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Four Step Opening Statement

INTRODUCTION Studies show that upwards of 80% of juries make up their mind after opening statements.[1] Therefore it is important to give a strong opening statement. In all my trials I use the same four step process to achieve this goal. THE FOUR STEPS 1) What is the Case About: The first thing I tell […]

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Law Versus Compassion

JUSTICE IS NOT JUST PROCEDURAL As stated in my previous blog some attorneys take the position that justice is two folds: 1) procedural justice; and 2) substantive justice, which requires compassion. About a year ago I saw this concept in one of Alan Dershowitz’s book. TAKING THE STAND: MY LIFE IN THE LAW (2013) BY […]

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The Temporary Possession Of Drugs Defense

THE LAW ON TEMPORARY POSSESION Many people, including criminal defense attorneys believe that if you  get caught with drugs that you are guilty of a crime. However this is not necessarily true if the person only takes temporary possession of the drugs. In Campbell v. State, 577 So. 2d 1932, 1934 (Fla. 1991) the court […]

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Entrapment

WHAT IS ENTRAPMENT In Florida the defendant shall not be found guilty of a crime if he can show he was entrapped. Entrapment occurs when law enforcement convinces someone to commit a crime that they otherwise would not commit. This usually requires that the person who committed the crime was not already predisposed to committing […]

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Should Courts Consider a Police Agency’s Reputation and Prior Bad Acts

I would like to start by mentioning that I could not find any law on this issue one way or another, but the defense bar may be missing out on an opportunity to ongoing police misconduct. In a previous article I discussed the problem of what has been known as ‘dropsy’ testimony. Basically it started […]

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When Courts Can’t Agree On The Law

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN COURTS DISAGREE ON THE LAW You might wonder what happens when the court can’t reach a consensus on the law. This depends on which court can’t reach a consensus, and is there disagreement among the different courts or within the same court (this article is geared towards appellate courts, since trial courts […]

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Corpus Delicti: There Must Be A Crime Before There’s A Confession

WHAT IS CORPUS DELICTI Corpus Delicti is a latin phrase that means “the body of the crime.” It is an evidentiary doctrine that states before a confession can come into evidence the government must first prove that a crime was committed. HOW DOES THE GOVERNMENT PROVE A CRIME OCCURRED WITHOUT A CONFESSION Crimes to prove […]

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The Confrontation Clause In The 21 Century

WHAT IS THE CONFRONTATION CLAUSE The 6th amendment of the United States Constitution gives the defendant the right to confront his accuser. This amendment is known as the “confrontation clause”. By far the most important right of the confrontation clause is the right to cross-examine witnesses. For this reason the confrontation clause is sometimes known […]

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Stand Your Ground & Self Defense

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STAND YOUR GROUND AND SELF DEFENSE A lot of people hear about defendants asserting the stand your ground defense, and wonder how that’s different then self defense. The answer is really that stand your ground just makes some changes to the self defense laws (self defense includes the use of reasonable […]

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DUI Field Sobriety Tests

TESTING FOR DRUNK DRIVERS OR AT LEAST IMPAIRED In the State of Florida field sobriety test are not considered test, based on the Florida court ruling in meadors (with the exception of the horizontal gaze nystagmus or the HGN test). Therefore they can not be called test, and are not subject to expert opinion/testimony. Courts […]

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