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A woman who was on a first date fell off a motorcycle somehow and was run over several times on I-95 Friday, according to reports.

The 33-year-old was picked up by a man on a motorcycle Thursday night. They were headed to downtown Delray Beach for a night on the town.

The tragic incident, which happened just south of Atlantic Boulevard in Pompano Beach, is being investigated as a traffic homicide, Florida Highway Patrol officials said.

Several drivers accidentally ran over the woman around 1:30 a.m. Friday. Some drivers stopped and stayed, and others kept driving, according to FHP.

Some witnesses said they had seen a man on a motorcycle standing near the woman’s body, and then take off.

A wrongful death suit may arise from an accidental death, like a motorcycle crash or an intentional violent act, such as assault and battery. Sometimes, a death may result in both criminal charges and a wrongful death lawsuit being filed. The lawsuits will be filed separately; a criminal prosecution is intended to punish a wrongdoer and is brought by police and government prosecutors, whereas a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action filed by surviving family members to obtain monetary compensation.

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The answer is yes. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) does make mistakes. While this should never happen, it is definitely a possibility.

This was the case when a Florida man was detained by ICE in the Keys. The man is now suing the local sheriff who’s deputies arrested him on behalf of federal agents who wanted him deported to Jamaica, even though he is a U.S. citizen.

The man filed the federal lawsuit on Monday, accusing the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office in the Florida Keys of violating his constitutional rights.

The man, who lives in the Keys, wasn’t deported after a friend provided the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency with proof of his citizenship.

He was arrested last April by deputies at the request of ICE agents. He says he repeatedly told deputies he was a U.S. citizen and offered to produce a birth certificate showing he was born in Philadelphia.

If you are a U.S. citizen, and you are detained by ICE, assert your citizenship as loudly and as often as possible. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the search and/or seizure of a U.S. citizen not charged with a crime, however, this does not apply to undocumented immigrants. Because of this, ICE does not grant you the right to consult an attorney or to see an immigration judge if their agents believe you to be undocumented. Sadly, you are at their mercy; an ICE agent may grant you a phone call or contact your attorney or they could ignore your rights.

Do not consent to any searches or any kind of transport elsewhere. Try not lose your temper, but refuse any requests to come to the station or be searched without an attorney present. Keep repeating and asserting your rights.

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A distracted driver hit a cycling group along a South Florida road, killing a 53-year-old woman and injuring six others.

The 33-year-old driver told investigators she was distracted by something in the passenger compartment. She also said the sun was shining directly in her face, contributing to the Sunday morning crash.

Police said there are no signs the woman was impaired or speeding. She was cooperative with investigators, allowing them to download potential crash data from the car as well as contents of her cell phone. She has not been charged, pending the investigation.

Our South Florida Auto Accident Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton cannot say this enough: distracted driving is dangerous. In 2016 alone, the most recent year of statistics available, distracted driving claimed 3,450 lives. In 2015, 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.

Distracted driving is classified as any activity that takes attention away from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system, etc. You cannot drive safely when something other than driving has your attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and only increases your risk of crashing, which could harm passengers, other motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians sharing the road with you.

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A Miami man was arrested Tuesday, a year after he allegedly raped a 17-year-old girl who was seven months pregnant at the time, authorities said.

According to an arrest report, the teen was sitting alone at a bus stop on Sept. 29, 2017, when the 48-year-old man pulled up in his vehicle and asked her to get in.

Police said the teen didn’t know the man and refused, so the man parked his car and approached the teen on foot.

The teen apparently got into the man’s car, authorities said.

According to the arrest report, the man drove the teen to a secluded location, forced her to get in the back seat and then raped her.

DNA results from the teen’s rape kit apparently traced back to the man on Tuesday, police said.

The man was arrested on a charge of sexual battery on a minor. He is being held at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.

Rape is one of the most serious criminal offenses a person can be charged with. The potential penalties are quite severe. If you have been accused of rape, or sexual assault, there is a good chance that some of the key evidence the State of Florida will introduce against you came from an examination, more commonly referred to as a “rape kit.”

