Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Broward Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
American Bar Association Badge
United States District Court - Southern District of Florida - Badge
Published on:

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.

Published on:

Florida’s so-called 10-20-Life law, established under § Florida Statute 775.087, has been in effect since 1999 and has largely accomplished its primary goal to sentence thousands of people to mandatory prison terms because of certain convictions involving firearms or other dangerous weapons. The prosecutor is the only person with the power to waive a mandatory minimum sentence, and judges are only allowed to deviate from mandatory minimum requirements when an alleged offender is a youthful offender. 

One key provision of Florida Statute 775.087 that was amended, however, by Senate Bill 228 (SB 228) when Governor Rick Scott signed the bill into law on February 26, 2016, related to convictions for aggravated assault involving the possession of a firearm, destructive device, semiautomatic firearm and its high-capacity detachable box magazine, or machine gun. Whereas such convictions automatically triggered mandatory three-year prison sentences, SB 228 deleted that requirement. 

It now appears that more lawmakers in Florida may be trying to eliminate other mandatory minimum provisions under state law. If you were arrested for any kind of criminal offense that could carry a mandatory minimum prison sentence, it is in your best interest to immediately contact The Hoffman Firm.

Published on:

In 2017, Governor Rick Scott signed House Bill 477 (HB 477), adding the opioids fentanyl and carfentanil to the list of drugs that can result in mandatory minimum sentences. Now, two bills have been proposed in the Florida Legislature that could allow judges to depart from mandatory minimum sentencing requirements.

House Bill 481 (HB 481) provides that mandatory minimum sentences for controlled substance offenses may be reduced by up to specified percentage for offenders meeting certain criteria. Senate Bill 694 (SB 694) authorizes a court to impose a sentence other than a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment and mandatory fine for a person convicted of trafficking if the court makes certain findings on the record.

“This year, the momentum is stronger than ever in the Senate for real criminal justice reform,” State Senator Rob Bradley, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told the Miami Herald. “It remains to be seen if our friends in the House share that appetite.”

Published on:

The Miami Herald reported on January 18 that police suspected there was a “marijuana lab” inside a warehouse on 123rd Street in Medley and saw a Hialeah man park a pickup truck in front of the warehouse, go inside, and return back to the truck about two hours later. According to the police report, officers entered the warehouse with a search warrant and found “two fully functioning hydroponics laboratories,” one of which had 25 plants and the other had 11. 

The Herald reported that police also found grow equipment and chemicals and documents addressed to the alleged offender. A stolen truck was also discovered inside the warehouse during the search, with one detective noticing that the vehicle identification number (VIN) on the truck had been tampered with and determined the truck had been stolen from Broward County in 2016. 

The man was held in jail with no bond on charges that included grand theft of a vehicle, altering a vehicle’s information, and trafficking marijuana, according to the Herald. All three of those crimes are felony offenses.

Published on:

The Miami Herald reported on December 7 that a 28-year-old man was arrested during a traffic stop near U.S. Route 1 and Southwest 136th Street in Pinecrest. Police set up surveillance near the Pinecrest Whole Foods on Dixie Highway where the man was spotted. According to the Herald, the alleged offender had been accused of offering rides to female students at the University of South Carolina, taking them to places other than their desired destinations, and refusing to let them out of his vehicle. 

According to the South Carolina newspaper The State, the man was arrested by the Pinecrest Police Department on two outstanding arrest warrants: one for assault and another for domestic violence. Neither warrant was related to any incident involving University of South Carolina students. 

Two women, ages 21 and 18, reported to the Columbia Police Department on November 26 that they received a ride from the alleged offender. One female reported getting out of the car after feeling uncomfortable while the man attempted to prevent the other woman from leaving, causing her to receive medical treatment for scrapes and bruises to her leg. 

