Orlando, Florida Criminal Defense Blog
Anyone can be accused of a criminal offense. Before a sentence is imposed, a person accused of a crime will often be subjected to a trial to determine if that person is guilty of the offense. The accused has the right to establish a strong criminal defense to contest the damaging allegations. Many types of criminal defense are possible; one of which is self-defense. People accused of criminal assault may be interested to learn more about the self-defense plea and how it can help fight a criminal assault charge.
Self-defense is often used in cases where an accused person used force which was deemed necessary by that person in order to defend oneself against attack from another person, who may have died as a result of the force. When using this type of defense, the defendant must prove in court that meeting force with force was necessary to protect oneself against harm. The defendant must also prove in court that the other person involved threatened the defendant which, in turn, caused the defendant to use force as a defense. The defendant must also prove that the other party inflicted harm and therefore the use of force against the other party was necessary.
Continue reading Overview of the self-defense plea in a criminal assault charge
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There are few places in this world stranger than Florida or Germany. Take the quiz and see if you can tell where this strange arrest happened.
1. Drunken Man Found Asleep On Horse
On October 31, 2013 an unidentified 26-year-old man discovered asleep and drunk in a stable on top of a horse.
Florida or Germany?
2. Man Arrested For Stealing Life Size Justin Bieber Cutout
On Aug 15, 2011 a man was arrested for trying to steal a life-size Justin Bieber cutout, police said.
After being arrested, when asked why he took the cut out the man replied "We were just having fun holding Justin Bieber hostage".
Florida or Germany?
3. Potato Salad Rage Leads to Woman's Arrest
On October 29, 2011 a 45 year old woman became so enraged by her father's inedible potato salad that she threatened to attack him with a large kitchen knife.
Florida or Germany?
4. Man With Mobile Office in His Car Arrested
ON Nov 16, 2012 police arrested a driver who had wired his Ford station wagon with an entire mobile office. Attached to a wooden frame on his passenger seat was a laptop on a docking station tilted for easy driver access, a printer, router, wireless internet stick, WLAN antenna, and an inverter to power it all. Florida or Germany?
Don't text and drive.
5. Man Arrested for Releasing Heart-Shaped Balloons in Romantic Gesture
Your powers combined equal prison time
In March of 2013 a 40 year old man, was arrested for releasing at least dozen heart-shaped helium filled balloons into the air as romantic gesture for his girlfriend.
6. Man Arrested at Airport for Carrying a Suitcase Full of Endangered Animals
"Snakes in a suitcase. I'll do it."
In May 20, 2014 authorities say they've arrested a 44-year-old Mexican man after finding his suitcase full of snakes, turtles and lizards, including endangered species.
Central Florida resident, Angela Stoldt is facing some serious penalties after killing her neighbor James Scheaffer in April 2013. Recent court documents detail the murder committed by Stoldt where she confesses to stabbing both of Scheaffer's eyes with an ice pick, strangling him with a cord, and then dismembering his body so she could cook and burn off the evidence. Documents also show that Stoldt tried to hide the smell of rotting flesh from her kids by telling them she had a rat broiling in the oven.
Stoldt claims the altercation started when the two got into a dispute over money, but it was when Shaeffer attempted to attack her that she snapped. For three weeks after the incident, Stoldt continued to hide evidence, even calling upon her son to help dispose of a rotting "deer" that she hit. However, Stoldlt quickly lost control and ending up confessing to her parent's.
Stoldt is being held without bail at the Volusia County Branch Jail and faces charges for first degree murder, tampering with physical evidence and abuse of a dead body.
Angela Stoldt (Volusia County Branch Jail)
Generally, theft is the act of taking another person's property with the intent to deprive that person of such property. In Central Florida, readers may be familiar with the most common form of theft, which is shoplifting. This criminal offense can be either a minor or serious offense, depending on the value of the stolen item. For example, if a person enters a store and steals a lighter, that person can be charged with a minor offense, whereas a person who has stolen a more expensive item can be charged with a serious theft charge.
One of our law firm's fields of practice is theft. Theft charges carry far reaching consequences such as loss of job, public humiliation, jail time, driver's license suspension and mandatory fines. These consequences can turn a person's life upside down and the only way to avoid them is to fight the the charges. As former prosecutors, we know how the system works when it comes to theft charges. Prosecutors will do everything in their power so that the accused will be found guilty of the offense.
