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Victim statements can affect sentencing in a Miami aggravated assault case. In a recent appellate decision, the defendant pled no contest to aggravated assault and then appealed from the sentence. The defendant argued that the lower court had made a mistake in accepting the victim’s unsworn statement at sentencing, thereby violating section 921.143(1) of Florida Statutes.

The appellate court affirmed, explaining that the defendant hadn’t preserved his argument for review and there had been no fundamental error.

At the sentencing hearing, the victim wasn’t emotionally able to verbally speak to the court. Accordingly, the prosecutor offered an unsworn statement and other documents. The defense attorney responded by saying he wanted to cross-examine but didn’t object to most of the documents. The court asked the defense attorney whether it should review the prosecutor’s documents, including the unsworn statement, and the defense attorney told the judge to go ahead and review.

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There are serious penalties imposed for kidnapping, particularly if the kidnapping is considered domestic violence. Recently, the Miami police determined that a South Florida woman’s kidnapping, which was recorded, was connected to domestic violence. If you have questions about a Florida domestic violence or kidnapping charge, reach out to a knowledgeable attorney for answers.

The kidnapping occurred on a Friday at a tire shop. The woman screamed and asked witnesses to hide her and to call 911. A man was screaming at her. She was videotaped running toward two men that were standing outside the store. They observed that she was upset. She ran inside a restroom. She was also videotaped being forcibly pushed into a car that a man was driving. According to the Miami police, the man had his arms wrapped around her neck as he forced her into the vehicle.

Also according to the Miami police, the woman was found a few days later and was in good shape. Detectives have been following up to investigate the kidnapping.

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Grand theft is a felony charge. For a Florida third degree grand theft conviction, you may face a sentence of 5 years in prison or on probation, in addition to a fine. However, if you receive probation, you need to be aware that there are certain conditions you’ll need to meet. Even if the defendant is a juvenile, failure to meet those conditions can result in penalties.

In a recent Miami appellate decision, the juvenile defendant appealed two contempt orders and sentencing. These were imposed because the court had found he’d committed indirect contempt of court by repeatedly violating home detention orders. It was determined that the lower court didn’t violate the statutory blueprint of chapter 985 of the Florida Statutes as related to a juvenile who’d been committed to the Florida Department of Juvenile.

The case arose when the court found the juvenile, who was 14 at the time, delinquent in five different matters, including petit theft charges and strong arm robbery. He was placed at a minimum risk nonresidential restrictiveness level under Florida Statutes section 985.441(1)(b). This meant he’d live at home with his mom and go to a day treatment program.

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If you are convicted of grand theft in Miami, you may be sentenced, at least partly, to probation. There are number of conditions you must follow if you are put in probation, and if you fail to meet those conditions, you may be sentenced to prison. It is always best to reach out to a Miami grand theft attorney if you have questions that relate to a charge of this nature.

In a recent case, a defendant sought to reverse the lower court’s order revoking probation and his sentence of 5 years imprisonment. The appellate court reversed, concluding there was no substantial or competent evidence to support the lower court’s finding that the defendant willfully and substantially violated the probation conditions that he not possess firearms or possess cannabis with intent to sell. It did find, however, that he’d violated one probation condition by associating with people involved in crime.

The case arose in 2013, when a defendant pled guilty to grand theft of a vehicle and was put on reporting probation for three years. This probation was modified and lengthened for a year in 2016. The following year while driving, the probationer was stopped by the police for an infraction. Three other people were riding as passengers in his car, in both the front and back seats. The police officer could smell marijuana coming from the car when he stopped it.

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The rule of completeness is an important rule that can offer protection against the misuse of a recorded statement you make to the police in a Miami criminal case. However, this rule has its limits. In a recent Florida Supreme Court case, the Court considered the rule of completeness, as well as the evidence rule that permits impeachment of hearsay declarants.

At issue was whether section 90.108(1) (the rule of completeness) allows a defendant to require the government to put into evidence an entire video recording of his statement to the cops where the government questioned a detective about the defendant’s inculpatory statements without putting the recording into the record. Also at issue was whether the government could impeach a defendant under section 90.806(1), which permitted an attack on a hearsay declarant’s credibility.

The case arose when a 68-year-old retired man took a 27-year-old man home with him from the beach. When the victim didn’t arrive at his friend’s house for dinner as planned, the friend went to the victim’s house where he found the victim lying facedown inside. Witnesses told a detective they’d seen the victim eating with someone younger earlier that day. The medical examiner decided that the victim had the kinds of injuries that were consistent with being choked and decided it was likely that he’d been killed by force. Other evidence, including video surveillance footage from stores, showed that the defendant had used the victim’s credit card.