A “rape kit” is also known as a Sexual Assault Evidence Collection kit. While it is a “kit” containing evidence collection tools, including swabs, combs, envelopes and bags, administering a rape kit is a procedure for documenting sexual assault allegations. The purpose of the examination is to gather physical evidence of the alleged assault. Evidence the exam may turn up includes:

  • Pubic hair, facial hair, other body hair
  • Semen
  • Saliva
  • Fibers
  • Blood
  • Skin cells

All of these types of evidence will be used by police and prosecutors to try and obtain a conviction. Hair, bodily fluids, and skin cells can all contain a person’s DNA. If your unique DNA is matched to the DNA found on a sexual assault victim, it almost always proves that there was some type of physical contact between you and the victim.

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A school security guard in Miami was arrested at his home Monday on multiple drug charges.

According to an arrest report, the 43-year-old was pulled over in his car soon after undercover detectives allegedly watched as he sold drugs to a man at a gas station near the Hammocks district campus during school hours.

Authorities were made aware of the man’s alleged activity through an anonymous tip, investigators said.

About 1 gram of cocaine and a THC cartridge was found in the center console of his vehicle during the stop, according to police.

Police said a search warrant was later obtained for Green’s home at 14232 SW 154th Court, where about 790 grams of marijuana were allegedly discovered in a drawer next to his bed. About 29.4 grams of cocaine were allegedly found in several areas of his room.

According to the arrest report, inside a safe in his bedroom, investigators found a digital scale with cocaine residue on it, 90 clear blue baggies, and $1,000 in cash. Inside a yellow watch case, there were three baggies containing cocaine, and $230 in cash. Investigators also said they discovered additional baggies of cocaine, and a small brown box on a shelf in the same room containing $660 in cash.

The man was charged with trafficking in cocaine, possession with intent of cocaine, possession of 29.4 grams of cocaine, and possession of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school convenience store. He also faces charges for possession of marijuana and possession of a THC cartridge.

Almost all drug charges are felonies and subject to prison sentences of at least one year in prison. The most serious drug crimes, when coupled with other serious charges, can amount to life in prison.

Certain factors can increase the penalties associated with drug possession. If you are arrested in possession of drugs within 1,500 feet of a school or church, it could double your sentence. If you are illegally in possession of a firearm at the time you are arrested, that can also escalate the penalties you face. Facing multiple charges can result in severe penalties that far exceed what most people expect.

Sentencing guidelines in drug cases can be downright shocking. That is why it is imperative to have a South Florida Drug Crimes Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton on your side as soon as possible after an arrest. We will do everything we can to obtain dismissals and not-guilty verdicts whenever possible. We will fight to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients.  

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The U.S. Coast Guard shut down the voyages of two party boats in Fort Lauderdale and Miami-Dade County this weekend over several safety issues, authorities said.

The Coast Guard ordered a 34-foot Sunset Stripp with 12 people aboard to return to shore Saturday because the boat did not have a valid certificate of inspection and lacked a drug-and-alcohol testing program for its crew.

The Coast Guard also stopped a 32-foot pleasure craft with 11 people aboard Saturday in Haulover Inlet in Miami-Dade County for similar infractions.

The charter boat operators could face tens of thousands of dollars worth of fines, the Coast Guard said.

Good advice before hitting the water is to carefully study Florida’s boating regulations and requirements and adhere to them fully. You can find boating regulations for Florida here. Just like automobile drivers can be ticketed or arrested for irresponsible behavior on the road, boat operators can be fined or imprisoned for negligent and reckless behavior. Even worse, carelessness can lead to serious injuries and death.

Charter boat/party boat accidents are frequently caused by negligent navigation, improper training of the crew, and unsafe equipment. Lacking safety equipment and little or no training in shipboard safety can result in preventable injuries and death.

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A football player who just signed on with the Atlanta Falcons this past May was arrested Saturday on charges of having sex with a 12-year-old girl.

Police clam Justin Crawford, 23, is charged with aggravated child molestation, sodomy and enticing a child for indecent purposes. He’s being held without bond in the Muscogee County Jail.

During Crawford’s preliminary hearing Monday, police said his wife awoke at 5 a.m. Saturday and walked into her living room, where she saw her husband had an erection as he stood over a 12-year-old girl.

The wife went back to sleep and later took the 12-year-old to the child’s mother, who asked what had happened. The girl reported she had been asleep in the living room when Crawford came in and had her perform oral sex on him before they had intercourse, according to police.

The girl was taken for a medical exam that included compiling a “sex assault kit” to collect any DNA evidence, according to reports.

When police questioned Crawford, he allegedly initially denied any sexual contact with the girl, but later admitted having oral sex and intercourse with her.

