Broward State Attorney’s Office Targets Judge Contini. Huh???

New Judge Targeted by Broward State Attorney’s Office

Judge Contini, a newly elected judge is being attacked by the Broward County State Attorney’s office after talking generally about Florida Law with his court public defenders. It is a common practice for judges to help better our young local attorneys so that they may not only better serve the clients that they represent but more importantly assist in the efficient flow of our Florida criminal justice system. Judge Contini has been a well-respected lawyer in Broward County for decades.

I am disheartened I think that what can only be seen as a legal and unbiased act could ever serve to have him removed from presiding over criminal cases in Broward County. It also seems out of character for the Broward County State Attorney’s office. Decades ago we had judges that were accused of quite disrespectful facts towards our local attorneys. It was a difficult time and the allegations were severe. The prosecutors office was silent during that time.

Our current judiciary assigned to the task of presiding over criminal cases is the best and most qualified that is ever been. Many local attorneys practicing criminal law fear that such a bold move by the Broward County State Attorney’s office will serve to dissuade judges from appropriately mentoring the younger attorneys present assigned to their courtrooms.

An examination of the allegations first asserted by the Broward County State Attorney’s office and then filed by way of a petition for writ of prohibition by the Attorney Geneneral’s office reveals nothing more than a discussion of legal issues. General issues pertaining to Florida criminal law. A better understanding of which rapidly speeds up the manner in which criminal cases are processed in Broward County.

Bruce Rogow, who is undoubtedly one of the best lawyers in the state of Florida stated that he did not believe Judge Contini needed to remove himself from presiding over criminal cases in Broward County. Rogow also stated that seeking recusal is an overreaction by the State. There is nothing to suggest that Judge Contini would refrain from looking at downward departure motions on a case by case basis.

This is supported by allegations in the petition for writ of prohibition filed against Judge Contini. Allegations that clearly state that the judge indicated that motions seeking reduced sentences should be filed where appropriate. Any conversation taking place between Judge Contini and lawyers that practice in front of him were not case specific. The communications were also based on established Florida Criminal Law.

Attorney William R. Moore claims that the action taken by the Broward County State Attorney’s office is peculiar to say the least.

William Moore, a Criminal Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, states that John Contini has been a well-respected attorney in Broward County for decades. More importantly, he is a brand-new judge. Having only been elected a few months ago, you have to wonder why what the motivation was behind one of the boldest acts taken against a criminal judge by the Broward prosecutor’s office since I can remember. I don’t believe for a second that anyone practicing criminal law in Broward County honestly believes that Judge Contini cannot be fair and impartial. The ultimate result will be a criminal court judiciary fearful of their every move. He is new. He was clearly just trying to be a good judge.

The elected public defender, Howard Finkelstein describes the actions of the state attorney’s office is being disingenuous. He furthered that the actions of John Contini paled in comparison to recent problems associated with our Broward County criminal courts.

Broward County criminal justice system has come under fire over the last couple of years to say the least. The current criminal court judges at this moment are the best we have ever had. Allegations against Judge Contini are weak at best can only serve to undermine the criminal court bench where it is not warranted. A judge that takes lawful an ethical duty to control the manner in which cases are litigated before them is common. Talking about Florida Criminal law is even more common.

Local Broward County criminal defense attorneys have also emphasized how quiet the Broward State attorney’s office has been in response to arrests and wrongdoings alleged against the jurisdiction’s prosecutors.

The writ seeking to have Judge Contini removed from presiding over criminal cases in Broward County speaks loudly, albeit incorrectly. Specifically, language alleging that Judge Contini was providing a method by which defense lawyers could file a motion for a reduced sentence that would be a “sure winner.” There is nothing whatsoever based on the facts that we have reviewed that would tend to support this allegation.

Once again, Judge Contini stated in talking about motions for downward departure that they should only be filed where appropriate. Furthermore, all communications were about the interpretation of Florida criminal law. Certainly a judge is permitted to speak with local criminal defense attorneys about the law. Remember, no discussions took place about any specific Broward County criminal case. No specific criminal defendant was mentioned.

Do better attorneys equate to a more efficient judicial process?

Some Broward County criminal judges seem to think so.

Many criminal court judges called regularly scheduled meetings to discuss issues pertaining to the efficient flow of an already overwhelming criminal caseload. Such an aggressive act taken immediately after Judge Contini has taken the bench seems suspect. From what we can tell advice given in order to prevent improperly filed pleadings from being kicked back and consuming the court’s time.

Remember the more time that it takes for the court to get through its regularly scheduled docking of cases, the more judges that are necessary. More judges means more money.

