Criminal Defense Attorney | Criminal Defense Law

Blog Published By Kenneth Padowitz, P.A.

‘Trial Advocacy’

What’s the Meaning of “Objection” in Court

If you’ve ever watched a courtroom drama, you’ve seen the defense stand and call out, “Objection!” The presiding judge will then smack down his gavel and say, “Over-ruled,” or “Sustained.” You might be surprised to learn that it isn’t enough in a court of law to just shout out, “Objection.” Not Properly Preserved There is a sentence completely unloved by defense lawyers. It goes something like this: “This issue before us was not properly preserved for appellate review, and is therefore now not cognizable.” What this means is that someone did not follow up on an objection with the correct paperwork, or did not follow through with an objection before the jury was fully selected. As a result, the issue doesn’t have the backing of documentation to show a good reason for “appellate review,” which is the process of appealing a lower court decision in a higher court. Something that is cognizable is an item that is clearly identifiable and easy to see. As such, a cognizable thing would be an error that the court would be able to act upon. When documentation is not… Read More

Myths About Florida Criminal Cases

When most people think about criminal procedures and processes, the first thing that often comes to mind are their favorite criminal drama TV shows like CSI or NYPD Blue. What they don’t realize is that in real life, the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure dictate how the criminal case should move forward. One also has to keep in mind the complexity of legal jargon, the application of case law and statues, as well as the fact that every citizen has constitutional rights that must be applied to every case. The best way to get a solid legal defense is to consult with a criminal law attorney that practices specifically in Florida while making sure to not mistake the following misconceptions for an actual fact: Prosecutors Must Prove Motive While being able to prove motive could help advance a criminal case, it’s not the be all and end all of a case’s conviction requirements. Aside from the criminal act that has been committed, the prosecutor will mainly focus on the following important facts: Mens Rea: This is a Latin term that basically means being in a… Read More

Exercise Your Rights, Call Your Lawyer

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Thanks to the foresight of our founding fathers and the continued vigilance of lawmakers since then, citizens of the United States have rights. When you are in an arrest or accusatory situation, you should exercise your rights by calling your lawyer before you talk to anyone. Nine times out of ten, a situation could have been made much easier just by having your lawyer on the scene from the beginning. It can be scary to say, “I don’t want to talk about it until I see my lawyer,” but often that is exactly what you should say. Traffic Stops Arrests, particularly for possession, are often made at traffic stops. Even though marijuana for medical use is now legal in Florida, people are sometimes mistakenly arrested for possession or other drug offenses. With the focus on opiates, even prescription drugs such as Xanax or OxyContin can trigger an arrest if you do not have your prescription bottle on hand. If you are already feeling a bit under the weather, it can be difficult to know what you should or should not say under those circumstances. Your… Read More

The Crucial Role of a Criminal Defense Attorney

From the bestselling book, To Kill a Mockingbird, to the true-crime television show, “America’s Most Wanted,” and with many fictional arrests and courtroom scenes, the American public is saturated with the idea of the ideal role of a criminal defense attorney. Here are some ideas about a criminal defense attorney’s role. When an Attorney Should Be Involved Whether the alleged perpetrator has funds to pay for a lawyer or he or she does not, the U.S. Constitution and subsequent landmark cases give a person who has been arrested the right to have an attorney present during questioning and to assist with subsequent procedures. One lawyer once remarked that most things would be so much easier if legal counsel was called sooner rather than later. What a Criminal Defense Attorney Does An attorney will explain to the accused his or her rights in the situation, and help the accused to understand the upcoming processes. The attorney will safeguard the defendant’s rights, making sure that they are not violated during the arrest procedure or during subsequent trials. If the defendant pleads guilty, the attorney might negotiate a… Read More

Poethics: A Study in Law and Literature

There is the literature of law – the heavy tomes that recount case studies, interpretations of legislation, historical court cases and other legal situations; then there is law in literature, fictional, biographical or non-fiction stories in which legal ramifications loom large in the narration, or which deal directly with points of law. Add to that the rhetoric of the courtroom, building a case, persuading a jury or simply writing a report that will weight evidence one way or the other or stand firmly in the balanced position of presenting the facts, and you have poethics. Poethics Defined Poethics is a recognition of differences between fiction and reality, a consideration of how a lawyer or judge must use words to convey a sense of why a thing shall be adjudged in a certain way, and a correlation of the need to recognize the spirit of an existing legal ruling as well as the concrete structure of the words used to convey the mean of the law, the persuasion by the lawyer, and the decision of the judge. Richard Weisberg, in his book, Poethics and other Strategies… Read More

Tattoos and Rap

Several members of the Latin Kings gang were arrested in Florida for racketeering and other charges. 23 of its members were incriminated in the process of indictment, as associates of one of the biggest and most well organized gangs in the country. The trial sparked controversy and great surprise when the most powerful evidence presented for the case included gang-related tattoos, symbols, and handshakes. People asked, was this a violation of the First Amendment – the right to free speech? Criminal Procedures Guided by Federal Rules Courts are bound by Federal rules of criminal procedure when evaluating and determining when and how they can use evidence in a case. Some submitted evidences may bear insignificant probative value but the defendant may find it highly detrimental to his defense. One example is: a defendant that was arrested for beating up a neighbor does not immediately prove that he also stole a different neighbor’s car. While these two events were unrelated and does not necessarily have bearing for the defendant, the mere presence of sharing the first crime’s incidence with the jury will put the defendant at… Read More

Child-Abuse Testimonies: Not Covered By the Confrontation Clause

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

Jury Trial | Simulations vs. Animations

Computer “Animations” vs. “Simulations”: Why Attorneys Need to Know Difference Imagine being in court ready to present a topnotch animation created by a professional litigation graphics company. The opposing counsel jumps up to say, “Your honor, we object to this animation since there is no foundation that it’s identical to what happened, it will confuse the jury, and it does not meet the scientific evidence requirements for admissibility.” How should you respond? If you know the difference between a computer “animation” and a computer “simulation”, then the answer is simple. In a jury trial, simulations are far harder to get into evidence then an animation. The difference boils down to this, if the presentation is used to simply illustrate an expert’s or witness’s description of what happened, then that’s an animation and therefore considered demonstrative evidence only; i.e. it shows real evidence, but is not evidence itself. If a computer model or program tells him or her what happened, that is a simulation hence it’s “real evidence” requiring all the levels of foundation and acceptance of methods used by the expert to create the simulation… Read More