Criminal Defense Attorney | Criminal Defense Law

Blog Published By Kenneth Padowitz, P.A.

‘Criminal Procedure’

Drug Conspiracy Law In Florida – Hampton v. State

Drug Trafficking Cocaine

Interpretation Of Criminal Law Hampton v. State A conspiracy is defined in law as an agreement between two or more individuals to commit a crime. Although this may seem like a pretty straightforward definition, as with most criminal law, it is up to interpretation. The focus of this post will be to discuss Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeals interpretation of a conspiracy charge, and how it applies to those accused of drug trafficking. In Hampton v. State, Albert Hampton appeals a guilty verdict of conspiracy to traffic cocaine. The City County Investigative Bureau of the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office found a mid-level supplier of cocaine named Marcel Crichlow. Police were able to tap his phone, which resulted in recordings of Crichlow and Hampton discussing their illicit business, often using code words. With these series of conversations available to police, Hampton was arrested and charged with conspiracy to traffic cocaine. During trial, Crichlow testified against Hampton; claiming up to five ounces of cocaine were sold to Hampton at regular intervals; an explanation as to the meaning of the code words that were used in their… Read More

PUSH FOR LIGHTER SENTENCES FOR WHITE COLLAR CRIMES

White collar crimes criminal defense

GROUP PUSHES FOR LIGHTER SENTENCES FOR WHITE COLLAR CRIMES Families Against Mandatory Minimums has entered the picture for Americans convicted of fraud and other white-collar crimes. An advocacy group that has primarily fought strict drug sentences, has begun to shift their attention towards lighter punishment for financial crimes. It’s been noted that sentences in cases of fraud, insider trading and other economic crimes are now and again inconsistent and excessive, says the advocacy group Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM). Lighter sentences for white-collar crimes have been an issue that many defense lawyers and some federal judges been trying to resolve. Unfortunately their efforts have been unsuccessful. This is due to the fact that consumer advocates along with Congress believe that more cases should have been brought against Wall Street during the financial crisis of 2007-2009. Prolonged prison terms have resulted from dozen of these cases over insider trading by Federal prosecutors in New York and other districts. Judges are still relying heavily on sentencing guidelines for consistency, even though they are advisory rather than mandatory. The guidelines are “mixed up and crazy” argue the advocates which… Read More

Search And Seizure | Appeals Court Decision

Search and Seizure | Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorneys

The Search and Seizure Law | When Does It Apply? The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects its citizens by placing limits on the power of law enforcement to search people and their property, seize objects, or make arrests. These checks and balances are put in place to ensure that we as American citizens have the right to a certain degree of privacy. The Fourth Amendment protects us against any unreasonable searches and seizures by the government, both state and federal law enforcement. If there is probable cause of a crime committed, or a Judge has issued a warrant, police may override your right to privacy and conduct a search of you or your property. As long as an individual has a legitimate expectation to privacy, the Fourth Amendment applies and is there to protect you. Unfortunately, the meaning of what is written in the constitution and it’s amendments, is up to interpretation. Unreasonable, and legitimate expectation to privacy can mean completely different things to two individuals. This is where the important role of the judicial branch of the government comes in; to interpret the… Read More

Plea deal ends Florida ‘warning shot’ case

Marissa Alexander | Law

Stand Your Ground In a case that garnered all of its attention due to a “stand your ground” defense, has ended via a plea deal. A women accused of firing a gun at her estranged husband and his two sons in what she claimed to be self-defense, arguing that she feared for her life before discharging the weapon. Marissa Alexander is charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for the 2010 shooting. She will receive credit for the 1,030 days she has already served, under the deal with the prosecutors. Had the 34-year-old Alexander, of Jacksonville, been convicted of all counts at her second trail in the case, she would have had to serve 60 years because of Florida’s minimum-mandatory sentencing rules when a firearm is involved. A jury deliberated for just 12 minutes during her first trial, before delivering a guilty verdict. Under Florida Law, anyone who fires a gun during a commission of a felony is subject to a minimum of 20 years in prison, which was her original sentence. Alexander’s conviction was overturned 21 months into her punishment,… Read More

Mistaken Police Officer

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr

Mistaken Police Officer Now An Exception to Unreasonable Search The United States Supreme Court has ruled that a police officers good faith reasonable mistake on the law does not run afoul of the 4th Amendment to the constitution that bans unreasonable searches and seizures. In Heien v. North Carolina, the Court in a 8-1 decision written by Chief Justice Roberts that searches and seizures based on an officer’s reasonable misunderstanding of the facts has been permissible for a some time. Roberts stated that same reasoning should apply to mistaken interpretations of the law. In a case from North Carolina based on a 2009 traffic stop from a broken brake light, the court expanded further into the erosion of our fourth Amendment protections of civil liberties. A police officer pulled a car over for a broken brake light not realizing the state law allowed only a single working light, which this car had. Sgt. Matt Darisse conducted the traffic stop of the vehicle that Nicholas Hein had been sleeping in the back seat as his friend drove. Hein, who was the cars owner, agreed to a… Read More