How much more money? Well you have to take into account that the following. The salary of additional judges, the salary of at least two bailiffs assigned to the courtroom of each new judge, the cost of a qualified and experienced in court clerk, court reporter and judicial assistant, there must also be at least one assigned prosecutor and defense attorney to each new judges division. In Broward County, most often that means three prosecutors and three public defenders. Let’s not forget the cost of the judge’s office, assigned courtroom etc. It may be worth considering that instilling fear in judges who wish to openly communicate with the attorneys litigating criminal cases before them may serve to slow down our judicial process in Broward County.

Like I said more judges more money.

Man hit by car after attempting to kill ex-wife apprehended

broward county hit and run attorney William R. Moore

Our Criminal Lawyers in Fort Lauderdale recently reported on a crime occurring in Hollywood Florida whereby a man was hit by a car after stabbing his ex-wife. The Sun Sentinel report today that a suspect has been apprehended and charged with kidnapping, stalking and felony murder. A Broward County magistrate judge ordered Jorge Ruiz held without bond pending the resolution of the case.

see full article

Criminal Lawyers in Fort Lauderdale recently reported on a crime occurring in Hollywood Florida

Ruiz is alleged to have appeared at his ex-wife’s residence, stabbed her repeatedly and then fled on a bicycle. It was during his fleeing the scene of the crime that he was struck by the automobile. The accused and ex-wife were taken to the same hospital whereby the victim to the case positively identified the assailant. Jean Ruiz, the victim had filed for restraining order against her ex-husband following an alleged incident of domestic violence. It is alleged that this restraining order was violated on at least two occasions at the victim’s place of employment.

More information about this case or applicable Florida Criminal Law governing it contact attorney William R. Moore at 954-523-5333.

Sex Related Crimes Last Week in Broward County

Sex defense lawyer Fort Lauderedale

Okay this week in crime according to the Broward County Sun Sentinel we had a woman who received only a 60 day sentence after pleading to allegations of robbery by use of drugs. That sentence was out of the ordinary for the court that the newspapers reporting on the newspaper was reporting on this undoubtedly due to the fact that the sentence seemed extremely low for an individual accused of what’s considered a pretty serious crime in Florida.

Based on my experience as a criminal defense attorney practicing the same jurisdiction, I would bet that there were some pretty good reasons that the judge had with respect to why this defendant only received a two-month incarceration sentence. Our felony criminal court judges as well as a misdemeanor court judges certainly know what they’re doing and know what an appropriate sentence is for the particular severity of the crime charged. Remember the crime severity degree or level is but one factor in determining an appropriate sentence. Most importantly in any criminal prosecution are the facts and circumstances surrounding that particular case the exact same crime came from be committed in two ways that are entirely distinct from one another in terms of severity. My name is William Moore and I can be reached for comments on this issue by calling 954-523-5323.

Crime News in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale Criminal Lawyers

Also on April 8, 2015 the Broward County Sun Sentinel reported on a pretty outrageous case of sexual assault and battery. And this is this is actually the second of this kind reported this week by the sun sentinel. Ian Charles Dewson, a man in his early 30s has been arrested for several counts of lewd or lascivious battery person between the ages of 12 and 16 this guy was caught by Broward Sheriff’s office deputies having had sex numerous times throughout the course of one month with a girl who was only 14 years old at the time. There is evidence to suggest that Mr. Dewson took reasonable steps when trying to cover his tracks by removing any evidence from the crime scene which included the removal of use prophylactic devices. He did not, however think to avoid electronic communication such as text messages with the underage girl which seem to be some of the strongest evidence in the Broward County prosecutors case against him.

The victim apparently lives in a gated community with her parents refused to identify defendant Watson out of the police lineup and it is unclear whether or not she intends to part participate in the police investigation and/or prosecution. Evidence of electronic communications seems to be very important to the survivability of this case. Mr. Dewson was ordered held unles a $100,000 bond was posted. According to the Broward County Sheriff’s website, Mr. Dewson is no longer in custody which leads us to believe that this bond has been posted.

It is worth mentioning that the 14-year-old victim has made statements to Broward Sheriff’s detectives that were later found to be untrue however the untruths appear to be attempts to protect Mr. Dewson from being prosecuted and may not necessarily weaken the state attorney’s case against him.

