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Category Archives: Criminal Defense

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US Supreme Court to Hear Crucial Free Speech Case, Where Student Was Charged for Speaking About His Religion

By The Baez Law Firm |

Free speech is a crucial First Amendment right that police and government frequently infringe upon when they choose to criminalize or otherwise target our right to express our opinions without censorship or restraint. This can often be seen when protesters are arrested for disorderly conduct or unlawful assembly, or even assault, battery, or hate… Read More »

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Florida Appeals Court Upholds Decision That Videos Recording Robert Kraft Violated Fourth Amendment Protections

By The Baez Law Firm |

In a salient case for Fourth Amendment constitutional rights, in August, a Florida appeals court unanimously upheld a district court ruling that the police violated the rights of the New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and others last year when they secretly set up ongoing recordings in a massage parlor in order to capture… Read More »

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Murder Charges Over Stillbirth Raise Concerns Everywhere

By The Baez Law Firm |

A current prosecution in the state of California could set a dangerous precedent around the country in terms of criminalizing choices women make while pregnant, including here in Florida, where there is also a state law on fetal homicide. The case involves a defendant, Chelsea Becker, who is being charged with murder after her… Read More »

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How The First Step Act Has Failed Many Serving Decades for Nonviolent Drug Crimes

By The Baez Law Firm |

When the First Step Act was signed into law, there were high hopes that it would institute some real criminal justice reform that included allowing for those who had been unfairly punished with especially lengthy prison sentences for nonviolent crack cocaine charges, including for first time offenders, to petition to have their sentences reduced…. Read More »

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A Closer Look at The Constitutionality of Florida COVID-19 Arrests and Charges

By The Baez Law Firm |

There have been a number of serious criminal allegations made by both federal and state authorities in connection with COVID-19 around the country, including here in Florida. From charging individuals who coughed on groceries with threats to use biological agents and felony terrorism, to accusing business owners who sell face masks with violating the… Read More »

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US Government Rushes to Execute First Prisoners in Almost Two Decades in Spite of Serious Constitutional Concerns

By The Baez Law Firm |

After almost two decades, the federal government executed its first death row prisoners in July when it put Daniel Lee Lewis and Wesley Purkey to death. In doing so, the Department of Justice took the irregular act of seeking emergency orders from the US Supreme Court to rush through two very controversial executions, where… Read More »

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Jose Baez Wins New Trial & Release for Charlie Ely, Who Was Wrongly Accused & Convicted of Murder in 2011

By The Baez Law Firm |

In late June, Charlie Ely, one of the defendants who was accused and convicted of murdering Seath Jackson in Marion County, Florida in 2011, was released after the court found that she received ineffective counsel and was denied due process during her original trial and appeal. Although Ely entered a 10-year plea for a… Read More »

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Experts Hypothesize That Federal Judges May Rethink Sentencing in The Future After Dismaying Experiences with Bureau of Prisons During Pandemic

By The Baez Law Firm |

Experts have speculated that federal judges having to deal with the Federal Bureau of Prisons up close may permanently affect how they approach sentencing in the future, and while judges have limited control over the release of inmates, they have significant discretion when it comes to the length of incarceration. It will largely be… Read More »

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Florida Supreme Court Hears Arguments On Decriminalizing Recreational Marijuana & The State’s Medical Marijuana Licensing Scheme On Same Day

By The Baez Law Firm |

On May 6, the Florida Supreme Court heard arguments about proposed constitutional amendments that would legalize (i.e. decriminalize) recreational marijuana here in Florida. As it is currently drafted, the amendment would allow adults 21 years or older to display, possess, purchase, transport, and use up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and marijuana accessories for… Read More »

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Fifth Circuit Dismisses Charges Brought Against Florida Man in Stand Your Ground Deputy Shooting Case

By The Baez Law Firm |

In April, an important Florida ‘stand your ground’ case involving a defendant accused of shooting a sheriff’s deputy during an arrest that took place in front of his house several years ago was decided by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court dismissed the charges and held that the defendant never should have… Read More »

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How The Coronavirus Will Affect the Criminal Justice System & Defendants’ Rights

By The Baez Law Firm |

There is no question that the coronavirus has completely changed criminal charges and our criminal justice system, for that matter, from Florida state attorneys calling for the release of inmates to avoid the virus spreading, to Florida prisons now being closed to new inmates due to threats posed by the virus, to criminal charges… Read More »

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New Study Finds That Psychological Tests Used in Criminal Trials May Be “Junk Science”

By The Baez Law Firm |

A new study revealed that unreliable IQ and psychological tests are leading to junk forensic science being used as evidence in criminal trials, and this is ultimately influencing juries and judges to make life-and-death decisions for criminal defendants. Specifically, one-third of psychological tests used in recent court cases were never reviewed in prominent manuals… Read More »

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Florida Approves $2 Million in Compensation for Man Wrongfully Convicted of Crime in 1976