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Can giving an instruction on abnormal mental conditions be damaging to a Miami defendant’s defense? In a recent case, a Florida court considered standard instruction 3.6(p), which deals with abnormal mental conditions, and found that providing the instruction could be tantamount to a suggestion of mental illness when there was no other competent evidence of mental illness introduced. The instruction states that mental illness, abnormal mental condition and diminished mental capacity aren’t defenses to any crimes and evidence can’t be taken into consideration to show a defendant didn’t have the specific intent or state of mind needed to show he committed a particular crime charged. These complex situations and more can be navigated by a dedicated Miami criminal defense attorney.

The defendant was convicted of seven felonies based on one crime spree. He was sentenced to life, among other things. The defendant had a history of mental illness. However, at trial, there was no expert testimony presented about the defendant’s mental condition. When he was 16, the defendant was placed in a juvenile detention facility and while in isolation, he started to hear voices. He received a schizophrenia diagnosis.

In 2014, he was subject to the Baker Act. Two months after he was released, the crime spree occurred.

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In a recent Florida appellate decision, the court considered a case in which a burglar hit an 80-year-old man in the head and badly beat him up such that he suffered a brain hemorrhage. The old man was released before the hemorrhage resolved, and he died in his home. The defendant was charged and convicted of first degree murder. He appealed on the grounds that the prosecution hadn’t proven that his own actions caused the death of the old man. If you have been charged with a homicide, it is important to have a knowledgeable Florida criminal defense attorney by your side throughout the process.

The case arose when the 80-year-old victim came home after a day shopping with his adult daughter. When he and his daughter got out of their car in their garage, the defendant attacked the old man. The victim collapsed and then the defendant sat on him and kept beating him up before running away.

At the hospital, the victim underwent a CT scan. The staff found there was no bleeding in the brain. He was discharged. After he was released from the hospital, his CT scan was reviewed again, with the doctor finding there was a little bit of bleeding. He came back to the hospital again the next day and underwent more scans. The doctor found the bleeding had resolved, but after being discharged, the victim collapsed on his bed at home and passed away.

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In a recent Florida burglary decision, two burglaries of the same home had occurred. These burglaries were separated by five days. The defendant had been convicted of burglary with more than $1,000 in property damage, but he was acquitted of the other residential burglary. He was also convicted of grand theft of property that was worth at least $20,000.

The defendant argued that the lower court had made a mistake in denying his requests for acquittal because the state failed to show:  (1) the amount of property claimed in the burglary charge and (2) the value of what was stolen in the grand theft offense.

At the lower level, the defendant was charged with residential burglary with intent to perpetrate theft and triggering property damage of more than $1,000. He was also charged with burglary with intent to perpetrate theft. The third charge was grand theft of assets worth at least $20,000 from victims’ homes.

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A 67-year-old man who was accused of raping a child under the age of 10 in the 1990s pled guilty to 10 felony charges in Miami County last month. The victim grew up and reported the crime to detectives last year. After being charged, the defendant made a deal so that prosecutors would recommend he spend 10 years in prison in exchange for agreeing to waive consideration of the allegations by a grand jury and pleading to 10 gross sexual imposition charges. The maximum term would be 50-years for the 10 charges.

The judge accepted the pleas, ordered a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing, at which time the defendant’s sex offender classification would be determined. The defendant is being held without bond until sentencing.

Often, those convicted or who plead to sex crimes are required to register as sex offenders in addition to serving jail or prison time and paying monetary fines. After serving the prison sentence, an individual is supposed to initiate registration when their sentence requires them to take such an action. Many people do not register because registration comes with a great stigma. You might hope to start over in a new community. However, there can be added penalties for failure to register as a Florida sex offender.

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The Miami Herald reported on May 7 that just hours after a press conference announcing the arrest of two suspects in the murders at the Liberty Square housing projects last month, Miami-Dade prosecutors were expected to ask a judge to quash the arrest warrants the following morning in court. The Herald wrote that the “unusual development suggests authorities rushed to make an arrest in a high-profile killing.”

According to the Herald, homicide detectives had secured a probable cause arrest warrant that was reviewed by prosecutors and signed by a Miami-Dade judge based on the identification of an eyewitness. The Herald reported that sources said “prosecutors expressed concerns about the weakness of the evidence during a meeting with top-ranking Miami police brass and the homicide detectives on Friday, the day before the arrests.”

One suspect claimed he was shopping with his mother at the time of the shootings, and supermarket surveillance video reviewed only after the suspect was booked confirmed his claim. At the press conference, Miami’s police chief and mayor also urged the capture of a third suspect still loose on the streets. The arrest warrant for the third suspect has also been canceled, according to the Herald.

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