Under Florida law, there are many crimes that can be committed in multiple ways. In such instances, the prosecution only has to prove that the defendant engaged in the behavior set forth in one method to obtain a conviction. This was demonstrated in a recent ruling issued by a Florida court, in which it affirmed the defendant’s conviction for lewd and lascivious battery. If you are faced with accusations that you committed a sex crime, it is smart to hire a skilled Tampa sex crime defense attorney to help you formulate compelling arguments.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant was charged with three counts of sexual battery on an individual under twelve years old. The grounds for the charges were acts that occurred in 2002, involving the defendant’s then nine year old daughter. Following a trial, the jury convicted the defendant of lewd and lascivious battery, a lesser included offense. He appealed on numerous grounds, including the arguments that he could not be convicted of an uncharged offense and that the prosecution failed to establish the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt, rendering his conviction improper. The appellate court rejected his arguments and affirmed his conviction.

Elements of Lewd and Lascivious Battery

The appellate court explained that lewd and lascivious battery is a permissive lesser included offense of the crime of sexual battery. Jury instructions regarding permissive lesser included offenses are appropriate and permissible if the allegations of the greater offense contain each of the elements of the lesser offense, and the evidence offered at trial would support a verdict on the lesser offense. Continue Reading ›

 Pursuant to Florida law, courts can impose greater penalties on people who are convicted of crimes if they were previously incarcerated. Only certain offenses allow for the imposition of increased sentences, though, and if a court improperly interprets the sentencing laws, the sentence imposed may be illegal. This was demonstrated in a recent Florida case in which the appellate court reversed a trial court ruling denying a defendant’s motion for resentencing. If you are charged with a crime, it is important to understand what sentences you may face if convicted, and you should speak to a knowledgeable Tampa criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Procedural History of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant was charged with and convicted of numerous crimes, including burglary of a conveyance with battery or assault. After the trial court imposed its sentence, the defendant moved to amend it, arguing that it was illegal in that he was improperly sentenced as a prison releasee reoffender in violation of Florida law. The trial court denied his motion, after which the defendant appealed. The appellate court summarily affirmed the trial court’s decision, and the defendant moved for a rehearing.

There are strict laws regulating the healthcare professions to ensure that people working in medical fields make ethical decisions regarding patient care. For example, federal law prohibits parties from offering or accepting healthcare kickbacks, and professionals that engage in schemes to do so may be convicted of conspiracy. Recently, a Florida court explained what evidence is needed to support a conspiracy conviction in a case in which numerous healthcare providers appealed their convictions. If you are charged with conspiracy or another white-collar offense, it is in your best interest to meet with a Tampa white-collar crime defense attorney to assess your possible defenses.

The Facts of the Case

It is reported that the defendants, a doctor, pharmacist, and recruiter, were indicted for numerous crimes related to conspiring to receive healthcare kickbacks and paying and receiving such kickbacks. The matter proceeded to trial, and they were each convicted as charged. Following sentencing, they each appealed, arguing in part that there was insufficient evidence to convict them of the conspiracy charges against them.

Most people charged with a crime assert their innocence. In some cases, though, a person will choose to plead guilty for various reasons. While criminal defendants have the right to enter a guilty plea if they do, the courts take great measures to ensure that their plea is made voluntarily and with full knowledge of its consequences. Thus, it can be difficult for a defendant to establish that they did not understand the implications of their choice. This was illustrated in a recent Florida carjacking case in which the court rejected the defendant’s challenge to his guilty plea. If you are accused of committing a theft crime, it is smart to speak to a Tampa theft crime defense attorney to evaluate your options for seeking a just outcome.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant was charged with carjacking and aiding and abetting carjacking. He pleaded guilty to both charges and was convicted. After he was sentenced, he appealed, arguing, among other things, that his guilty plea was not entered knowingly and voluntarily. The appellate court rejected his arguments and affirmed his convictions.

