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‘Supreme Court Decision’

Florida “Murderabilia” and “Son of Sam” Laws

proceeds from crime son of sam law | Kenneth Padowitz, P.A. | South Florida criminal Lawyer

It is the times really, crime fascinates our society, and the morbid curiosity for all things crime can be nauseating at extreme levels. The biggest culprits for the advance of this crime fascination are the media and cinema. Heinous crimes get plenty of media attention, prime networks fall over each other to get exclusives from daunting criminals, and American cinema makes a killing from crime-themed movies. However, beyond the crime-craze in the media and cinema, interest gets acute to the extent of people going to great lengths to collect criminal paraphernalia sold by imprisoned criminals. The fancy name for these criminal paraphernalia is “murderabilia.” The Term “Murderabilia” In general, “murderabilia” is a blanket term to describe artifacts (tools or substances) used or involved in a crime. However, the term may also refer to creative pieces, for example, paintings, books, or memoirs; produced by the criminal. The major reason behind collecting the creative items by the criminal is to get an enlightened take on the personality and mind pattern of the criminal, or to put it more plainly to understand the “twisted mind” of the criminal.… Read More

Supreme Court to Law Enforcement: Do Not Freeze Untainted Assets

seize assets by law enforcement | supreme court ruling | criminal lawyer Kenneth Padowitz

The precedent was set in 1989. In a United States v. Monsanto case, the Supreme Court held that a suspect who violated the Continuing Criminal Enterprise (CCE) and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) should not have access to the funds obtained through illegal activity. Accordingly, the criminal defendant may not use the illegal funds to pay for counsel. Furthermore, the defendant may not benefit from the illegal activity he or she partook in. This is doubly so if the monies obtained from the illegal activity constitutes part of the evidence of the crime perpetrated. Luis v. United States For a while, it seemed that the U.S. Supreme Court decision offered prosecution carte blanche to freeze just about any asset belonging to the defendant. It appears that wasn’t the exact interpretation of the 1989 verdict, as a recent decision proves. The recent decision, occurring almost 27 years later, emanated from the Luis v. United States case. It sought to put an end to the age-long practice of freezing all finances and assets of anyone implicated for white-collar crimes. Background The Luis v. United States… Read More

Florida’s Death Penalty Sentencing System is Unconstitutional as per US Supreme Court Rule

capital punishment in florida | Broward criminal lawyer Kenneth Padowitz

The State of Florida has one of the highest death penalty rates in the country. This comes to no surprise as many of its citizens are some of the strongest proponents of capital punishment. However, the state is now facing a significant issue regarding death penalty, which may eventually lead to major amendments in their judicial system, after the United States Supreme Court ruled that the state’s death penalty sentencing system is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court is of the opinion that Florida’s current death penalty sentencing system is a direct violation of The Sixth Amendment, which proclaims that defendants have the right to a speedy and fair trial, and that the jury for said trial is impartial. The jury shall weigh the aggravating and mitigating circumstances and ultimately determine what sentence shall be given to the criminal. Florida’s current system, however, is different and is considered an outlier compared to the rest of the country as it gives more weight to a judge’s independent judgment instead of a jury’s decision, which could either be unanimous or non-unanimous, another outlier compared to most states. This means… Read More

Consumer Rights

wearable technology and consumer rights | Broward criminal lawyer | Kenneth Padowitz, P.A.

In the quest for a better and more comfortable life, man has various types of technological gadgets. This has opened up the tech age on which we are part of now. Even if the technological era has made our life simpler, it also brought some disadvantages. It appears that some of the technologies we are enjoying today are also violating our legal right to privacy. Wearable Data Technologies: Harvesting Our Personal Information The popularity of biometric gadgets that people are wearing today might not raise some red flags. The influx of such gadgets is seen by many as a blessing. This is because they can monitor everything about their bodies: pulse rate, metabolism, sleep patterns, and many other things. A lot of these data are stored up in the “cloud” where access can be enjoyed anytime. The alarming thing about this is that with the correct skill and resources, anybody can pry into such private data. Of course, there are also other wearable technologies out there that leave us craving for better levels of privacy. New Generation Television Units as Monitoring Devices Just a few… Read More

How Far Can The Government Go In Freezing Untainted Assets of Individuals Charged With Crimes?

frozen assets | Broward criminal lawyer Kenneth Padowitz

The constitution basically provides protection for an individual who has been arrested for committing a crime. There are rights that remain effective even before court procedures commence. Because freedom is at stake in the process, the 5th and 6th Amendment ensures that an individual will have legal assistance. An accused can choose the attorney to represent him most especially if he has the financial capacity to do so. The close relationship between an accused and his attorney is important for the success of the defense. It has been proven over and over again that those who have no choice but to be contented with state-provided attorneys lose in court battles. This is due to the fact that such lawyers are often burdened by a lot of work brought by too many cases they are handling. How A Criminal Defendant’s Assets Are Frozen Asset freezing can be ordered by the government if the crime committed by an individual falls under the “white collar” category. The logic here is easy to see. Since white collar crimes involve money, the monetary assets of an accused are basically evidences… Read More

