jail time. Obviously, a felony conviction can be a life-altering event, which is why anyone facing such charges should waste no time retaining a knowledgeable Tampa Bay criminal defense lawyer.

According to a recent arrest affidavit, an extortion case from Pinellas County involved those kinds of images. The genesis of the arrest was a relationship that was both business and personal… and had gone very wrong.

The Smoking Gun reported that E.L., a St. Petersburg woman, allegedly had lent her new girlfriend $45. Apparently feeling the girlfriend was untimely in paying back the debt, the frustrated lender decided to offer a little extra motivation.

Continue reading

When one reads about someone in this state charged with indecent exposure or some other lewdness crime (Florida Statutes Chapter 800,) it may be easy simply to laugh it off with a “Florida man” joke. The flip side, however, is that a wrongful conviction on one or more of these crimes can have devastating consequences across numerous areas of your life. That’s why, if it happens to you, treat it with the seriousness it deserves. That includes promptly retaining a skilled Tampa Bay criminal defense lawyer.

A wrongful accusation was the circumstance that a Pasco County man faced in 2018. One fall afternoon, the man entered a New Port Richey parking lot in his pickup truck. He remained parked in his truck for two minutes, then left. According to A.D., he had pulled off to respond to a text message he received from his girlfriend.

A 12-year-old boy who spotted A.D. and his truck while walking nearby told police a different story. The boy said that he spotted A.D. engaging in a solo sex act inside his truck.

Continue reading

Nobody lives their lives expecting to get pulled over for driving under the influence one day. Still, it’s a good idea to understand your rights, be aware of your legal options, and know when to hire a DUI attorney just in case.

In most states, if the police pull you over for suspected DUI, they may ask you to perform field sobriety tests to ascertain whether or not you are driving intoxicated. Law enforcement often does this when they have a strong suspicion that you’re drunk driving and need evidence to confirm it.

What are Field Sobriety Tests?

dui-3
Driving is incredibly convenient and allows us to go from one place to another. This can be handy in Florida, where there are many iconic locations to travel to, like Disney World, Kennedy Space Center and Miami Beach. However, Florida is also notorious for having one of the highest tickets issued to drivers. This is why it has been dubbed by many as the Citation State. In fact, it has the most tickets issued after the states of California and New York. As a result, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles earns about $1.4 billion every year. Therefore, it helps to learn about traffic violations in the state to avoid paying fines and contributing to such a vast amount of money from tickets. If you are unsure where to learn about violations, we have you sorted out. This article will look at some essential things you should know about traffic violations in Florida.

The categories of traffic violations

Traffic violations come in three categories that are ranked based on the severity of the acts or actions. These are:

Informants have many different names. To some, their name is a “responsible member of society doing their civic duty.” To others, their name is narc, snitch, or rat. What’s important, if you’re facing criminal charges, is not what you’d call them, but what Florida law calls them, as the answer to that may pay huge dividends in your defense. An experienced Tampa Bay criminal defense lawyer can help you put together the most persuasive case, including making this and other crucial distinctions.

As an example, we can look at the DUI case of a St. Petersburg woman. Officers arrested the woman for leaving the scene of an accident (in addition to DUI.) Part of what led law enforcement to the woman was a statement provided by an informant.

The critical question in this woman’s case — and in cases like it — was… what kind of informant?

Continue reading

In Florida, you can be in violation of the terms of your probation for many, many different reasons. Even something as simple as missing an appointment with your probation officer can lead to revocation of your probation and a sentence of years behind bars. While the state has the authority to find you in violation for a host of reasons, the burden during your probation hearing always falls on the prosecution to prove each element of the violation, not for you to prove that you didn’t violate. That means that, with the help of a skilled Tampa Bay probation violation lawyer, you have many ways to defeat the state’s case, whether it’s affirmatively disproving the violation or simply persuading the court that the state didn’t meet its burden of proof.

Take, for example, B.W., a Pasco County man charged with misdemeanor petit theft in 2019. He pled no contest and the court sentenced him to 12 months of probation. The court also ordered him to pay court costs and fines, and to perform 50 hours of community service.

By late September of that year, the state was back in court seeking a judgment that B.W. had violated his probation. The prosecution alleged that the man had stopped showing up for appointments with the probation department, had failed to pay the fines and court costs he owed and had failed to perform his community service.

Continue reading

Contact Information