June 2, 2012
Expungement In Florida Criminal Cases
We all know how tough things are right now in the United State as far as the economy is concerned. Getting a job in Florida has become very difficult and highly competitive. If you have any sort of criminal record, that could be the difference between you finding work and being unemployed. Did you know it is possible to have your Florida criminal record expunged?
If you were charged with a crime and those charges were dismissed or if you received a withhold of adjudication and you have no convictions on your criminal record, we can help. You have one chance to expunge or seal one crime. How does it work? Is my crime eligible for expungement? We have the answers. Read about how a Florida expungement works or call our office at 1-800-FIGHT IT (1-800-344-4848).
October 25, 2010
Pinellas Drug Charges – St. Petersburg Lawyer Arrested On Charges Of Trafficking In Oxycodone
A Pinellas County lawyer has been arrested in Clearwater on drug charges for allegedly attempting to smuggle the painkiller Oxycdone into the Pinellas County Jail. The lawyer was arrested Friday at a Clearwater gas station where he was set to make an exchange with undercover deputies. The investigation began following a tip to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s.
The St. Petersburg Times is reporting that the sheriff’s received a tip on Thursday that the lawyer was bringing illegal substances into the jail. At that point detectives reached out to the lawyer to and set up a deal where the lawyer would take 50 oxycodone pills into the jail in exchange for 20 of the painkillers for himself. The attorney was arrested at the time of the exchange. The arrest took place at a Mobil gas station located on the 4800 block of Ulmerton Road.
The 31-year-old suspect has been charged with trafficking in oxycodone and possession of a controlled substance. A former Hillsborough County assistant state attorney, the current defense lawyer has been a licensed attorney in Florida for five years. He came under heavy criticism by Hillsborough County Judge William Fuente in 2008 for his defense of a shooting suspect. The trial involved David Rolon who was accused of shooting his neighbor in Sulphur Springs. The judge granted a motion for a new trial based on his in adequate representation of his client. There are no disciplinary actions on record against the man with the Florida Bar despite that judge’s ruling in the case.
In August the man was arrested on spousal battery charges that were eventually dropped. He is currently in the Pinellas County Jail on $105,000 bail on his current Florida felony drug charges. According to another newspaper report the investigation into the attorney is on-going and more information could be forthcoming.
September 30, 2010
Florida DUI News – World Series Champion Yankee Ready To Face DUI Manslaughter Charges
One of the legendary clutch hitters in World Series and New York Yankee postseason history is facing the fight of his life on a Florida DUI charge that could result in a long DUI prison sentence. Former Yankee catcher Jim Leyritz is getting ready to be tried on a DUI manslaughter charge in a Fort Lauderdale courtroom stemming from a 2007 crash.
According to prosecutors as reported in a blog post on CNN.com, Leyritz was out celebrating his 44th birthday when he decided to get behind the when of his Sport Utility Vehicle after a “alcohol-fueled” celebration. He allegedly ran through a red light and crashed into Fredia Veitch. The 30-year-old mother of two died in the crash. It was determined following the crash that Leyritz was driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.14.
The reason the case could be problematic for prosecutors is that court records show Veitch was also intoxicated at the time of the crash. Her blood-alcohol level was higher than Leyritz’s at 0.18. The defense is going to use the fact that the woman was drunk, along with alleging that she was distracted on her cell phone, speeding and driving with her lights off and they will also challenger the fact that Leyritz ran a red light claiming it was yellow at the time he went through the intersection.
The case will revolve around the seconds leading up to the fatal crash that lead to the DUI manslaughter charge. Leyritz’s DUI defense lawyers will have their accident reconstruction experts battle those from the state and that may be where the case is decided. There has also been an issue with discovery in the case. The prosecutors admitted a violation but said that it occurred before the trial ever started but the defense has been granted a hearing on that issue, which CNN reported as a minor victory for the lawyers defending Leyritz.
September 24, 2010
Manatee County Drug Blog – Anyone Know Where 260 Pounds Of Marijuana And Two Kilos Of Coke Went?
Two suspected drug dealers could be on their way to freedom as their Mantaee County drug case is at risk with the disappearance of 260 pounds of marijuana and two kilos of cocaine. The Herald Tribune ran a front page story today detailing the loss of evidence and the mess that has become evidence property management in Manatee County.
