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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

Boating and Intoxication

bui boating under the influence | Kenneth Padowitz, P.A. Criminal Defense Attorney

The Position of the Law The dangers of driving while drunk take different forms. It may lead to bodily harm for the drunk individual or someone else; or destruction of property; losing your driver’s license; or worse, being slapped with a DUI charge. For purpose of clarity, DUI is the acronym for ‘Driving Under the Influence.’ A related term is DWI, short for ‘Driving While Impaired,’ which depending on the jurisdiction may either be a synonym of DUI or have a different meaning. In this article, the goal is to find out if DUI or DWI, regardless of its name, also applies to boating. If yes, then what are the consequences? The important question—Can I get breathalyzed on a boat?—also receives a thorough answer. Both state and federal laws frown on boating while intoxicated. However, state laws have different consequences for mixing boating and alcohol use. As expected, the consequences of boating under the influence are stiffer in states where boating is common (check out Florida’s statutes). Regardless, as is the case with driving under the influence of alcohol: Boating while drunk is unlawful, and… Read More

DWI: How It Affects Job Search

job search with a criminal record DUI | Kenneth Padowitz, P.A

A criminal record is a huge stain on your profile in the U.S, as it affects your future job prospects. Thankfully, more employers are taking a more lenient approach towards applicants with a DWI on their record. This is in addition to the encouraging fact that you may be able to dismiss a DWI from your record. Changing Times Once upon a time, only one in six hiring managers gave an employment letter to an applicant with a criminal record. Today, that stat is much better at one in two. The more liberal stance of employers cuts across the board. For example, while poor credit can still be a stigma, employers are not as judgmental as they used to be owing to the recession and scarcity of jobs. Nevertheless, while the trend is a laudable sign of better days ahead, you would want to keep your optimism in check. Baby boomers (older people) are still at the helm of affairs of the larger corporations. These individuals are a lot more traditional and conservative, and often fall into the class of employers who are particular about… Read More

DUI versus DWI

what is the difference between dui and dwi? | Kenneth Padowitz, P.A. | DUI lawyer

So, Are They The Same? It is easy to use DUI and DWI as synonyms, seeing how often we use them and differing definitions between jurisdictions. However, they are distinct offenses that, in some jurisdictions, carry separate charges. What is DUI? First, the more common of the two; DUI is the acronym for “Driving Under the Influence.” Typically, it relates to driving a car while you are drunk after taking copious amounts of alcohol. Nonetheless, DUI is not exclusive to alcohol. It also covers being under the influence of drugs or medications. In some states, you need not be noticably drunk or visibly impaired. This is referred to as a per se offense. What it means is that, you only have to drive a motor vehicle on a highway or road with a blood-alcohol concentration of .08% to receive a DUI charge. It really doesn’t matter if you are  slurring your words or not. Furthermore, more states are buying into the use of phrases such as “operating a vehicle” or “being in physical control of the vehicle” with the intention of widening the net of… Read More

Citizen’s Arrest and the Likelihood of False Imprisonment Charges

citizen's arrest is it legal or can it lead to felony false imprisonment charges? | Kenneth Padowitz, P.A. | Criminal Lawyer

It is laudable, it sparks a feeling of accomplishment, and it is the foremost attribute of humanity: It is being a “HERO.” Our society’s fondness with the concept of heroism is very distinguishable. Many instances get media spotlight and thumbs up from social commenters. Heroic acts vary. It could be pulling someone from the smoking wreckage of an overturned car or spraying a gunman with pepper-spray and tackling him to the ground saving countless lives in the process. However, the bottom line is to be a good citizen and Good Samaritan if you are in a position to be of help in the event of an emergency. In the law, most of these acts fall under the purview of “citizen’s arrest.” The Term “Citizen’s Arrest” Citizen’s arrest, according to the law, refers to the act of a regular citizen intercepting another individual committing a crime, with the intention of catching the person and turning him or her to the police. Florida does not have any specific laws that dictate the practice. Nevertheless, guidelines and parameters do exist that detail how anyone should engage in the… 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

Stop and Frisk

florida stop and frisk law | Kenneth Padowitz, P.A.