By The Baez Law Firm |

In February, the Florida Attorney General’s Office approved a $2 million settlement claim for a man who was wrongfully convicted over 40 years ago. This decision was announced three weeks after the Department of Legal Affairs denied his request for compensation on the grounds that new evidence indicating that someone else could have been… Read More »

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Florida Lawmakers Propose Taking a New Look at Drug Crime Sentencing & Compensating More Individuals Who Are Wrongfully Convicted

By The Baez Law Firm |

In January, Florida made headway on important criminal justice legislation that would reduce the number of individuals convicted of low-level drug crimes and expand the ability for those wrongfully convicted to apply to receive compensation from the state. Below, we discuss how these measures would affect criminal defense cases and the rights of those… Read More »

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Florida Supreme Court Rules That Previous Decision Mandating Unanimous Jury for Death Penalty Was Wrong

By The Baez Law Firm |

A Florida Supreme Court ruling in late January finding that the Court erred in 2016 when it ruled that a jury must be unanimous in sentencing a defendant to death has now placed a number of death penalty cases in legal limbo. Specifically, the majority opinion said that the state Constitution’s prohibition on cruel… Read More »

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Addressing Juror Bias

By The Baez Law Firm |

The upcoming trial of Harvey Weinstein highlights just how difficult it can become to find jurors relatively unfamiliar with the allegations against the defendant in some cases. Attorneys are generally limited to asking jurors questions about what they have heard about a defendant, as well as their own personal experiences with whatever crimes are… Read More »

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Does The Conviction of Michelle Carter Open the Door to Prosecuting Anyone Who Openly Supports Euthanasia?

By The Baez Law Firm |

The trial of Michelle Carter garnered news headlines and even prompted the production of a documentary because the minor was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to serve jail time after text messages revealed that she had encouraged her boyfriend Conrad Roy, who had long suffered from depression and had previously tried to commit… Read More »

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U.S. Supreme Court Denies Adnan Syed’s Appeal

By The Baez Law Firm |

We have previously reported on the case of Adnan Syed, the subject of the popular podcast “Serial,” whose attorneys petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review his case. The request was an important one, as the decision by the appeals court to deny him a new trial not only uproots well-established, uniform legal precedent… Read More »

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Amtrak Hits Vehicle in Florida & Kills Family Inside

By The Baez Law Firm |

In late November, a woman and her two children were struck and killed by an Amtrak passenger train here in Florida, which was traveling from Miami to New York City. All three victims were in the vehicle and died upon impact. According to reports, the victims were going camping when the car was struck… Read More »

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Congress Takes Steps to Decriminalize Marijuana at Federal Level: What is the Status in Florida?

By The Baez Law Firm |

We’ve previously discussed efforts in Florida to decriminalize the possession of marijuana. While this could someday completely alter state prosecution of marijuana-related crimes, without decriminalization also occurring at the federal level, there is always the threat of federal prosecution for marijuana-related crimes. However, in mid-November, reports announced that a federal congressional committee plans to… Read More »

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DUI Convictions in Florida & Elsewhere Based On Flawed Breathalyzer Tests

By The Baez Law Firm |

As attorneys dedicated to criminal defense, one issue that is frequently at the heart of ensuring that our clients’ rights are protected has to do with just how unreliable alcohol breath tests are; even though they have become a “linchpin” of the criminal justice system. In fact, here in Florida, a panel of judges… Read More »

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U.S. Supreme Court to Consider Survival of Insanity Defense

By The Baez Law Firm |

The U.S. Supreme Court kicks off its new term on October 7, and has several “blockbuster” criminal law cases that raise significant questions for criminal defendants. Kahler v. Kansas The first of those cases–Kahler v. Kansas–considers the constitutionality of a state statute that one criminal defendant (Kraig Kahler) argues abolished the insanity defense (while… Read More »

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Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ Defense Forever Changed by Deadly Parking Lot Trial

By The Baez Law Firm |

In October, Michael Drejka – the criminal defendant at the heart of the Florida stand your ground federal parking lot shooting case – was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Drejka shot Markeis McGlockton, who was unarmed, while he was backing away after a physical dispute arose with regard to parking in a handicapped… Read More »

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The Importance of Preventing Wrongful Convictions

By The Baez Law Firm |

There is no question that one of the most important jobs of criminal defense attorneys is to protect people’s constitutional rights, and this includes preventing wrongful convictions. This is especially the case given that the death penalty is often applied when it comes to murder convictions; warranting a speedy exoneration. What Has Led To… Read More »

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Know That, As A Whistleblower, You Could Face Criminal Prosecution

By The Baez Law Firm |

We’ve discussed the importance of whistleblower lawsuits before – especially when it comes to highlighting misconduct in the criminal justice system – as well as ensuring that whistleblowers are protected against retaliation. Unfortunately, most people are not prepared for the potential legal repercussions that can occur when they expose misconduct within the government or… Read More »

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