According to the story the missing cocaine and marijuana are from two separate cases and while Sheriff’s officials say they don’t really know what happened they placed some o the blame on a leaky dehumidifier. One of the issues in Manatee County when it comes to storing evidence is that the county does not use a singular location like many other jurisdictions. In Manatee, evidence is stored in three different facilities including a bank vault leased by the county.
The evidence stored in the bank vault was from old cases. According to the article there was poor record keeping of that evidence and the Sheriff’s office eventually decided to incinerate all of that evidence assuming it would never be needed. When The Innocence Project came to ask for a piece of evidence for DNA evaluation in a rape case, it was gone along with evidence that could have been used in a drug trafficking trial from 11 years ago when the suspect was recently apprehended after jumping bail.
With the recent loss of cocaine and marijuana, both cases against those defendants are in jeopardy. While the drugs seem to have been tested and weighed by the Sheriff’s office, it was never independently evaluated by defense lawyers, which may be enough to foil a conviction in both cases. Manatee County has started to use bar codes for their evidence and a central storage facility in hopes of correcting the problem that is jeopardizing the criminal justice process in Bradenton and Manatee County.
September 8, 2010
Pinellas County Arrest – Getting Bailed Out Of Pinellas County Jail Just Got A Little Easier
If you happen to find yourself in a Pinellas jail needing bail following a Pinellas County arrest, there is good news for you. The Pinellas County Jail is now accepting credit and debit cards for bail of $750 or less. This is the first jail in the Tampa Bay area to offer this service. According to TampaBay.com there are only three other jails in the state that accept credit or debit cards.
According to Jim Coats, sheriff of Pinellas County, the program was put into place to lower the number of people stuck in jail while awaiting trial. The idea came out of a meeting of the minds between law enforcement, the county clerk, judges and public defenders offices. The limit was set at $750 despite the fact the sheriff wanted it set higher. The sheriff pushed for $1000, the state attorney for $500 so they split the difference.
The program will only apply to a small portion of people in jail as the $750 threshold will include mostly those in jail for minor charges. TampaBay.com looked at the number of people arrested in Pinellas County and sitting in jail on Wednesday. Of the 3,252 people in Pinellas County jail, only 74 would qualify to use their credit or debit cards in order to post bail. The article reported that just over 20 people have utilized the program since August 23.
Most of the crimes that involve a bail of $750 or less are traffic offenses or non-violent misdemeanors. The processing fee will be seven percent and the sheriff’s and clerk’s offices will get ten percent of that cut. The Pinellas County clerk and sheriff see the idea as a winner as will many people who are arrested and need to use credit to get out. The losers under the new plan will most likely be the bail bondsmen who were called on in the past to help these people get out of jail.
June 28, 2010
Sarasota Arrest Warrant – Man Wanted For Probation Violation Leads Sarasota Sheriff’s On Three High-Speed Chases
Sarasota County Sheriff’s deputies needed three high speed chases to catch a man who had a Florida arrest warrant for a probation violation in connection with a domestic violence charge. Issa M. Alyan led police on three chases in a two-day span after they originally found the 54-year-old off a secluded road with a woman Friday night. Deputies asked for his driver’s license and while they were investigating Alyan took off leading police on a high-speed chase that was called off by a supervisor. An hour later the same thing happened again when Alyan’s Jeep was spotted once again.
Police were still in possession of the man’s ID so they ran his information and discovered he had a Florida arrest warrant in his name. At this point police found the man’s Jeep once again near Alyan’s home and once again he led sheriffs on a high-speed chase through the streets of Sarasota. He led deputies along Bee Ridge Road and State Road 72. He eventually drove into a gated community crashing through the mechanical gates that protect the entrance.
Alyan headed to the Heritage Oaks Country Club and drove through resident’s yards before being forced off the road. Once he was apprehended Alyan complained of chest pains and was taken to the hospital in Sarasota. A Sheriff’s deputy was injured as well and taken to the hospital. There were no details in the TBO.com story concerning how the deputy suffered his injuries.
On top of his arrest warrant for the violation of probation on the domestic violence charge, Alayn is now facing charges of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and three counts of fleeing and eluding.
May 19, 2010
Tampa Defense Attorney News – Did ‘Hyde Park Rapist’ Really Violate His Probation Leading To His Arrest?
