Last week's post about an episode in which Sarasota police pulled over and searched a vehicle that had driven through a gas station after dark raised a question regarding the rights of police to conduct a search. We noted that such a search required probable cause, but just what is the meaning of probable cause within a criminal law context?
Last week, two men drove their car into a Sarasota gas station after midnight, when it was closed. Police were alerted to a vehicle acting suspiciously and intercepted it after it left the station. They proceeded to conduct a search. The search allegedly turned up a number of devices known as skimmers.
Last month on our blog, we noted a story involving a Florida man's use of a polygraph test to try to clear himself from accusations of sexual misconduct. While the story helped to highlight the relatively limited situational use of the polygraph test, some readers may be left with questions about the accuracy of a polygraph in the criminal law context: is the test infallible? What happens if errors are made? To answer these questions, we'll turn to the American Polygraph Association, with the understanding that the information is intended to be general in nature only and not specific legal advice.
When Florida residents think of airports, they likely think of tourists, business people, lots of luggage and domestic and international travel. One thing you don't think about, at least when it comes to travelers, are guns. While it is legal for airline passengers to travel with handguns, there are specific requirements that must be met. Failure to meet these could land an individual with a criminal charge and serious penalties.
Film and television have long played up the drama of the polygraph, or lie detector test. The idea that this method can scientifically distinguish truth from fiction and guilt from innocence with absolute accuracy and finality has certainly proven to be an entertaining one over the years. However, the actual role of the polygraph test in Florida's criminal law system today bears some key differences from this portrayal.
When people think of criminal law, perhaps one of the most overlooked areas of is the plea negotiation process. For instance, when we turn on the television, the popular crime dramas always cover the trial, but they may not show the plea negotiation process. Plea bargaining, however, is an extremely important aspect of criminal law, and it can frame the entire case, so it is important to understand it.
Arguments happen every day between loving members of Florida families. Disagreements over a variety of topics can cause individuals to raise their voices, feel their emotions soar and sometimes say things that they may later regret. In most cases, loved ones are able to move beyond their fights and restore the balance of love and commitment that they enjoyed prior to their confrontations. However, for others, tension and strife may lead to allegations and claims of more damaging and sinister behavior between members of the same households.
Most traffic stops in the greater Bradenton area happen because law enforcement officials suspect that drivers are breaking motor vehicle operation laws. Whether the drivers are suspected of speeding, running traffic signs and signals, or violating other laws, and they see flashing lights in their rearview mirrors, they know that they will soon have encounters with law enforcement officials.
A Florida resident does not have to be a lawyer to have heard of 'Miranda' rights. Miranda rights are the rights a person is told of when arrested on suspicion of committing a crime. Although cop shows like to sensationalize arrest scenes with dramatic recitations of these rights, these shows often come fairly close to getting these important legal protections correct.
Many Florida residents enjoy the Fourth of July for the fantastic food, fun parties, and exciting fireworks that accompany the event. As they celebrate the birth of the nation, they partake in festivities that bring people together to enjoy each other's company and celebrate their freedom. Most celebrations conclude with good feelings and happy participants. Others may end with confrontations and accusations that can lead to calls to law enforcement officials and potential arrests.