Just yesterday we had another sex case reported in Broward County. This one involved an organized scheme designed to either single out or convince young girls to have sex for money. The plan utilized social media sites. Specifically, the defendant befriended underage girls through casual conversation in order to learn things about them which included whether or not they would be willing to have sex for money. Those that would were singled out by the defendant who had sexual intercourse with as many as three of the underage girls. His bond was set at $100,000

Our next case this week doesn’t involve allegations of sex crime it does it did happen at a strip club. BSO deputies yes more of them in trouble again. Apparently this time a group of Broward Sheriff’s deputies were working privately for cash under the table in exchange not only for security services but also for some pretty significant perks. The pink pony strip club located in Pompano Beach must have thought that it hit the jackpot upon learning that they could extend the hours of operation well beyond 4 AM as required by all well beyond 2 AM as required by so many of the nightclubs serving alcohol in Broward County. The ability for bars especially one that is also a strip club has been a hot issue in Broward County for years. Staying open later equates to a heck of a lot more money for the club’s owners. Apparently in this most recent case the Broward Sheriff’s deputies were allowing the pink pony to stay open in exchange for money. This is tantamount to receiving compensation the deputies were receiving unlawful lawful compensation and receiving a benefit in exchange for their failing their civic duties to which they swore to uphold. Officers the officers involved are also two of alleged to have looked the other way during drug transactions and following the arrests. Following the arrests, things just seem to get worse for these officers as telephone calls were made to the potential witnesses that would testify against them. Records indicate that significant attempts were made to convince them to do otherwise by the suspected officers. It is unknown at this time as to whether or not witness tampering charges will be filed against the officers involved.

Attorney William are more has been practicing in Broward County Florida four years. He often speaks openly about recent allegations current allegations against Broward Sheriff’s deputies as well as Fort Lauderdale police officers such as in the recent Scott Rothstein case. He can be reached for comment on any issue regarding unlawful compensation of police officers by calling 954-523-5333

New Broward County Courthouse Almost Complete

Broward County New court house 2016

It seems like only yesterday when construction crews were demolishing the parking garage on Southeast six Street to make way for our new Broward County Courthouse. In just a few short months we will all be litigating our criminal cases in the long anticipated new justice complex.

This building is really be something else. It’s energy-efficient and anticipated to be a tier 2 environmental design. Standing at 20 stories with over 700,000 ft.² of workspace and already pleasant work environment certain to be nothing short of amazing. When completed our new Broward County Courthouse will have over 100,000 ft.² of impressive glass panels, 14 elevators, six people movers thousands of doors, hundreds of toilets, over 10,000 modern lighting fixtures, safety generators almost 80 court rooms to start and an ergonomic design here towards the flow of employees and public.

Our new courthouse promises to provide a heightened level of security at less intrusion according to studies based on similar projects throughout the nation. Health concerns such as air quality were also a big factor in the development of our new courthouse following years of allegations that certain employees in the West building were being made sick by poor ventilation. Our new building is promised to have no such issues just clean fresh well-circulated cool comfortable air.

Currently construction of our new judicial complex is over 80% complete. Wall finishes, woodwork paneling flooring and top-of-the-line pictures are starting to become visible on the interior of the project. With accommodations this nice our local attorneys have seemingly forgotten about the slight delay in completion. Originally, planning and development called for completion date of 2014.

Broward County public defender’s office in Broward County State Atty.’s office will enjoy an office move the last of which was almost 3 decades ago. At least for the public defenders who served under Alan Schreiber.

One of the really cool things about this project is anticipated integration of public art it is to be expected. Broward County commissioners think that what is described as a fully functional and integrated public art project will encourage art in public places. There’s your invitation to visit Florida Banksy. Bring some spray paint.

The art project is called FLOW and little is known about it other than it is still in the developmental phase.

Questions and concerns by attorneys and courthouse staff have included everything from parking garage security to questions about whether employees will have their own entrance into the courthouse. The answer to both of those questions is yes however certain tracks from car to office and back may not be covered for those rainy days. I believe there is one designated smoking area for all of you cigarette lovers. Further luxuries will include approximately 20 break rooms for courthouse staff as well as private restrooms.

The best thing this whole deal according to one County Criminal Court, Judge is that we get to keep the third floor cafeteria that we’ve enjoyed over the last couple of decades.

Nice!

Up-to-the-minute information about the progress of our new Broward County Courthouse construction progress can be found by visiting http://www.broward.org/newcourthouse/Pages/Default.aspx.

 

 

 

Injury from Taser use in Broward County

Criminal defense lawyer Fort Lauderdale

The use of Tasers or stun guns by police officers in Florida has been the subject of much debate since their inception.

On the one hand, people in favor of the device argue that it deters individuals suspected of committing a crime from resisting officers and ultimately leads to less injury by the suspect.

Those against the use of Tasers in Florida point out the numerous injuries and deaths resulting from it’s use.

Once again in Fort Lauderdale, we have another case of an individual who was severely injured after being tasered. In this most recent case in which three a would-be burglary suspect who is alleged to have stolen no more than $75 from a laundromat and was otherwise obeying officer demands according to Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney William Moore. In fact by witnesses on the scene, the suspect had returned to the scene of the crime in response to officer direction. For some reason he was stunned which resulted in his being hospitalized in critical condition.

