Criminal Defense Attorney | Criminal Defense Law

Blog Published By Kenneth Padowitz, P.A.

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Pre-Arrest Investigation Rights in Florida Criminal Cases

If you’ve watched any of the Hollywood blockbuster movies that have a crime-related storyline, then you will have noticed that one of the things that cops do when arresting someone is to read them what’s known as the “Miranda warning.” This warning typically reads as follows: You have the right to remain silent. What you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be provided to you by the state. Now the same rules don’t apply during the pre-arrest, as the police will still be investigating your case so that they can find enough evidence. This is particularly prevalent when it comes to white collar crime investigations in which your constitutional rights may be violated without your knowledge. That’s why it’s so important to consult with a criminal defense lawyer that specializes in white collar and other crimes committed in Florida specifically, especially if you suspect that you might be under secret investigation. Pre-Arrest Interrogations Even though law enforcement officers are aware of your constitutional right… Read More

Parents, Children, Caregivers and Criminals: How Can We Best Protect the Innocent?

Children, parents and child abuse are often in the news recently. Between the #MeToo movement, incarcerated immigrant children and the usual reports of coaches, teachers, caregivers and even parents who physically, verbally, or sexually abuse children, one might wonder how children manage to live to grow up, let alone grow up sane, compassionate, self-actualizing adults. Forensic psychology is often an investigation into the why that leads to the how in the hope of practicing preventative policies that will keep not only the children but also the caregiving adults safe. Which brings us to our title question. When thinking about parents, children, caregivers and alleged criminals, how can we best protect the innocent? The #MeToo Movement In 2003, Tarana Burke was approached by a young woman who confided in Ms. Burke that her mother’s boyfriend was abusing her. As she searched for words, Tarana Burke eventually passed the girl along to another person who she felt would be qualified to help her. But she later thought, “Why didn’t I just say, ‘Me, too.’” That was how the Me Too movement started, as a way for girls… Read More

Legislation and Child Rearing

Perhaps there is no area of legislation, law enforcement and social consideration of greater consideration or more hotly debated than those governing domestic considerations, especially child rearing. Legislation and child rearing have gone hand in hand before but are rarely comfortable partners. The challenge is to define that thin, narrow line between protecting children and allowing adults enough control to effectively teach and discipline youngsters. From such proverbial directives as “Sparing the rod is spoiling the child,” and “A student’s ears are on his back,” to more nurturing approaches that maintain that a child learns best in an environment of acceptance and understanding, just what to do and when to do it have long been questions. The Scope of the Problem At one end of the spectrum we have infant abandonment, young children left in hot cars, and shaken babies; at the other end, we have frustrated, angry young adults who return to their school or church to demonstrate their pique with guns. Babies become adults. Nurturing can make a difference, but it is still unclear just how much. The jury is still out on… Read More

Summer Days, Hot Cars, and the Law

As summer winds down to an end, cars parked along streets and in parking lots can reach alarming temperatures in a big hurry. On a balmy 80-degree Fahrenheit day, temperatures in a vehicle with the windows rolled up can reach an alarming 130 to 178 degrees – definitely warm enough to be life-threatening. A Mother’s Panic A Michigan mom, Lacey Guyton,  was just leaving her grandmother’s home. She strapped her baby into her little car seat, put the diaper bag in the car, and closed the door. Then she heard the doors lock. Her key fob didn’t work. Raina, the little girl, started crying. Lacey tried to smash a window while her grandmother dialed 911. The police dispatcher politely explained that they didn’t break windows or unlock doors, but that she could send a tow truck. Lacey tried calling and pleading with the dispatcher, who said no, they didn’t do that and neither did the fire department. At last, Lacey was able to break the back window on her car and rescue her daughter. A Misadventure That Ended Well There has been a lot of… Read More