In some Florida criminal cases, the courts will sentence a defendant to probation rather than imprisonment. People on probation must abide by the terms and conditions of their sentence, however, and if they do not, their probation may be revoked. Generally, though, inadvertent and unintentional probation violations are insufficient to warrant revocation, as shown in a recent Florida ruling. If you are accused of violating the terms of your probation, it is prudent to consult a dedicated Tampa probation violation defense attorney to assess your options.

The Alleged Violation

It is reported that the defendant was charged with a third-degree domestic violence felony after he struck the victim, who was his girlfriend. He pleaded guilty pursuant to a negotiated plea and was sentenced to six months in prison with credit for all but one day served, to be followed by probation. The terms of his probation included a requirement that he abide by the state and federal law, complete a batterer’s intervention program, and maintain peaceful contact with his victim. He was subsequently arrested for domestic violence battery for assaulting the victim.

Allegedly, the state filed numerous iterations of an affidavit of probation violation, arguing the defendant violated his probation in three ways: by calling the victim from jail and for being arrested for two separate domestic violence crimes. Following a hearing, the court issued a revocation order on the grounds that the evidence supported the finding that the defendant violated the terms of his probation. He appealed, arguing that the state failed to show that he knowingly violated the peaceful contact condition. Continue Reading ›

In many criminal cases, the courts will order a person convicted of a crime to pay restitution. Further, the government is permitted to enforce restitution orders by garnishing or collecting a defendant’s property, with few exceptions. Recently, a Florida court analyzed whether it could collect restitution from a defendant’s inmate trust account in a case in which the defendant was convicted for child pornography crimes. If you are charged with a sex crime, it is wise to meet with a skilled Tampa sex-crime defense attorney to discuss your rights.

The History of the Case

It is reported that in 2015, the defendant was charged with receiving child pornography. He entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to 240 months in prison. He was also ordered to pay $20,000 in restitution to the victims harmed by his crime. In January 2021, the government filed a motion requesting that the district court issue an order allowing the Bureau of Prisons to turn over money in the defendant’s inmate trust account as payment towards the restitution he owed after the defendant received a $1,200 check from the government pursuant to the CARES Act. Specifically, the government sought $1,100 of the payment the defendant received. The defendant opposed the motion, but the court granted it. The defendant then appealed.

Enforcement of Restitution Orders in Criminal Cases

In cases involving child pornography crimes, restitution is mandatory. The appellate court explained that orders of restitution in such cases operate as a lien in favor of the government on all property and property rights of the person fined. Thus, the government can enforce a restitution order against a defendant’s property unless it falls under one of few enumerated exceptions. Continue Reading ›

White-collar crimes generally do not involve physical harm, but they nonetheless cause significant damages. In many cases, the courts will order someone convicted of a white-collar crime to pay restitution for the financial losses they caused. Regardless of the defendant’s resources, such orders will often require the defendant to pay the entire restitution amount immediately, as demonstrated in a recent Florida ruling issued in a case in which the defendant was convicted of identity fraud and mail theft. If you are accused of a white-collar crime, it is in your best interest to speak to a knowledgeable Florida white-collar crime defense attorney regarding your rights.

History of the Case

Reportedly, the defendant pleaded guilty to multiple counts of mail fraud and aggravated identity theft for the fraudulent liquidation of numerous pre-paid college accounts that were owned by other people. She agreed to pay restitution in excess of $40,000 as well. The defendant’s presentence investigation report (PSI) recommended, in part, that upon her release, she be required to make payments towards any unpaid restitution in the amount of $150 per month.