This is but one of countless cases in Florida according to Moore.

It wasn’t long ago that police chief Michael Mann resign following officers under his direction and control used a stun gun that resulted in the death of an individual suspected of committing a crime. Additionally criticism also ignited following an earlier case in Florida whereby law enforcement officers tasered an elderly gentleman who is not resisting arrest.

More recently was a case involving a Coconut Creek man who was tasered to death. Calvin read was allegedly tasered up to four times by officers. Adding to public outrage was the fact that officers involved were reluctant to reveal facts surrounding the suspect’s death.

Criminal lawyer William Moore, an attorney who is practiced in Fort Lauderdale for nearly 20 years poses the question as to whether or not the use of Tasers is to be considered reasonable as opposed to and excessive force in violation of our constitutional rights. Ramifications to police officers who unjustifiably use tasers rarely result in a finding of excessive force. Police officers are exonerated criminally and professionally in most cases. Furthermore, any civil remedy afforded by law seems to be nonexistent based on court rulings.

 Civil liability for excessive force by use of Tasers.

What we need to consider is whether or not the use of a device that is viewed by police officers maybe more frequently used by trigger-happy officers who believe that such force is allowed by law. The fact is that where an officer believes that he will not be prosecuted were found to have committed wrongdoing when using such a dangerous weapon may become somewhat trigger-happy.

Courts are supposed to consider factors in evaluating whether a police officer’s use of Taser equipment was warranted and otherwise justified. The reasonableness of an officer’s actions are supposed to be adequately assessed. A determination is supposed to be made in accordance with suppose it strict guidelines which are:

The severity of a suspect’s crime, whether that suspect post an apparent threat to law enforcement or civilians and finally whether or not the criminal suspect attempted to resist apprehension.

Why then in so many cases do we see the split-second and incorrect snap decision of officers resulting in the tasering of a suspect. More importantly, why does it seem that only severe cases or even outrageous cases result in retribution to the officers that used a stun gun unreasonably and without justification.

According to attorney William R. Moore the courts are supposed to conduct a thorough investigation when evaluating whether or not the use of Taser equipment was justified.

Crime Severity.

The severity of crime is quite an important factor however lacks effectiveness when it is viewed in a manner that can be considered subjective to the officer (or what that officer may have thought). The fact is that a crime’s severity is often dismissed where a suspect resists an officer, is hostile or even argumentative. A determination as to justification is diluted where the standard is reduced to considering not the severity of the crime but instead in finding excessive force only in circumstances where the crime alleged is so minor that it wouldn’t have even warranted a citation.

William Moore claims that this doesn’t make sense as an act that doesn’t warrant a citation isn’t criminal.

Instead of evaluating the severity of an alleged criminal act courts have been criticized for reducing the criteria to finding excessive force only in circumstances where police officers were not even attempting to arrest a criminal suspect or whether based on the subjective belief of an officer that a criminal suspect MAY have posed a threat.

The use of Tasers seems to be supported by both lawmakers in the courts that interpret those laws as a necessary device rather than dangerous weapon and have effectively changed the criteria required in determining whether or not police officers used excessive force when deploying Taser equipment threat posed by criminal suspect.

The second criteria in determining the reasonableness or justification of Taser use by law enforcement in criminal investigations is a full evaluation of the threat posed by the Tasered suspect/victim.

Attorney William R. Moore claims that the second prong has all but been evaporated by the courts.

Broward County courts have found that a suspect’s refusal to show hands when ordered to do so was justification for deploying Tasers. Furthermore stun guns have been found reasonable and justified when the suspect was stopped for a traffic infraction.

Actively resisting law enforcement officers.

The application of this prong is considered laughable by criminal defense attorneys. This is because many courts, rather than making a determination as to whether or not a suspect resisted with violence have shown emphatically that the use of Taser equipment on a suspect is reasonable and justified where the individual has already been subdued, handcuffed, has been absolutely compliant with officer demands or unconscious.

According to attorney Moore, application of the criteria gets even worse. This is because police officers have been found to have acted reasonably and lawfully despite repeatedly tasering individual whereby that suspect was completely subdued yet feared of as being able to somehow pose a threat.

More information about the use of tasers by police officers in Florida can be found by viewing William Moore’s recent lecture on Taser lawsuits, statistics and governmental reports.

The William Moore criminal defense law firm is located in Broward County Florida. Our Fort Lauderdale office is located at One Financial Plaza, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33394.

William Moore can be reached for comment by calling 954-523-5333.