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Category Archives: Criminal Defense

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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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Florida Misses Opportunity to Take Meaningful Steps Towards Criminal Justice Reform

By The Baez Law Firm |

In May, unfortunately, Florida missed out on a huge opportunity to enact significant criminal justice reform. Instead of passing Senate Bill 642–which would have reversed the mass incarceration policies that began throughout the state in the mid-1980s as a result of the state legislature imposing minimum mandatory sentencing for nonviolent drug crimes–unfortunately, the state… Read More »

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Decriminalizing Marijuana at The Federal Level

By The Baez Law Firm |

Even though almost a dozen states have already legalized marijuana, according to the latest FBI crime statistics, arrests are increasing in connection with marijuana offenses. Still, just as Florida is taking steps to decriminalize marijuana (although only for medical use), Congress is also taking steps to try and ensure that its use is no… Read More »

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Time for Additional Criminal Justice Reform

By The Baez Law Firm |

There is no question that our criminal justice system is based on the concept of retributive justice, with the goal being to punish people and seek vengeance under the theory that this will help them act correctly in the future. In other words, it is based on the system harming that individual if they… Read More »

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Florida’s Outdated Felony Theft Charges Can Ruin Lives for Crimes as Small as Stealing a Phone

By The Baez Law Firm |

The felony theft charge threshold has been far too low in Florida for far too long: To date, theft charges become felonies if the value of what of stolen is it least $300, and this has not changed since 1986. In other words, in Florida, stealing a phone, for example, can literally ruin your… Read More »

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It’s Time for Florida to Stop Trying Juveniles as Adults for Minor Crimes

By The Baez Law Firm |

We previously discussed widespread corruption and abuse in the Florida juvenile justice system. Florida leads the nation in charging children and teens as adults, where three-quarters of these children are African-American or Hispanic. Between 2016-2018, the number of children transferred to the adult system was between 900 and more than 1,000, each year. Bill… Read More »

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Florida Criminal Justice Reform Bill Gains Traction, But House Version Is Missing Key Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Reductions

By The Baez Law Firm |

In April, the Florida House finally filed a long awaited response to a criminal justice bill filed by State Senator Jeff Brandes that would adjust mandatory minimum sentencing and increase the focus of Florida prisons on the rehabilitation of inmates. Fortunately, both the right and left have praised the criminal justice bill; citing a… Read More »

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Florida Legislators Advance Unconstitutional Bill to Significantly Limit the Ability for Ex-Felons to Vote

By The Baez Law Firm |

In continuation of their attempts to stall the restoration of voting rights to ex-felons, as was the will of a majority of Floridians, on March 19, Florida legislators advanced a bill to further solidify this hurdle by requiring former felons to pay all court fees and fines before they can register to vote and… Read More »

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Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Wins Post-Conviction Release for BlueWare CEO

By The Baez Law Firm |

In February, criminal defense attorney Jose Baez won a post-conviction release of BlueWare CEO Rose Harr, who was previously found guilty of Conspiracy to Commit Bribery and Principle to Commit Bid Tampering in a 2014 criminal public corruption case. The alleged scandal and subsequent charges involved former Brevard Clerk of the Court Mitchell Needelman… Read More »

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In Florida, Not Only Are Wrongful Convictions Par for the Course, But Some Prosecutors Fight Obvious Exonerations

By The Baez Law Firm |

It’s no secret that no state in the U.S. likely has more wrongful convictions than Florida, where a number of defendants are convicted simply because they did not have the resources to build a proper defense and/or were cajoled into taking inaccurate plea bargains. Sadly, in Brevard County in particular, wrongful convictions are reportedly… Read More »

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Will It Become A Crime In Florida To Avoid Assisting Someone In Need?

By The Baez Law Firm |

Under proposed changes to Florida’s Good Samaritan law, if you fail to call for help for someone who is in distress, you could be charged with a crime. The inspiration for the proposed change to the law involved the death of an 18-year-old who was supposedly left too close to a pond by his… Read More »

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“When the Police Become Prosecutors”

By The Baez Law Firm |

The New York Times recently ran an important op-ed highlighting a serious issue in our criminal justice system that many people do not know about. While many voters have realized that prosecutors hold the keys to a fairer criminal justice system, many do not realize the police also wield a significant amount of prosecutorial… Read More »

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Judicial Committee Releases Important Report on Sixth Amendment Rights in Criminal Cases

By The Baez Law Firm |

Although a very important report on how the federal Criminal Justice Act works was completed in 2017, it was not made public until October of this year, and did not receive media attention due to the news surrounding Justice Kavanaugh’s nomination. The report identifies a number of criminal justice issues, and proposes that there… Read More »

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Spotlight Falls on Two Florida Men with Vastly Different Sentences Due To Race

By The Baez Law Firm |

An article recently featured on snopes.com has captured headlines, and examines whether and to what extent race played a part in sentencing passed down for two defendants here in Florida. The article specifically addresses the trials of Chase Legleitner and Lamar Lloyd, who were sentenced, one year apart, by the same judge–Florida 19th Circuit… Read More »

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Legislators Go After the “Gay or Trans Panic” Defense In Criminal Law

By The Baez Law Firm |

It would likely surprise you to find out that in all but three states, it is legal for criminal defendants to claim that they should not be held accountable for murder due to the gender identity or sexual orientation of their victims. The defense is known as the “gay or trans panic defense,” and… Read More »

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Florida Teens Who Allegedly Filmed Drowning Man Will Not Face Charges

By The Baez Law Firm |

The decision this month (June 2018) not to prosecute the Florida teens who allegedly “laughed” and “recorded a drowning man” is gaining news headlines of late. The teens were accused of laughing as the disabled man struggled to stay afloat in a pond near his home last year, as was recorded in a video… Read More »

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