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January 2015 Archives

Sisters to enter the juvenile criminal justice system

Florida readers may be aware of a shocking case that has garnered media attention across the state. Two young girls were recently arrested and face charges of second-degree murder after they allegedly shot and killed their brother. As these girls enter the juvenile criminal justice system, details about the case continue to horrify the Columbia County community.

The System Has Failed

Throughout life we expect the judicial system to do the right thing. To consider Justice as an undeniable truth. It is no longer. In the words of Dave Mustaine, the lead singer of the heavy metal band Megadeth, "The system has failed". Whether it's a father of three with no prior criminal history who sells two grams of cocaine to a police informant and is sentenced to 4 years in prison, or a single mom with the disease of addiction who receives 180 days in jail for driving on a suspended license, the system has failed. We as a society, and many of those in the judicial system, have forgotten what common sense and compassion is. In the eyes of the holier than thou prosecutors around the state there is no place for compassion. Common sense was left at the courthouse doorstep decades ago. So now the powers that be believe almost every wrong is righted by incarceration. That a single mother who falls under the grip of addiction and loses her driver's license as a result of a conviction for marijuana possession should pay the price of her bad choice with her freedom. Never mind she has three children who depend on her to provide for their well being. That a married father of three, who feels the heavy weight of an economical recession, makes a bad choice to sell two grams of cocaine to a friend, must pay with four years of incarceration. Nearly half a decade of freedom. Four years away from his children, his wife, and those that depend on him in many ways.

Florida woman faces drunk driving charges after fatal accident

The issue of driving under the influence of alcohol is one that receives a significant amount of attention today. Even alcohol companies have created commercials expounding on the importance of drinking responsibly. Possibly as a result of the attention brought to the subject, many people may now be more likely to assume that an accident that happened at night under questionable circumstances is the result of drunk driving. However, a person's guilt must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt -- a burden of proof difficult to meet on the basis of assumptions alone. One Florida woman now faces criminal charges as a result of a fatal accident believed to have happened while she was under the influence of alcohol.

Having the Talk - Discussing Legal Fees

Competition may drive down prices, but is that a good thing? Have an open-minded and frank discussion with your potential attorneys about their fees and an overall litigation budget. When your future is at stake, you cannot afford to cut corners. Here are some simple pieces of advice to help you make the right decisions.

George Zimmerman accused of new criminal acts

Few Florida readers are unfamiliar with the name George Zimmerman. The now-31-year-old Zimmerman is back in the headlines this week, as accusations of a new round of criminal acts hits the media. While many in the state hold strong opinions on the character of this man, it is important to remember that he, as everyone else, deserves the benefit of the doubt when it comes to allegations of wrongdoing.

Coming out Swinging: Alan Dershowitz Takes it to His Accuser - Should you Do as Dershowitz?

Legendary legal mind Alan Dershowitz has been accused, in a plaintiff's lawsuit, of having sex with an underage woman identified for the time being as Jane Doe. While he was not a named plaintiff (meaning Jane Doe was not seeking damages from him), her lawsuit accuses him of illegal and despicable acts and paints him as a sexual deviant and criminal. I watched with bated breath as Mr. Dershowitz took to the airwaves and delivered a powerful denial of any wrong-doing, blasting not only the plaintiff but her lawyers, stating he would seek their disbarment, challenged Jane Doe to repeat her accusations outside the protection of her lawsuit (where she enjoys a privilege to make statements without fear of being sued for defamation, etc.), then called her a liar and said in no uncertain terms he would prove his innocence.

Criminal charges follow gunfire between pastor and janitor

There are a number of ways that a seemingly normal interaction between two individuals can become heated. The fear of losing one's job is a prime example, and many in Florida have had job-related arguments or confrontations. This scenario recently played out within a Poinciana church, and left one man with criminal charges after gunfire was exchanged between the pastor and an employee.

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