Continue reading Theft charges are difficult to deal with; we can help
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In celebration of this Thanksgiving holiday we provided the most outrageous turkey day crimes that even a pilgrim couldn't commit.
1) Waddling Away
In 2011, a teenager from Brooklyn shoved a 12-pound turkey breast into his baggy sweatpants and then attempted to waddle out of the store. Unfortunately for him, the butcher took notice and was hot on the teens trail (no knife wielding was reported). This is not the first time the turkey thief used his baggy pants to steal. Apparently, he was arrested 3 months earlier for trying to sneak off with 7 cans of red bull.
2) Would You Like a Receipt?
The award for most turkeys stolen goes to James Frazier of Memphis, Tennessee who was able to steal hundreds of turkeys from the Kroger plant where he worked. When Security learned he was selling the turkeys, they went undercover as a church group and placed an order. Frazier met them at the plant with over 2,000 pounds of turkey loaded on the forklift. Investigators arrested Frazier and his trial is set for November 26th. (The day before thanksgiving)
3) Turkey With A Side Of Armed Burglary
Two teens from Gulf Breeze, Fl were arrested after shooting and killing their neighbors pet turkey. Joshua Anderson and Jacob Provo were charged with armed burglary, trespassing, theft of livestock and animal cruelty. The pair told sheriff deputies that they planned to eat the 30-pound turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.
4) Invitation Only
A New Jersey resident used a machete to threaten his family after never receiving an invite to their Thanksgiving dinner. Joseph Hoo was stopped by police as he left the residence and arrested for unlawful weapon possession and terroristic threats.
No thanksgiving is complete without a desert and that is exactly what Louisiana Councilman John Givens could not be without. Police reports show that Councilman Givens was caught eating the desert and placing the empty wrapper in his front pocket at a local grocery store. The owner witnessed this and asked Givens if he was going to pay, but he pulled the old "don't you know who I am?" Well, apparently the store owner did not and quickly called the police. The Councilman was charged with stealing a banana cream pie...
In a state with declining revenues and a grim economic outlook the proposed amendment two that was potentially a billion dollar industry fell short with only 57% of voters approving it. Despite early polls in July, showing more than 80% approval for medical marijuana, unfortunately most of that support seems to have vanished on Tuesday Night.
In contrast several other states opted to legalize medical or recreational marijuana (including Alaska, seriously Alaska).
Here is how the three other states faired on the issue.
- Oregon: Backed a measure that makes it legal for adult ages 21 and over to possess up to eight ounces (that is a lot of weed) of "dried" marijuana and up to four plants.
- Washington, D.C: Made it legal for adults ages 21 and up to possess up to two ounces of pot and up to three marijuana plants for personal use. The measure, which does not allow the legal sale of marijuana, will not take effect until after a review by Congress.
- Alaska: Passed a measure that makes it legal for adults aged 21 and over to possess up to one ounce of pot and up to six plants.
How Much Money Did Florida Miss Out on?
In July the State Department of Health estimates the number of medical marijuana would have an estimated 417,000 patients. The state projected sales ranging from 138 million to 5.6 billion and tax revenues in estimated between $8.3 million to $338 million. In states that have legalized recreational use of marijuana have seen tax revenues blow past projections. In Colorado, tax revenue from marijuana sales has soared far outpacing state projections. Just in August 2014 alone Colorado had approximately $34.1 million in marijuana sales. In the state of Florida which is the 4th largest state in the country you could imagine that revenue generated would far exceed that of Colorado.
Marijuana in Florida Going Forward
Though Amendment two did not pass, we will not go down quietly. The matter is expected to be taken to the Florida Legislature this spring where they have already passed a non-euphoric version of medical marijuana to be used by people with severe medical conditions like cancer.
Despite the loss, business owners have recognized the growing movement and the millions of dollars that could be available from the cannabis industry. Supporters of marijuana legalization have rounded up heavy hitting lobbyist and plan to take this head on into the 2016 election.
Currently 23 states, almost 50% of the county, have legalized the use of medicinal marijuana and now 5 states allow recreational use. After millions spent on attack ads it seems opponents of Amendment two had more money, hired better marketers and targeted the right people. For the south to change, the responsibilty is placed on us to regroup and outnumber short sighted opponents in 2016.
Image Copyright Chuck Coker on Flickr Creative Commons.