Supreme Court Issues Decision on Felon Firearm Transfer Policy

felon in possession of firearm | Broward criminal lawyer Kenneth Padowitz

Just recently, a longstanding debate on the issue of felon’s gun transfer rights has been settled. It can be recalled that gun possession and transfer rights of convicted individuals have been the highlight of some legal battles. According to the US Supreme Court, there is a specific federal law that prevents felons from owning and selling guns. However, an exception clause gives them a bit of leeway. They are allowed to transfer gun rights to third parties on the condition that they will waive direct or indirect influence on the items sold. Gun Ownership by Florida State Convicts Florida state laws clearly explain the rights of convicts on gun ownership. After they have served their time in jail, their rights to own any type of weapon and ammunition will not be automatically restored. This right must be granted by the Office of Clemency of the state covering the Offender Review division. When a clemency decision has been issued, an ex-convict will get his or her weapons rights back. There are efforts to make applications for clemency and rights restoration procedure easier. Such procedures used to… Read More

Child-Abuse Testimonies: Not Covered By the Confrontation Clause

child testimony - confrontation clause | Broward Criminal Lawyer | Kenneth Padowitz, P.A.

When undergoing litigation, criminal defendants are given the power to invoke and use their constitutional right to cross-examine accusers. This is a right that is specifically stated in the Confrontation Clause. This clause is quite logical since it is understood that when an individual is put on trial, his future and freedom are at risk of being lost. Of course, the contents of the Confrontation Clause aren’t only valid for witness testimonies. The clause covers any type of material that can be used to incarcerate an individual who is being charged. Such materials must pass the criteria of having relevance, reliability, and material existence. True Purpose of the Confrontation Clause In the process of court trial, it is a known fact that out-of-court-statements cannot be recognized as valid proofs of guilt of the accused. This is because the Constitution’s Confrontation Clause is in effect. Such statements are declared as mere idle talk and have no bearing on the case in question. A criminal defendant’s out-of-court-statement is therefore not a basis for final decisions made by a judge or a jury. Exceptions Under the Confrontation Clause… Read More

Police Roadside Stop Hell – Not so Fast says U.S. Supreme Court

Intentionally Prolonged police traffic stops so they can wait for drug-sniffing dogs were a nice try but not kosher if you are following the United States Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court called a Foul for law enforcement to engage in prolonged vehicle stops on the side of the road, which is equivalent to an arrest without probable cause – the bare legal minimum for an arrest. In Rodriguez v. United States, Justice Ruth Ginsburg wrote for the majority in a 6 to 3 vote: “A police stop exceeding the time needed to handle the matter for which the stop was made violates the Constitution’s shield against unreasonable seizures,” The police overreach began on a midnight ride through the quaint state of Nebraska. Dennys Rodriguez driving his Mercury Mountaineer allegedly veered onto the shoulder of a state highway, unfortunately into the watchful gaze of Nebraska’s finest. Officer Morgan Struble pulled the car over, otherwise known as performing a routine traffic stop. Such a stop included running a records check and questioning the driver and passenger. Mr. Rodriguez was then issued a written warning. The stop was… Read More

Crawford v. Marion County Election Bd., 128 S. Ct. 1610 | Case Brief

supreme cour decision | voter must show ID to vote, not unconstitutional

CASE: Crawford v Marion County Election Board. 553 U.S . 181 (2008) FACTS: An Indiana statute of 2005 required voters voting in person to produce a photo ID on the election day. In case a voter failed to meet this requirement and wanted their votes counted, then they had to cast a provisional ballot and then visit a specified government office (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) within ten days and get one. Another option would be to produce documentation from the Bureau stating that they could not afford a photo ID. For voters who had religious objections to being photographed, they were required to cast a provisional ballot and then sign an affidavit before a court clerk within ten days. HOLDING: (vote 6-3) A statute requiring voters to show their ID before they are allowed to take part in the voting process is constitutional. It is a minimal burden that does not impose undue burden on one’s constitutional right to vote. MAJORITY REASONING: Justice John Paul Stevens, (joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy) Rule: He was of the opinion that burdens placed on voters… Read More

Supreme Court DUI Ruling Regarding the Use of Blood Tests in Determining BAC

bac test in a dui investigation

DUI or driving under the influence is a criminal term used to refer to the crime of driving a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol. In the case of alcohol, a typical test referred to as the blood alcohol content is administered to determine the level of intoxication that the driver has. There is a specific threshold that forms the basis of the criminality of the driver’s actions. Precisely, if the if the blood alcohol content of the driver exceeds this threshold, the driver is deemed to have committed a DUI offense and is therefore liable to any legal ramifications that are attributed to DUI. There have been several Supreme Court decisions regarding DUI in the recent past. One of the most notable Supreme Court DUI rulings regards the use of blood tests in determining an offender’s blood alcohol level. A blood test is indeed one of the most reliable ways of ascertaining a driver’s blood alcohol level but there have been various issues surrounding the use of this method especially with regard to the rights of the accused. In the recent case… Read More