Tag Archives: Broward Criminal Lawyer

A Helpful Guide to Bail and Bonds

Learn more about bail and bonds

Approximately, there are 15,000 bail bond agents in the United States, and the bond industry as a whole is worth more than $14 billion dollars. We have had bail, in one form or another, since before the United States gained independence. Both bail and bonds are incredibly important to the legal system. Unfortunately, they are not very well understood. As part of our commitment to the citizens of the State of Florida, we have prepared a handy guide to bail and bonds.

Bail

Bail and bonds have some similarities and are related to each other. They are not the same thing. People are arrested because there is some suspicion that they have committed a crime. In order to prove that they did a crime, they must go to trial. The trial and the arrest are rarely on the same day, which means that society needs to decide what to do with people after their arrest but before their trial.

Posting bail is one action that someone who has been arrested can take. Basically, they can pay an amount in order to not reside in jail while they await their trial. The exact amount is determined by a few different factors: how likely you are to show up to the trial, the severity of the crime, and your situation. In certain cases, a judge may deny someone the opportunity to post bail entirely.

The easiest way to think about bail is a short-term loan which is guaranteed by showing up to the trial. You get to live your life as normally as possible until the trial takes place. Once you show up to the trial, you get your money back. We do this because we believe that people should live normal lives until they are conclusively proven guilty. This allows people to take care of their affairs before they go to prison, if they go to prison at all.

The Bill of Rights of the United States stipulates that citizens should be protected against excessive bail. What exactly this means is up for debate. The average bail amount more than doubled between 1992 and 2006, and continues to rise to this day. There are many different types of bail, and many loopholes that judges can exploit. Ultimately, the decision is up to the judge.

Bonds

The bond industry revolves around bail. In many cases, someone who is awaiting trial will not have enough money to post bail themselves. They turn to a bondsman in these cases. The bondsman pays the money to post bail, and asks for a percentage of bail in return. For example, if bail is set at $10,000 dollars, the defendant will arrange a fee of $1,000.

Part of this contract is a guarantee that the defendant will show up to the trial. If the defendant does not go to trial, they will send a bounty hunter after them. When the trial takes place and the defendant shows up, bail is returned to the bondsman. The defendant’s fee, however, will not be returned.

If you have any questions about bail or bonds, contact us today. Michael Gottlieb is an experienced, professional, and persistent criminal lawyer who will fight for you.

5 Misconceptions about Drug Crimes

5 Misconceptions about Drug Crimes.

The use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of illegal drugs is a drug crime. The United States has policies in place to reduce and especially prevent drug abuse and drug crimes. Unfortunately, very few people understand what they are and how they can affect people’s everyday lives. Thus, as a law-abiding citizen who may get involved in drug crimes not even known to you, the best tool you have is knowledge about what drug crimes truly are and what they are not.

Here are 5 misconceptions about drug crimes:

  • If your housemate hid illegal drugs in your apartment or vehicle without you knowing, you can get away from this since you do not own them.

Even if your name is not written on the packaging of the drugs, you cannot just run away. It is funny and obvious, yet true. Federal and state drug possession laws define constructive possession as the accused having access to illegal drugs. Despite the fact that the drugs were not found inside your own room, you can still be charged with drug crime. This is because you have the keys to your apartment where illegal drugs were found.

  • Whenever policemen come by my doorstep, I must let them in immediately to check my apartment or vehicle for any hidden illegal drugs.

Some members of the police may be intimidating because of their uniform and presence. Know, however, that you have the right to ask for a search warrant. Politely ask them to slide the warrant underneath the door. If they fail to show you a court-issued warrant, refuse to open the door.

If the police find any illegal drug or equipment without a search warrant, this evidence will be no good. Your drug charges will have to be dismissed.

  • A first offense drug crime is nothing to worry about.

This is completely false. People may be sentenced to a certain time in prison although it is their first conviction. Any drug crime, whether first or second offense and no matter how small or big, is still a drug crime. By being involved in crime, you get your clean record stained. This makes it difficult for you to get yourself hired and that is something to worry about.

  • Marijuana use is legal as long as you are in the United States.

According to Business Insider, marijuana is only legal in 9 out of 50 American states. These are Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and DC. It is also important to take note of the amount each state allows.

  • Seeking legal advice from criminal defense attorneys for a minor drug crime is a waste of time and resources.

Wrong. Being proactive in your own case gives the court a different view of who you are as a person. Instead of being a know-it-all, be down-to-earth and contact a lawyer to discuss your case. Your drug crime may be minor, but a professional defender is always of great help.

Asking for help is never wrong. As has been proven over the years, allowing an experienced criminal defense attorney to take over will increase your chances of winning your case. With this, you are guaranteed to get your life back free of criminal charges.

What You Should Know About Search and Seizure for Drug Crimes

Search and Seizure Drug Crims

In 2015 alone, there were 22,631 federal drug cases, making drug crimes one of the most common reasons to go to court. One may be charged with such a crime if a person is believed or caught to be using, possessing, manufacturing, or distributing illegal drugs. Before adjudication, search and seizure are done by the authorities. However, just because officials in uniform come by your door and ask you to let them in, you do not have to readily give them the consent and allow them to search your home.

Here are things you should know when faced with this kind of situation.

Search and Seizure for Drug Crimes Should Be Court-Issued

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution aims to protect the people’s right to privacy and freedom from arbitrary governmental intrusions. A search and seizure for drug crimes is only reasonable and legal if a court-issued warrant is presented, with few exceptions. If you give them your consent even without a warrant, the search and seizure is legal.

Search and Seizure for Drug Crimes May Be Warrantless Under Certain Grounds

A warrantless search and seizure for drug crimes that suspends the Fourth Amendment’s requirement is valid during emergencies. Authorities may enter homes without a warrant to protect life and property, prevent destruction of evidence, and pursue a fleeing criminal. If there is no emergency during the time the police pushed for a warrantless entry, it is them who owe you an explanation.

Search and Seizure for Drug Crimes is Lawful if Done in Plain View

The plain view exception in search and seizure for drug crimes is a must-know. If you are dealing illegal drugs outside your home and policemen happen to pass by, they have the right to search your home. With your obvious drug crime carried out in plain view, police will suspect that you also have drug equipment inside. What you did is unlawful, and their warrantless search and seizure is allowed.

Search and Seizure for Drug Crimes Is Different For Private Security

Search and seizure for private security is not protected by the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. If illegal drugs are found in your bag during inspection before you enter a shopping mall, the security of that establishment has all the right to seize the illegal drugs and bring you to the authorities. The evidence found inside your bag is valid since the search is rightfully done by private security. Had this been done by government security, which is to say that they stopped you when casually walking on the streets and searched your bag, any evidence found would be invalid.

Search and Seizure for Drug Crimes is Best Faced with a Lawyer

When you are approached by officials and they have presented a court-issued warrant, do not hesitate to call your lawyer for legal assistance. Drug crimes are serious and they can greatly impact you for the rest of your life.

Many people think that requesting legal counsel makes them look guilty, but you need to talk to a lawyer as quickly as humanly possible. It is an imperative to discuss your case early, increase your chances of winning it, and expand your options. Experienced criminal defense attorneys know what to do and how to do it. All you have to do is trust their expertise. If you are facing drug charges, call Broward Criminal Lawyer – Michael Gottlieb, Esquire today.