alibi crimeYou may find yourself arrested for a crime that occurred at a time you were somewhere else completely at the same time the crime was being committed!  There is a special procedure to handle this situation in Florida criminal courts and its important that those procedures are followed or it could result in your evidence not being used at trial.

In Florida pursuant to Rule 3.200, Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, upon the written demand of the prosecuting attorney, a defendant in a criminal case who intends to offer evidence of an alibi in their defense must file a Notice of Alibi with the Court and serve it on the prosecutor no less than 10 days before trial.

The demand from the prosecutor will include the place, date and time of the commission of the crime charged as is known to the prosecutor.

police officerFlorida law makes penalties stricter for assault or battery of a law enforcement officer.  Under Florida Statutes 784.07(2), when you are charged with knowingly committing an assault or battery upon a law enforcement officer, the charge will be reclassified as follows:

(a) Second degree misdemeanor assault will be a first degree misdemeanor

(b) First degree misdemeanor battery will be a third degree felony

firearmRestoring your gun rights can be a difficult process and you may have questions about how to start the process.  Be aware that the process takes a long time and the Clemency Board in charge of processing applications has a large backlog.  The sooner you contact a lawyer in Jacksonville, the better.

Can I restore my right to use firearms after a felony conviction in Florida?

Under the Rules of Executive Clemency, you may apply to the Clemency Board for the specific authority to own, possess, or use firearms that was lost as a result of a felony conviction. The Florida Clemency Board will not consider requests from those who were convicted in federal, military, or out-of-state courts.

Are you living in Jacksonville and being affected by a stalker? Do you want a court order to stop the stalker?

Continue reading to find out how to file an Injunction for Protection Against Stalking to protect you or your child!

It can be a very scary experience to be the victim of a stalker, especially if it is someone you know and trusted. There are steps that you can take to protect yourself under the law in Florida that will help give you peace of mind. Florida Statutes section 784.0485 provides for a cause of action for an injunction for protection against stalking, including cyberstalking. A stalking injunction can be filed on your behalf or on the behalf of a minor child if you are the parent or legal guardian of the child and the child is living with you.

What many people fail to realize is that all citizens of the United States have a Fourth Amendment right against illegal searches created by the U.S. Constitution, and any evidence that comes from an illegal search may be suppressed at trial. Florida’s constitution in Article I, Section 12, creates state law that mimics and reiterates the U.S. constitution.  Evidence can only be suppressed if it is obtained from an illegal search of a person or a person’s property.

So what is an illegal search?

handcuff-1425387-300x114The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution limits the power of police to make arrests, to search people and their property, and to seize objects and contraband. This amendment forms the cornerstone of search and seizure law.

A grandmother in Saint Augustine, Florida worked with her granddaughter to create green flames in their jack-o-lantern for Halloween, according to Jacksonville.com. The pumpkin ended up being an explosive, rather than the awesome Halloween prop they probably intended.  Sixty-two (62) year old Wanda Michelle Reyna and her seven (7) year old granddaughter had apparently been inspired by a Youtube video, which gave instructions on how to create the green flames. The green flames would have been a very cool effect if it were not for the minor accident that took place.

161102_halloween-pumpkin-carving-face-large (1)The Youtube video gave a recipe to combine household chemicals as a way to create the green fire. In a 911 called the grandmother placed as the seven year old screamed in the background, the grandmother frantically explained that the chemicals got on the child. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the chemicals were burning at the time.  The  little girl was thrown in the pool to put out the reportedly minor flames.  She had to be taken to the hospital to be treated for her burns.  As a Florida criminal defense attorney and Florida family law attorney, a few scary possibilities come to mind. Being prepared for the possibilities of what may come is important for a Florida attorney.

Criminal Law Implications

“License and registration, please.”  If you have ever been pulled over by police, you have probably heard this phrase.  In recent years, Americans have grown more and more suspicious of police officers. With all that we see and hear on the news and in social media, arguably, there is cause for alarm in some cases.  In my practice as a Jacksonville Criminal Lawyer, I get questions regarding encounters with police regularly. Criminal defense lawyers can’t always give the definite answers that people are looking for, however. Much of what we can and cannot do under Florida law is based on the particular details of a situation.   There are certain rights that all Jacksonville criminal attorneys will tell you that can or should expect to be a given.

license and registration checkWith the popularity of smartphones with video recording capabilities, many people are taking it upon themselves to record officers. I recently watched a video online that showed a man pulled over at a DUI checkpoint. The driver refused to give the police officer his license and registration. The driver asked the police officer to explain what probable cause there was to ask for the driver’s license and registration.   The officer even threatened to have the man arrested for interference, but the driver didn’t fold. Instead he asked that a supervisor be called out to the scene. Once the supervising officer arrived, he leaned forward a little into the driver’s window and stated that there was no smell of an alcoholic beverage and told the driver he was free to go. The original officer who had demanded the driver’s license and registration and repeatedly said the U.S. Supreme Court and upheld DUI checkpoints looked very confused.

