Criminal Defense Attorney | Criminal Defense Law

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Oklahoma Senator Proposes New Law Banning DUI Offenders from Purchasing Alcohol

fort lauderdale dui attorney | Proposed Alcohol Purchase ban

DUI – “Alcohol Restricted”? Senator Patrick Anderson of Oklahoma, has recently introduced a new bill allowing courts to ban those individuals who have been convicted of DUI from purchasing any form of alcohol for a certain amount of time. If this law is passed, those caught and convicted of DUI will have to carry a special license, which indicates that they are restricted from alcohol.Also included in the bill is a provision for those who purchase alcohol for someone deemed “alcohol restricted”, making it a felony to do so. “..knowingly sell, deliver or furnish alcoholic beverages to a person who has been order to abstain” could face a fine of up to $1,000 or one year in prison.  This bill comes a few months after Oklahoma passed another, which is aimed at targeting those involved in DUIs; it is now much easier for the government to confiscate a vehicle when an individual is charged with driving under the influence. Police Discretion & DUI Driving under the influence is a criminal act of operating a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol or drugs. DUI and DWI are… Read More

Sports Betting | White Collar Crimes

white collar crimes attorney

Four men have recently been charged by the Florida attorney general’s office with accusations stemming from an investigation looking into illegal sports betting. Racketeering, and illegal bookmaking are said to be involved; Assistant Statewide Prosecutor Jessica M. Dobbins calling it an “extensive case”. The illegal enterprise is said to have managed millions of dollars in illegal betting from sporting events; illegal wagering was placed in person and in some cases with the help of the internet. Details of the investigation were sealed from the public. Erik Bishop, currently living in Parkland, has been charged with racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, numerous charges of bookmaking, bookmaking conspiracy, and the use of a two-way communications device to help facilitate a felony. Michael Dangelo, a resident of Pompano Beach, has been charged with the same crimes as Bishop, with an additional charge of money laundering. Darren Klein, who currently resides in Coral Springs, has been charged with racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, bookmaking conspiracy, money laundering, and the conspiracy to commit money laundering, and the use of a two-way communications device to assist in the facilitation of a felony offense. Darren Klein’s… Read More

Pregnant Woman Sentenced for Two Counts of DUI Manslaughter

Rosa Rivera Kim in Court | 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

Difference Between a Traffic and a DUI Investigation

DUI Attorney explains the difference between a traffic investigation and a dui investigation

What is the Difference Between a Traffic Investigation and a DUI Investigation? Traffic Investigation: If you have ever had the misfortune of being involved in a traffic accident, you knowthat the process can be stressful and traumatic. In most cases, a police officer or crash investigator will respond to the scene and conduct an investigation. When called to the scene of an accident, the officer is required to write an accident report. Witnesses are not required to stay at the scene and report to the officer. If the officer at the scene suspects that either driver is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, he may perform a series of tests to confirm or dispel his suspicion. In some cases, where the accident results in serious bodily injury or death, a driver suspected of being under the influence of drugs/alcohol may be compelled to have blood drawn to determine their respective degree of impairment. Fla. Stat § 316.645 gives police officers the power to make an arrest pursuant to their investigation. The only caveat to this authority is that a law enforcement officer is… Read More

Bautista v. State | DUI Manslaughter

DUI Manslaughter

DUI Manslaughter | Double Jeopardy? The Supreme Court of Florida is faced with a certified question “of great public importance” from the Fourth District regarding the decision of Bautista v. State: “DOES THE “A/ANY” TEST ADOPTED IN GRAPPIN V. STATE AND STATE V. WATTS AS THE METHOD FOR DETERMINING THE UNIT OF PROSECUTION FOR THE COMMISSION OF MULTIPLE PROSCRIBED ACTS IN THE COURSE OF A SINGLE EPISODE, PRECLUDE MULTIPLE CONVICTIONS FOR DUI MANSLAUGHTER WHERE MORE THAN ONE DEATH OCCURS IN A SINGLE ACCIDENT AS APPROVED IN MELBOURNE V. STATE?”  Background: Bautista v. State David Bautista was driving while intoxicated (under the influence of alcohol) when his motor vehicle crashed into another car, resulting in the death of both individuals that were in that car. In trial, Bautista was convicted of two counts of DUI manslaughter. Mr. Bautista appealed, claiming the Florida statute does not allow multiple convictions of DUI manslaughter stemming from one single incident of DUI. The Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the convictions, citing Melbourne v. State, which held that multiple convictions from a single DUI did not violate the principles of double jeopardy. What is DUI Manslaughter? Section… Read More

