Criminal Defense Attorney | Criminal Defense Law

Blog Published By Kenneth Padowitz, P.A.

‘Vehicular Homicide’

Pregnant Woman Sentenced for Two Counts of DUI Manslaughter

Rosa Kim of Plantation, FL., was sentenced to 15 years in prison for 2 counts of DUI manslaughter. March 18, 2012, Kim crashed into a poolside cabana at the Riverside Hotel, which is located in Fort Lauderdale, resulting in the death of Alanna DeMella, and her unborn baby. In Bautista v. State, precedent was set allowing for multiple convictions of DUI manslaughter stemming from a single act of DUI. DeMella was 7 months pregnant with her first child, and was 26 years old at the time of her death. Michael DeMella, the victim’s husband was left with minor injuries. Kim’s BAC was three times above the legal limit when she got behind the wheel, a reading of 0.24. In court, the husband and other family members claimed Kim purposefully became pregnant in hopes for lesser punishment. “It’s amazing how one person could make so many poor decisions,” said the victim’s mother. “You have tried all avenues to evade responsibility for this crime.” The Assistant State Attorney also claimed the pregnancy was an act of desperation, calling it “appalling and manipulative”, and was aiming for a… Read More

Ineffective Assistance of Counsel | Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850

Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850 An appeal based on the Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850, is an appeal of last resort. It is used when all other appeals have been exhausted. This appeal is a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, in which the defense attorney was unprepared, or incompetent in representing the client. An appeal of this type suggests that if it weren’t for the incompetent attorney, the end-result of the case would have been different; for this appeal to be effective, the appellant must substantiate this claim. The United States Supreme Court decision of Strickland v. Washington established the standard to determine the legitimacy of the claim of ineffective assistance: “First, the defendant must show that counsel’s performance was deficient. This requires showing that counsel made errors so serious that counsel was not functioning as the “counsel” guaranteed the defendant by the Sixth Amendment. Second, the defendant must show that the deficient performance prejudiced the defense. This requires showing that counsel’s errors were so serious as to deprive the defendant of a fair trial, a trial whose result is… Read More

Texting while driving laws to be enhanced if bill passes

If a series of bills pass the Legislature this spring, Florida’s texting while driving law could hold more weight. Two state representatives and one state senator have filed bills that would beef up existing legislation about using a cell phone while driving. Texting while driving would become a primary offense, as well as adding a penalty for drivers using their phones in a fatal crash, possibly even being considered vehicular homicide.“We have an epidemic across this country and in Florida of distracted driving and it’s getting worse. It’s a free-for-all out there, said Rep. Irving “Irv: Slosberg, D-Boca Raton. Praise has come from across the state regarding the bills for enhancing existing statutes, but encourage further education to keep drivers safe on the roadways. “It is very difficult for officers to enforce Florida’s ban on texting while driving. There are a number of caveats written into the law that make exceptions for when a person can use a mobile device with the vehicle in motion,” wrote Cape Coral Police Sgt. Dana Coston in an email. “An officer has to be able to testify that the action… Read More