Drunken driving is strongly associated with motor vehicle crashes. Florida is not alone in having many drunk driving accidents that injure or kill pedestrians and motorists. Some were single-vehicle crashes and others involved one or more other vehicles. Over the decades, because of the catastrophic results of drunken driving, state legislators have passed tough laws that punish those who are convicted of such dangerous behavior.
A first conviction on a driving under the influence offense means a minimum driver's license revocation between 180 days and one year. If the DUI offense caused serious injury, then the person's license can be revoked up to three years.
Continue reading The consequences of drunken-driving convictions in Florida
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If you're planning a trip to New York City, there are several things to keep in mind about getting around that can help make your trip go a lot smoother. Because nothing can sour your trip to the Big Apple like getting a traffic ticket, knowing the rules of the road can ensure that the only tickets you get while visiting are to a concert or Broadway show.
So for those of you first timers unfamiliar with driving in NYC, here's list of helpful traffic tips that can help you avoid a ticket, save you money on parking, and most importantly, make your trip safer, cheaper, and stress-free:
1. Avoid driving. One of the great things about New York is the plethora of readily-accessible options available to get around. Between subways, buses, trains, and taxi cabs, most New Yorkers themselves don't drive their cars on a daily basis-and many don't even own a car. With city traffic and parking costs, driving can turn out to be an expensive and inconvenient form of travel. If, however, your travel plans require you to drive, the rest of this list will serve you well.
2. Follow the speed limit. Currently, unless marked otherwise, the NYC speed limit is 30 mph on all city streets. But drivers beware-come November 7, 2014, the current 30 mph limit is being reduced to 25 mph. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has vowed to make the city's streets safer for both motorists and pedestrians, which means increased patrols looking for speeding drivers. Since not knowing the speed limit is no excuse, keep your foot off the gas and your eyes open for NYPD traffic officers.
3. No turn on red and pay attention to signs. Unlike most cities across the US, New York City does not allow right turns on red unless there is a sign that clearly states otherwise. Also, there are many major avenues in NYC where you can't turn left on green at certain hours of the day. Our main tip is pay attention to the signs, or the lack thereof, depending on which direction you need to turn.
4. Don't use your cell phone while driving, or any handheld device for that matter. Under New York State law, drivers cannot use a handheld mobile device, send a text, or check or send an email while their car is in operation, unless it is to contact emergency services. While most know and realize the dangers of driving while texting or calling, many people do not realize that this rule also applies to any handheld device including iPods and even GPS devices. In New York a cell phone or electronic device ticket carries 5 points, nearly half way to a suspension of your New York driving privileges (even if you are from out of state).
5. Watch out for pedestrians and cyclists. People are everywhere in NYC and even if you have the right of way, there will typically be people in the crosswalk anyway. It's easy to get distracted, so just make sure you are paying attention at all times and looking out for jaywalking pedestrians and kamikaze cyclists.
6. Remember where you park. If you're lucky enough to find street parking in the city take a second to note the nearest cross-streets. Many NYC streets look similar and it's very easy to lose track of where you parked. This is especially important if you're parked at a meter-the last thing you want is to spend a long time looking for your car then finding it, finally, with an expensive parking ticket on the windshield.
7. Don't get towed. Along with noting where you park, make sure to double check that your spot is legal. New York has many strange parking rules and parking in what seems like a legitimate spot on a certain day or time could mean a long, expensive trip to the NYPD impound lot. It's a good idea to make a habit of walking up and down the street you parked on looking for signs with that street's parking regulations.
8. Do your research on parking garages and look out for the fine print. After the two previous warnings about street parking, you may decide that a parking garage is your best bet. While parking in a garage is certainly cheaper than getting your car out of impound, parking garages can be quite expensive-and their rate signs can be deceptive if you are not careful. Pay close attention to the time limits and any other restrictions on those rate signs. Nyc.bestparking.com can be a helpful tool when navigating the best and cheapest garages to meet your needs in your location.
9. If you get a traffic ticket in NY, call The Rosenblum Law Firm. If you aren't able to make it out of NY without getting a traffic ticket, the good news is that the Rosenblum Law Firm can help. Especially for Floridians who won't be able to make the trip back to New York to fight their traffic ticket, the Rosenblum Law Firm can make the trip to court for you. Since drivers from Florida will receive the full amount of points on their Florida license for pleading guilty to a NY traffic ticket, having us go to court for you can help you preserve your driving record, and avoid the expensive consequences of pleading guilty.
For a free consultation with one of our experienced New York traffic attorneys, call us at 888-883-5529.