Additional 3 Months for Beach Place

Beach Place given 3 more months to implement additional security measures

Fort Lauderdale declared Beach Place, a popular outdoor mall in front of the beach on A1A, a nuisance to the city due to reported drug dealing and various other criminal activities in and around the bars and outlet shops of Beach Place. Lee Feldman, the Fort Lauderdale City Manager, threatened possible closure of the retail complex if problems continued. Owners of Beach Place previously promised additional security measures, which were never implemented. Recently, the city commissioners approved a new plan allowing an additional three months to step up security measures; it was decided that it would not be the greatest idea to close up shop during one of its busiest seasons. Commissioner Romney Rogers explained that he was worried Beach Place would end up like Riverfront complex near Andrews Avenue; once a popular location, but is now nearly empty. Commissioner Dean Trantalis wanted to revoke the special entertainment district designation; which allows multiple bars to set up shop on the property, and allows them to continue serving alcohol until 4 a.m. “As I listen and as I read what we’re talking about in terms of an… Read More

Boynton Beach Police Officer Accused Of Rape | Seeking Pretrial Release

DUI | Sexual Battery| Police officer

Stephen Maiorino, a married Boynton Beach police officer and a father of two, has been accused of on-duty rape and is seeking pretrial release. The prosecutor called the officer a danger to the victim and the rest of the community. The defense attorney claims the sexual encounter was “consensual”. Maiorino is facing two counts of sexual battery by a law enforcement officer with a firearm, armed kidnapping, and a bribery-type offense; if convicted he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. On October 15, police pursued an individual who was later arrested for DUI, fleeing and eluding, and resisting arrest without violence. The passenger of this vehicle, the accuser, was left stranded with no working cell phone after police towed the vehicle. According to court records, Maiorino was supposed to take the alleged victim back to the police station so she could call family for a ride. In her statement, the officer began to threaten her with arrest unless she performed oral sex on him upon arrival to the police station parking lot. Soon after, the officer drove her to an “abandoned field” to… Read More

Search & Seizure | Fourth Amendment

search and seizure | Fourth amendment

Search & Seizure The United States was founded on personal liberties. When America’s Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution, they sought to protect the people from a villainous government. The Fourth Amendment allows us to live free from unreasonable, general searches performed by law enforcement officers and their agents. The United States Supreme Court has recognized the exclusionary rule as a potential remedy to defendants for evidence obtained by an unreasonable search or seizure. Under the exclusionary rule, the prosecution will not be able to use that illegally seized evidence against you at trial. Further, if illegally seized evidence leads law enforcement to additional evidence, the additional evidence is also subject to exclusion. The additional evidence is said to be the “fruit of the poisonous tree.” Essentially, the law will not allow the prosecution to benefit from police misconduct. The Court has reiterated many times that society pays a heavy fine when the exclusionary rule is invoked; however the need to discourage law enforcement from acting in a tyrannical manner is paramount. Because the exclusionary rule was designed to punish and discourage police misconduct, when an… Read More

Ineffective Assistance of Counsel | Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850

Attorney | Appeal

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

Double Jeopardy | Tuttle v. State

Burglary | Double Jeopardy

Double Jeopardy Tuttle v. State Depending on which crime an individual is charged with determines the severity of penalties someone may face if ultimately convicted. As we have discussed in other posts, the prosecutor’s decision on which charge to file matters. In Tuttle v. State, Florida’s Second District Court of Appeals reviews a case in which the double jeopardy rule applies, and the definition of “lesser offense” is disputed. Timothy Tuttle, Jr., was charged with second-degree murder, as well as armed burglary and attempted home invasion; this is a result of a fatal incident involving Tuttle and an accomplice. Masked and armed with guns, Tuttle and his colleague broke into a home in Florida and demanded money and drugs. After looting the house, Eric Stuebinger was shot and the men fled; Stuebinger later died from the gunshot wound. The victim’s girlfriend was able to positively identify Tuttle in trial, and the jury reached a verdict of guilty on the charges of manslaughter with a firearm, armed burglary, and attempted home invasion robbery. Both the State and Tuttle agreed on the fact that he cannot be found… Read More