The Body Farm: Forensic Investigative Studies in Real Time

Just north of Tampa, there is a five-acre field that is locked up tight behind a sturdy chain link fence. It looks just like any green field, but inside are real-time science experiments that could help medical examiners all across the state of Florida. A Field of Cadavers Inside this field are bodies that are busy doing a very simple thing: they are decaying. Their rate of decay and the way they interact with the ground around them is being carefully recorded. That might sound just a little bit cold-blooded, but the reality is that these bodies are doing a great service. They could very well help solve mysteries or even cold cases that have been hanging around for years. Donations to Science The bodies come from the University of South Florida, where they have been donated. They provide a vital investigative and training link by allowing students and authorities to observe exactly what might happen to a body in Florida’s hot, humid climate. By examining the rate of decay and how the bodies behave in this environment, it might be possible to answer questions… Read More

Welcome to Romance Scam! Examining Social Scams

Welcome to Romance Scam might sound like a new virus, but it is the opening line on the landing page for The website is designed to help people who have been defrauded or who think that their friends or relatives might have been contacted by a scammer. It started as an adjunct to datingNmore, which wanted to discourage scamming on their site, but grew to more. The Nigerian Prince Scam Back in the early days of email and all things Internet, it was not unusual to get an email that said something like, “I am a member of the royal family. Must flee country but can’t get money without US bank account. I send you money if you help.” The email was always long, in broken English, and was often ungrammatical. The goal, of course, was to get the reader to share their bank information. Often, the “Nigerian Prince” had been nowhere near Nigeria and certainly was not royalty. The Dating/Romance Scam These often begin with flattering words over an online chat and progress quickly to declarations of love. The declarations are then followed… Read More

What You Should Know About Credit Card Skimming

Credit card skimming is alive and well in the United States, and much of it begins in Florida. Credit card skimmers and fraudsters often plan their actions and may then move to areas of lesser population that often have lower crime rates and in which law enforcement is less alert to their activities. Gas Pump Skimmers We all enjoy the convenience of using the pay-at-the-pump system, but it could be one of the places where criminals are able to gather information about your debit or credit card. Those who know how can purchase the component parts for a skimmer at any computer parts store. The constructed parts can be quickly installed in a pump, then activated, sending information about those who purchase gas back to the installer. Floridians, especially those in high-crime areas, are alert to such activity. Stories of credit card skimming can be frequently heard on the local news. They take steps to protect their data, which can include: using cash to buy gas, entering the gas station to pay at the counter, or even using a prepaid card that will be used… 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

ATF Gun Tracing Program Helps Solve Case

Federal agents succeeded in using a gun tracing program to deal with a unique web of crime. The crimes involved the use of guns and drugs. The case in question involves a former defense lawyer Tomislav Golik and public defender in Duval County who was involved in the sale of expensive firearms in exchange for cocaine. The trade was mainly conducted with convicted felons, according to a report from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Eric Fox who is the AFT Resident-Agent-In-Charge spoke about how the bureau had succeeded in resolving the crime web. He said that as soon as the caliber, make and model of the different weapons were identified, the Bureau had decided to move with haste to remove the weapons from the streets within the shortest time possible. One of the guns in the Golik case was found to have been stolen from one St. Nicholas home in April 2015. The burglary took place at a time when the homeowners were not in the home. Court records show that Alvin Douglas Gay had attempted to sell the stolen rifle together… Read More

The Line Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor

Crimes have a general classification but can be broken down further into several categories depending on the level of severity. A crime can also be ranked as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the serious consequences of the criminal act. The categorization of a crime will influence how the case is handled, which is why it is important to understand the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor. The rules that define a criminal act will influence the punishment or potential jail time the offender gets. Let’s first look at what constitutes a felony and a misdemeanor to understand the difference between the two. Felonies vs. Misdemeanors Crimes in Florida The basic distinction between a felony and misdemeanor lies on the penalty meted on the offender. The key difference lies in how much jail time and the type of prison the offender gets depending on the severity of the crime. In Florida, just like in many other states across the country, a felony case is considered to be more serious than a misdemeanor case and will usually attract harsher and lengthier conviction consequences. The District… Read More