The likely reason that the supervising officer let the driver go about his business is that the United States Supreme Court in the case of Delaware v. Prouse back in 1979 held that it is improper for police, without “articulable and reasonable suspicion” to detain drives simply to check their licenses and registration.  The U.S. Constitution’s provision against unreasonable search and seizure provides a shield against this type of police conduct. Florida’s Constitution also protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. For more information or help with a case, contact the Law Office of David M. Goldman, PPLC today. Initial consultations are free.

In most situations, bad driving gets you a traffic ticket. However, for some driving offenses, traffic tickets are not enough as far as the law is concerned. You can be arrested for being a bad driver. Recently, a woman was arrested in Virginia after being caught driving over 90 mph on three separate occasions within an hour. The third time she was stopped, Kai Kitchen was arrested for reckless driving.

Reckless drivingFlorida has its own version of reckless driving.  Florida Statute 316.192 states, “Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.”  Reckless driving is a criminal offense that can lead to jail, even prison in some cases, depending on whether it’s the first conviction or whether there are injuries or property damage.  Reckless driving is deemed more serious than simple careless driving.  Careless driving leads to a civil citation and is defined in Florida Statute 316.1925, which states, “Any person operating a vehicle upon the streets or highways within the state shall drive the [vehicle] in a careful and prudent manner, having regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and all other attendant circumstances, so as not to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person.”

Reckless driving can be punished more severely, because it looks at situations where the driver is actively doing something that can be dangerous, while careless driving is more like being absent minded while driving.  Causing property damage, an injury, or even a death while driving carelessly isn’t a criminal offense, but doing either while driving recklessly can result in a stiff punishment.

Being arrested can be a scary and very embarrassing ordeal.  After an arrest, a person’s criminal record is public information and can be viewed on request by pretty much anyone.  That means that a nosy neighbor, friends and family, or even your employer can look into why you were arrested and what happened.  Most often, people want their criminal records sealed for purposes of finding or keeping employment.  Sometimes, others are solely focused on avoiding the embarrassment of the offense that landed them in jail being a matter of public record.

criminal record sealFlorida law, under Florida Statute 943.059, allows a court to seal criminal records.  As long as the person attempting to seal a criminal record has never actually been convicted of a crime, the process is normally simple and straight forward.  The law allows for the sealing of one criminal offense, but if one incident resulted in multiple offenses, then they all can be eligible for sealing.  Separate, unrelated offenses cannot all be sealed.  Only one can be chosen.  In some instances, the State of Florida, through the State Attorney’s Office, may object to a criminal record being sealed.  However, the vast majority of requests go unopposed by the State.  There are some offenses that cannot be sealed, even if there are no convictions on a person’s record.  For example, many sexually motivated offenses cannot be sealed. Continue reading

Search and seizure issues are normally at the top of the list in any criminal case where physical evidence is recovered from a defendant.  Florida law, like federal law, provides protection for citizens against illegal search and seizure. This protection stems from the Florida Constitution and the United States Constitution. At its essence, it is centered on idea that the government needs a good reason to intrude on a citizen’s expectation of privacy.   In criminal law, evidence that is gathered in violation of state or federal search and seizure law can be suppressed.  A good criminal defense lawyer will always immediately begin this analysis whenever hearing the facts of a new criminal case for the first time.

search and seizureRecently, in the case of Cole v. State of Florida, the Third District Court of Appeals (3rd DCA) reviewed a case involving an alleged violation of search and seizure law. Cole was charged with tampering with evidence, trafficking in cocaine, and possession of drug paraphernalia after he was pulled over by a police officer. The traffic stop had been initiated due to a faded temporary tag placed on the car Cole was driving. The defense filed a motion to suppress the evidence that it believed was the result of an illegal search. During the traffic stop, Cole acted nervous, clinched his fists, and held a pen tightly in his hand. He was also sweating and stuttering. The stopping officer believe that the pen could potentially be used and a weapon. She ordered Cole from the car to do a pat down. Florida law allows an officer to conduct a pat down when there is a reasonable suspicion that a person who is being temporarily detained may be armed with a weapon.   The court ruled that the pat down was reasonable under the circumstances.

As Cole was getting out of the car for the pat down, he threw something underneath the car. It was later discovered to be cocaine. During the pat down, something was felt in Cole’s sock, and the officer removed the item. It turned out to be cocaine, as well. The appellate court found that it was wrong for the officer to pull the bulge from Cole’s sock, but found that it would have been discovered anyway after Cole was arrested for the drugs that were thrown underneath the car. This is referred to as the “inevitable discovery” doctrine. The court said that it did not matter that the wrongful search by the officer came before the drugs under the car had been discovered. The appellate court held that the trial court was correct in denying Cole’s motion to suppress.

Contact Information