Saturday, June 28, 2014

Fending off Gun Raps with a Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer

The strange journey of Felton’s case can be just as confusing for Florida residents if similar charges are thrown their way. The Sunshine State has 56 laws pertaining to ownership and use of licensed firearms, with one provision, Florida Statute 790.10, expressly banning the improper exhibition of firearms. When you are accused of firearms-related offenses and you know you did nothing wrong, an expert Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer such as Richard F. Della Fera is ready to see your case through in court.

Investigators stated that Felton was arrested and charged with second- and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and criminal possession of a firearm. They are Class C, D, and E felonies, with minimum one-year jail time for Class C. The charges stemmed from his wife Ariane’s counsel turning over a fully-loaded and unlicensed FN Herstal semiauto pistol to police; Felton was supposedly holding it during an argument with her.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Veteran Fort Lauderdale Criminal Attorney Seals Plea Deal for Client

Fort Lauderdale, Florida (June 12, 2014) – Veteran Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney Richard F. Della Fera successfully works out a plea deal for his client, Nianthanony Martinez, who was charged with a felony after shooting his ex-girlfriend and her companion back in May 2008. Martinez, 26, will spend 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to the crime and will also serve 15 years’ probation instead of the 50 years he could’ve gotten if he had been convicted at trial.

 As an experienced criminal attorney in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas, Mr. Della Fera has effectively used the discovery process to the advantage of his client. He was able to point out to the prosecutor that Martinez had no prior criminal history and is also possibly mentally incapacitated at the time of the shooting. His extensive experience allows him to use the law to its full extent to defend his clients, be they private individuals or corporate entities.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Innocence and Guilt Beyond Reasonable Doubt

The Bill of Rights guarantees that every accused is deemed innocent of the crime he is charged with unless evidence is presented to prove otherwise. In criminal law, we often hear the term “beyond reasonable doubt”. This is the standard or the burden of proof that prosecutors must present and defense lawyers must refute. This is also the same standard that judges and jurors must use to weigh in the evidences and testimonies presented before them to arrive at either a guilty or a not guilty verdict.

In a country of laws like the United States, prosecutors must present substantial evidence that can lead judges and jurors to no other logical explanation but deduce that the crimes have resulted from the actions of the defendant. No judicial body or court of law will ever convict a person for a crime where the prosecution banks on circumstantial evidences or on the weakness of the defense.

In our criminal justice system, considerations for conviction or acquittal are not given whether the court doubts the innocence of the accused, but whether it does not or does entertain reasonable doubt as to his guilt. Prosecutors must present strong evidence to get a guilty verdict as it needs to pass the test of moral certainty. The slightest possibility of an innocent man being convicted of a crime he may not have committed would be far dreadful than letting a guilty person go unpunished for crimes he may have done.

Basics of Criminal Procedure in Florida

While there may be similar elements, court proceedings generally differ from one state to the next, and the rules of criminal procedure is no different. This governs the process of litigating criminal cases, from the arrest all the way to conviction and beyond (such as in the case of appeal). Below are some basic facts about Florida’s criminal procedure.

Arrest and Arraignment

Florida criminal procedures may begin with either an arrest of, or a summons to, the defendant. Those who have been arrested and booked in jail will make their first appearance before the judge at least 24 hours after the case. It is here where probable cause is determined. About thirty days after the arrest, the defendant will then be arraigned, where the charges against him will be read.

Pretrial to Negotiations

The prosecutor will then be tasked with proving to the court whether the case will be set for trial, continued or set for plea. He is then to prepare and submit documentation called discovery (the state’s evidence against the accused) to the defendant, and the latter is given time to prepare a plea negotiation or bargain.

Criminal Trial

In the formal trial, the defendant’s case is heard before “a jury of his peers”, as is the established constitutional right. A sentence is then come upon should the jury declare the accused innocent or guilty. Remember that in criminal cases, a person can only be convicted if there is an absence of “reasonable doubt” as to his guilt.