In the US, human right is the thread that holds the fabric of America’s diverse identity. One very important right: to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects this right. In addition to protecting the right of a person to unreasonable search and seizure, the Fourth Amendment also extends this right to homes, cars, etc. belonging to an American citizen. The bottom line of this right is to ensure that the government and its officials can only enter the premises of an individual when they meet any of the following conditions: Obtains consent from the homeowner Government official has probable cause Government officer obtains a warrant signed by a magistrate based on probable cause If exigent circumstances exist “Stop and Frisk” and Fourth Amendment Protections The protections accorded to homes and personal effects are also binding on our bodies. Thus, our bodies may not be searched or seized/arrested/incarcerated by the government or officials. However, as realities evolved, the law loosened to permit law enforcement officials to effect searches and seizures on people, especially when such action… Read More

Seventh Graders “Prank” Leads to First Degree Felonies Arraignment

chili flakes lead to felony charges | Kenneth Padowitz, P.A. criminal defense attorney

These days, the law and an increasing number of people are less forgiving of bad behavior from children, especially behaviors that objectively carry the criminal tag. If it says anything, it is that the responsibility and liability bore by the young in our society for their behavior is getting heavier. Chain of Events A small group of 12 year olds learned this the hard away after a “prank” led to their arrests and subsequent arraignment for first-degree felonies. It all started when one of the girls poured glue into the backpack of a classmate. The teacher found out and disciplined the girl accordingly. This did not go down well with the girl who upset by the teacher’s discipline, embarked on a retaliatory mission. She enlisted the help of two of her friends who distracted the teacher while she spiced the soda can of the teacher with red pepper flakes. When the teacher drank from the can, she found herself coughing and sputtering. Furthermore, the teacher emphasized that she “choked,” had “shortness of breath,” experienced “stomach pains,” and had an “agitated, sore throat.” Consequently, the teacher… Read More

Debate Ensues Over Florida Bill to Protect Real Estate Agents and Brokers

real estate agent missing after showing home | Kenneth Padowitz, P.A.

The law and most people agree on the need to dole out punishments to individuals who commit crimes against other individuals. Going further, certain crimes of this nature tend to be graver, often because of the age, mental health, general health, and/or physical capabilities of the victim. In response, the law stipulates stiffer punishments for these crimes that appear to target certain populations. The reason for the stiffer punishments is twofold. First, to fulfil the basic tenet of justice that offenders face appropriate punishment. The second reason is to serve as a practical deterrent to those who may contemplate committing these graver crimes. Increased Protection of the Most Vulnerable The success of a crime hugely depends on the vulnerability of the victim. Knowing this, the law protects persons (or more accurately populations) who show overreaching inability to protect themselves. These populations include the elderly, the sick, and individuals with limited mental and/or physical capabilities.Furthermore, the law also protects individuals who belong to certain racial or ethnic populations that historically have disproportionately been victims of certain crimes. The legal terminology for crime against individuals in these… Read More

Prohibiting Access of Firearms to Minors in Florida

gun laws in florida | broward criminal lawyer Kenneth Padowitz

Introduction: Firearms in Florida Any list of pro-gun states in the US will have Florida on it. The Florida state gun-related laws and legislation protect the right of citizens to possess and use firearms as well as carry openly or concealed firearms. Furthermore, Floridians have the right to protect themselves with firearms as part of self-defense, referred to as Stand Your Ground. Regardless, the many protections that gun owners receive do not occlude the presence or enactment of limitations to protected rights. What the Stats Say If the stats are anything to go by, then the enactment of these limitations is for good reason. For example, in 2015 alone, at least 265 people received accidental gunshots from kids. Of this number, 83 of the accidental shootings were fatal. Scary and shocking are not the only adjectives that qualify this fact. The stats therefore point to a growing issue of domestic gun safety. The issue is of high importance, especially when current estimates state that 1.7 million children live in households where guns are either stored fully loaded or left unlocked and easily accessible. More chilling… Read More

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