Published on:

On October 27, the Miami Herald reported that the principal at Wesley Matthews Elementary in Miami was reassigned on by Miami-Dade County Public Schools after she was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) on July 21. The 46-year-old woman who has been with the school system for 23 years will work at a district administrative office, a non-school site, Miami-Dade schools spokeswoman Daisy Gonzalez-Diego told the Herald. 

The Herald reported that a breath test administered following the alleged offender’s arrest showed blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of 0.140 and 0.142—both over Florida’s legal limit of 0.08. The woman reported the misdemeanor to school officials and remained in her role as principal until the reassignment, according to the Herald. 

“We don’t usually reassign in cases such as these, but the district can and will take action if a case has the potential to cause a disruption to the learning environment we work so hard to maintain,” Gonzalez-Diego said in an email to the Herald. “Our goal is to maintain continuity of education with minimal disruptions.” 

Published on:

The Miami Herald reported that a North Miami man would be spending his 60th birthday in Miami-Dade’s Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center after being arrested on September 27. The man was being held with no bond after being charged with seven counts of sexual battery on a child between the ages of 12 and 16. 

WPLG-TV reported that the arrest affidavit stated that the alleged victim told police that the man had sex with her three times, most recently at a hotel in the summer with the other two incidents occurring in the living room and guest bedroom of the man’s house. Police told WPLG that the man admitted that he went to the hotel with the alleged victim but denied having sex with her.

Sexual Battery Defense Attorney in Miami, FL

Published on:

The Miami New Times reported on September 20 that a University of Miami (UM) student filed a lawsuit against the university on September 15. According the New Times, the student alleges in her lawsuit that she was raped on August 23, 2013, at an off-campus apartment complex known informally as “Red Road” that caters to UM students. 

The student claims that her assailant—who was a resident adviser (RA) at a campus dorm nearby—regularly stalked her and threatened her after the assault. The student said she first reported the assault and subsequent stalking to the RA program supervisor at her assailant’s dorm, but the supervisor “ultimately did nothing and also did not provide the student with anymore advice or reference her Title IX rights in any way” after saying he would speak with the alleged rapist. 

The student claims she first reported the rape to then-Dean William A. “Tony” Lake on September 16, 2013 and reported the stalking to the Coral Gables Police Department later that same day. The New Times reported that Lake allegedly told the student that “the school wasn’t able to enforce the no-contact order and that it was on her to steer clear of the rapist” two weeks after the university issued a no-contact order and the student’s rapist began harassing her again. 

Published on:

Being injured on the job can cause serious financial and resourceful hardship. These injuries can change your lifestyle, your method of enjoyment, and even your career path. Worker’s compensation was created to aide individuals who have been injured on the job, while performing their job duties.

Faking an injury or making a minor injury out to be more serious than it really is in order to obtain benefits can be tempting, but it will likely cause more headaches than it is worth.

Lying about an injury or pretending like an injury occurred at work when it did not can lead to serious legal consequences. Fraud is defined as a false representation. In the legal sense, it is a false representation of a material fact, whether by words or by conduct, that misleads or is intended to deceive another person so that she or she will act upon it to his or her detriment.

Published on:

On July 3, the Miami Herald reported that Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch ruled that Florida’s updated “Stand Your Ground” law was unconstitutional. The ruling was not binding, likely meaning that the appeals process would lead to the revised law being reviewed by the Florida Supreme Court.

Senate Bill 128 (SB 128), which shifted the burden of proof from the defendant to the prosecutor during the pretrial phase of Stand Your Ground cases, was one of 16 measures Governor Rick Scott signed into law on June 9. Under the new law, prosecutors must prove by “clear and convincing” evidence that an alleged offender was not acting in self-defense.

Hirsch issued his ruling in the case of a woman charged with aggravated assault with a firearm and grand theft. The Herald reported that the woman will have an immunity hearing held in the near future to prove her self-defense claim, and she would be able to appeal to the Third District Court of Appeal, and ultimately, the Florida Supreme Court if unsuccessful.

Contact Information