Crawford is being held without bond.

Sex crimes accusations can be quite scary, especially when they involve a minor. Police and prosecutors tend to side with the alleged “victim” in these cases and you can be found guilty in the court of public opinion long before you ever set foot in the courtroom to defend yourself. With that said, you must take these charges seriously and enlist legal help right away.

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A Florida woman was arrested last week and accused of stealing more than $50,000 from the doctor’s office where she worked over a five-year period, according to reports. The 40-year-old woman was arrested on felony fraud and larceny charges last Wednesday and released later that day on a $30,000 bond.

According to an arrest affidavit, detectives began investigating the woman after a physician at Mariners Hospital reported she had stolen tens of thousands of dollars in cash from the practice.

After reviewing records from the past six years, detectives found that the woman, who was a clerk responsible for depositing cash at the bank, was creating two deposit slips — one for the billing company and one for the bank.

She allegedly began making the bogus deposits, which totaled $50,161.27, in January 2013, according to police.

The terms theft and fraud can mean many different things. At their most basic, theft and fraud boiled down to taking something that doesn’t belong to you. Fraud carries an added element of deception or trickery. Fraud and theft charges are very serious criminal charges in Florida that can carry very severe consequences if convicted.  

Fraud charges can be extremely stressful to deal with. However, our South Florida Fraud Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton may be able to help you avoid a conviction  or possibly reduce your charge and penalties. We can develop the best defense strategy that argues your innocence or present certain evidence to convince a prosecutor or judge that you deserve leniency.

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More than three years after a Wellington polo mogul was convicted for a second time of DUI manslaughter in a 2010 crash that killed a 23-year-old UCF graduate, the Florida Supreme Court rejected his final pending appeal.

In a one-sentence order, the state’s high court said it wasn’t going to consider the man’s claims that the West Palm Beach-based 4th District Court of Appeal erred in October when it upheld his conviction and 16-year prison sentence.

The high court’s decision came weeks after it rejected the man’s claims that his conviction should be thrown out because of the way his blood was drawn after the alcohol-fueled crash in Wellington that claimed the engineering graduate’s life.

The founder of the International Polo Club claimed the use of a small-diameter needle to draw his blood and lax procedures at a lab falsely elevated his blood-alcohol level to 0.177 percent — more than twice the level at which Florida drivers are by law considered impaired. Justices ruled that the procedures established by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are sufficient to protect against false readings.

The man’s first conviction was overturned due to jury misconduct. In a self-published book, one of the jurors described conducting his own drinking experiment to determine if the man had been intoxicated on the night of the crash. The second trial produced the same verdict and prison sentence.

The man is being held in the Wakulla Correctional Institution south of Tallahassee. His expected release date is June 7, 2029, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.

Blood draws in DUI cases are surrounded by much controversy. A positive blood test may seem like a nail in the coffin, but it is not. Just because the test comes back with a reading of .08 or greater does not mean you are automatically guilty. There are innumerable ways your South Florida DUI/DUI Manslaughter Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can challenge this test result. We will call into question every step of the process to raise doubt about your guilt.

Blood draws must be conducted by trained professionals and the whereabouts of the blood sample must be meticulously recorded. This is a multi-step process that has much room for imperfections and human error.

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Two 13-year-old boys have been arrested in Miami after authorities say they tried to carjack a teacher outside a school and crashed just moments later.

The boys were arrested Monday and charged them with armed carjacking.

Police allege one of the boys brandished a handgun at the 59-year-old teacher as she was entering her car last week outside the elementary school. A surveillance video allegedly shows the woman running off as both boys hop in and tries to drive away.

The video apparently shows the boys have trouble backing out, as if the parking brake was still engaged. While leaving the parking lot, police say the car crashed into a curb, and the boys fled on foot.

Carjacking is the crime of stealing another person’s vehicle with a gun, knife, or other type of weapon. Due to the fact that carjacking involves the use of threats or violence to hijack another person’s car while they’re still in the vehicle, it is considered a violent crime. Like all violent crimes, carjacking is vigorously prosecuted by both law enforcement officials and the State.

If you are convicted of carjacking, you will face a number of serious penalties, such as time behind bars, large fines, restitution to the victim, probation, and a strike on your record. It is unclear whether the teens involved in this alleged crime will be charged as juveniles or adults. Due to the serious nature of the charges, the court could rule either way.

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