Allegedly, at the defendant’s sentencing hearing, she requested that the court reduce the amount of the monthly restitution payment. The district court denied her request but verbally advised her it would reassess the monthly amounts owed at a later date if needed. It issued an order requiring her to pay restitution in the amount of $42,500. The written judgment required her to pay slightly more. The government moved to correct the written judgment to state that the restitution amount was due immediately. The defendant opposed the motion, which the court granted. The defendant appealed. Continue Reading ›

Battery is a violent crime, and in some instances, the court will consider a person charged with felony battery to be a risk to society and will deny them bail. If a person that remains in jail throughout the pendency of their trial is ultimately convicted, they may be granted a credit towards their sentence on account of the time they already served. Not all time spent in jail counts towards a sentence, however, as demonstrated in a recent Florida ruling issued in a case in which the defendant appealed his sentence for a felony battery conviction. If you were charged with felony battery, it is smart to consult a skilled Florida violent crime defense lawyer to discuss your options.

Procedural History of the Case

Allegedly, the defendant was charged with and convicted of felony battery and misdemeanor assault. Following his conviction, he was sentenced to serve time in prison, and the trial court granted him credit for the time he spent in jail before he was sentenced. He moved to correct his sentence, and the court denied his motion. He filed three similar motions, which were also denied. He subsequently appealed his judgment and sentences.

Credit for Time Served

On appeal, the sole issue was whether the trial court erred in denying the defendant’s fourth motion to correct a sentencing error. The court explained that when the defendant was sentenced in 2018, he was granted credit for time served prior to his sentencing hearing. From the time he was sentenced until he was transported to prison; however, he spent an additional forty days in jail. Continue Reading ›

In most cases, a person charged with a drug offence is aware of the seriousness of the repercussions of a possible conviction and will seek legal counsel. Additionally, under the United States Constitution’s Sixth Amendment, criminal defendants have the right to be represented by counsel. However, in some cases, a person accused of a drug violation will renounce that right and choose to go to trial without representation. A court must conduct certain investigations to determine that a renunciation of Sixth Amendment rights is voluntary and knowing; otherwise, it may be unlawful.

In a recent Florida judgment, the rules for considering a criminal defendant’s request to proceed without an attorney were explained. The defendant was charged with narcotics conspiracy charges. If you’ve been charged with a drug offense, it’s a good idea to talk to an experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer about your options.

The Trial of the Defendant

The defendant was accused of conspiring to possess narcotics with the goal to distribute them, as well as possessing narcotics with the intent to distribute and other drug charges, according to reports. He claimed that he would proceed to trial without the assistance of counsel, and he was found guilty as charged. He subsequently filed an appeal on many grounds, including that his waiver of his right to counsel was not voluntary or knowing. Upon reconsideration, the court dismissed his argument and upheld his conviction. Continue Reading ›

In most DUI cases, the State will rely on the results of chemical testing to determine whether or not the defendant is guilty. Despite the fact that Florida’s implied consent legislation requires all motorists accused of DUI to consent to breath or urine testing, police must acquire warrants to conduct blood tests unless there are extenuating circumstances. If a person is forced to take a blood test without a warrant, the test may be considered an unreasonable search, and the findings may be inadmissible. The considerations considered in deciding whether the police conducted an unconstitutional blood test were discussed in a recent Florida judgment coming from a DUI prosecution. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, it’s a good idea to consult with a skilled Florida DUI defense attorney about your options.

The Subject Arrest

According to reports, the defendant was involved in a car accident. When officers arrived at the site of the accident, they suspected the defendant of being inebriated and asked her to submit to field sobriety tests. She performed poorly on the tests and claimed to have a knee issue. She admitted to drinking rum and coke earlier in the day when questioned if she had consumed alcohol.

The police allegedly took the defendant to a hospital and demanded that she give a blood sample. On two instances, she declined the request. After determining that a passenger in the other vehicle involved in the crash died as a result of his injuries, the investigating officer ordered an involuntary blood sample, which revealed that the defendant’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.13 percent three hours after the accident. The defendant was charged with DUI manslaughter and filed a motion to suppress the blood test results prior to her trial. She appealed after the court dismissed her request and the jury returned a guilty judgment. Continue Reading ›

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