The probation violation that led to the arrest of the man known as the ‘Hyde Park Rapist’ should not hold up in court nor should his subsequent arrest according to Bobby Joe Helms’ Tampa Criminal Defense attorney. Helms’ lawyer told 10 Connects that his parole for 12 Tampa rapes and four other attempted rapes in the 1980’s expired in 2006 making the latest arrest of Helms that started as a stop for a probation violation invalid.
Helms has been in jail in Hillsborough County for almost a year. He was originally arrested following a traffic stop based on a tip he had a 17-year-old girl in his car. The arrest was based on the fact that Helms was told to stay away from the girl by his probation officer. His lawyer argued that even if Helms was still on probation there were no terms forbidding him to have contact with minors and that a probation officer cannot make up terms to add on to his probation.
If the defense attorney is right, then Helms should not be sitting in jail. According to the story on WTSP.com Helms had complied with the terms of his parole and never had committed a violation of his probation as reported by the Brevard County Sheriff’s. They had no reported problems with Helms up until last June. At that time there were reports of the 52-year-old having contact with area teenagers.
At the time of the traffic stop that led to his arrest, police did report finding Helms’ in possession of what may be illegal prescription drugs. Helms had a suspicious amount of painkillers and police suspect he may be involved in doctor shopping and prescription fraud. Authorities believe he was trying to illegally acquire Oxycodone and Xanax, which they say also violates the terms of his probation.
April 23, 2010
Clearwater Hit And Run – Man Convicted Twice For Leaving The Scene Of An Accident Charged With A Third
Clayton J. Harrison has been convicted twice for leaving the scene of an accident and he is now looking at a third hit-and-run charge following an accident in Clearwater that may result in DUI charges as well. The 49-year-old was arrested this week for his involvement in an accident on U.S. 19. Harrison is accused of driving the wrong way on the major road and causing an accident with injuries and then fleeing.
The St. Petersburg Times reports Harrison had a blood-alcohol level of 0.352 according to blood tests yet it is not clear in the article whether or not the man was charged with DUI on top of leaving the scene of an accident. This is not the first time Harrison has been in need of a criminal defense attorney in Pinellas County. In 2000 Harrison was convicted of DUI after being involved in another hit and run crash. He received one year probation following that charge. In 1987 he received six months probation following hit and run crash with injury.
At the scene of his most recent accident police report Harrison was barely able to stand. He was taken to a local hospital and that is where a blood sample was taken. He was cited for leaving the scene at that point as he tried to flee following the crash. Clearwater police report that Harrison hit three vehicles. The last truck he hit ended up with his car lodged and his engine revving to try and escape.
The accident took place March 18 but Harrison was not arrested until this week. Part of the reason according to Clearwater police was that they were waiting the results of the blood test. Harrison has been released from Pinellas County Jail on $5,500 bail.
April 20, 2010
Largo Driver Booked On DUI Manslaughter Charges Due To Marijuana In His System
Karl Merl has been arrested on DUI manslaughter charges in Pinellas County after police received test results that show the Largo man had marijuana in his system at the time of a car accident that killed an 83-year-old pedestrian in 2008. Merl is being held on $50,000 bail in the Pinellas County jail.
The incident took place in November of 2008 near 105th Avenue and Oakhurst Road. According to witnesses Merl made no effort to avoid Kathryn Melnick. Merl’s blood sample showed there was tetrahydrocannabinol on his system. THC is a pyschoactive substance that is found in marijuana.
April 1, 2010
Tampa Bay Child Porn Sweep Nets 29 And Frees Two Alleged Sexual Abuse Victims
The former Publix employee who has been charged with shooting and killing a co-worker is facing additional Hillsborough county criminal charges. According to TampaBay.com Arunya Rouch has been charged with two counts each of felony attempted murder on a law enforcement officer and aggravated assault. Those charges are in-addition to the first-degree murder charges that have already been filed.
The latest charges stem from reports that are now starting to come to light about what happened earlier this week at theTarpon Springs
supermarket. Rouch allegedly threatened two employees inside the store.
She had a physical confrontation with one and pointed her gun at the
other leading to the aggravated assault charges. The other charges come
from her firing at officers in the parking lot as they tried to