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Former Miami Hurricanes football star Mark Walton was arrested recently after police said an argument with a woman turned physical at a Miami parking garage.

The 21-year-old who now plays for the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals faces a charge of battery.

A spokeswoman for the Miami Police Department said Walton and the woman began arguing around 4:30 p.m. because Walton was blocking the entrance to the parking garage in the unit block of Southeast Fifth Street.

The woman attempted to record Walton using her mobile phone, but Walton grabbed the phone, causing a brief struggle as the woman tried to get it back.

Walton and the woman had minor scratches, according to reports.

Walton was released on bond the next morning.

A person can be charged with battery if they make actual physical contact with another individual with the intent to injure, provoke, or insult that person. Simple battery is a first-degree misdemeanor with penalties of up to one year in jail or 12 months probation, and a $1,000 fine.If you or a loved one faces arrest or prosecution on charges of battery, it is important to contact our Miami Criminal Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible. We are zealous legal advocates that understand how the prosecution works and will attack their points to achieve the best possible resolution for our clients.

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The ex-husband of “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Cynthia Bailey spent the night in a Miami jail after being arrested for writing fraudulent checks.

Peter Thomas was arrested Friday at Miami International Airport on a fugitive warrant.

The 58-year-old man is from Louisiana where he is accused of writing fraudulent checks.

No bond has been set.

In an official statement, Thomas said the allegations were false. He said he will be “acquitted from any wrongdoing.”

In Florida, check fraud can embody numerous fraudulent activities, such as writing a check from an account holding insufficient funds or a closed account. It is also a crime for someone to possess fraudulently obtained checks. Check fraud carries the potential for a felony conviction and significant prison time, depending on the value of the check.

In order for the State to charge someone with check fraud, they must prove the “bad check” was intentionally tendered to another person or business. This can be in the form of a personal check or a business-related check.

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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been charged with soliciting prostitution at a Palm Beach County spa just hours before the Patriots played in the AFC Championship Game, according to reports.

The 77-year-old billionaire is among 25 people charged with soliciting another to commit prostitution.

The charges resulted from a monthslong investigation into sex trafficking that focused on several central Florida day spas and massage parlors suspected of being used for prostitution. The investigation began when a health inspector observed curious details that suggested women might be living at the day spa.

The man faces two counts of soliciting someone to commit prostitution. He allegedly visited a spa in Jupiter on January 19 in the afternoon and again on the morning of January 20, according to the affidavits.

The Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City later on the 20th to advance to the Super Bowl.

Under Florida law, the charge is a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, a $5,000 civil penalty, and a mandatory 100 hours of community service and educational program on the negative effects of prostitution and human trafficking.

Covert surveillance equipment was apparently installed at the spa on January 17 as part of the investigation, according to reports.

On the afternoon of the January 19, the cameras allegedly show Kraft visited the spa and paid for services in cash at the front desk, and he was then taken to a massage room, undressed and lay on a massage bed. A female employee can be seen on the video allegedly manipulating his genitals and later wiping Kraft’s genitals with a towel, according to the affidavit.

Afterward, Kraft left the facility and got into a white Bentley, and police then conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and confirmed his ID, reports indicate.

The next day, Kraft allegedly returned to the spa at about 10:59 a.m. and again undressed and lay face up on a massage table, the affidavit states. There, a woman apparently began manipulating his genitals and then put her head down by his genitals, the report states. After a few minutes, the woman used a towel to wipe Kraft near his genitals.

Kraft allegedly gave her a $100 bill plus at least one other unidentifiable bill and left the room at 11:13 a.m., according to the document.

Facing a solicitation charge in South Florida is a very serious prostitution-related offense that needs the assistance of an experienced Solicitation Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton. We have defended clients accused of a variety of prostitution and solicitation offenses and understand just how devastating these accusations can be for the accused and their family. We are compassionate criminal defense attorneys that will fight to clear your name.

Solicitation is the process of seeking a sexual act for payment or asking or inviting someone to engage in prostitution. The law requires that two people be involved in the solicitation. A person charged with solicitation must have actually approached another person and offered to pay for a sex act, either in public or in private, or through word or gesture.

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A Boynton Beach woman is accused of stealing money from a Little Caesars pizza store where she worked last year.

The business owner was at home Nov. 30 and watching transactions at the shop through its surveillance system when he noticed the manager put $300 in her purse, according to a Boynton Beach police report.

From Sept. 10 through Nov. 30, $15,963 was taken from the business, according to the owner’s calculations, police said.

The 25-year-old was fired from her job at the store, and was arrested Feb. 2 by the U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force and released on $6,000 bond, according to police and court records.

The woman is facing charges of organized scheme to defraud, less than $20,000 and grand theft.

The store owner reviewed 160 hours of store video recorded during the woman’s shifts. He noticed the woman made more “no sale” entries to open the cash register than employees, and also did not move cash from the register to a safe as often as other workers, according to the police report.

The video apparently showed the woman taking money and either placing it in her purse or a bank bag or concealing it another way before taking it outside the store right away or at the end of her shift, police said.

Grand theft involves stealing an item or money that is valued at $300 or more. Grand theft is a felony in Florida, and depending on the amount allegedly stolen, you could face anywhere from a maximum sentence of 5 years to 30 years in state prison.

If you are facing theft charges in Boynton Beach, our Palm Beach County Theft Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you fight these charges. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case and help you understand the best defense strategy to help you avoid a conviction or maximum penalties for this offense.

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A South Florida man has been convicted in a $100 million scheme to defraud a Puerto Rico bank.

According to court records, the 55-year-old man was convicted in Miami federal court Monday of eight counts of wire fraud affecting a financial institution. His sentencing is scheduled for April 30.

Prosecutors believe the man served as chairman and CEO of a pharmaceutical company from 2005 to 2007 and caused Westernbank to grant a series of loans in exchange for a security interest in the company’s assets in 2005. According to reports, evidence showed Western Bank agreed to advance money based on fake customer invoices, which allowed the man to divert tens of millions of dollars.

Westernbank declared the loan in default in 2007 and lost more than $100 million, leading to the bank’s insolvency and collapse.

Wire fraud is a federal offense and if convicted, you face heavy fines and serious jail time. Since this man was found guilty of committing wire fraud against a financial institution, jail time can be up to 30 years. These are very serious charges, and you should not wait to seek help. In fact, the sooner you obtain legal representation the better.

A person can be found guilty of wire fraud if they knowingly and willfully devised a scheme to defraud, or obtain money or property under false pretenses, and knowingly transmitted or caused to be transmitted by wire in interstate commerce in some capacity for the purpose of executing the scheme to defraud. This crime is centered around “intent,” and you do not have to actually defraud someone to be convicted of wire fraud.

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A federal jury convicted a Lake Worth man of sex trafficking women and girls during a decade in South Florida, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.

The 42-year-old was accused of trafficking multiple women and two girls for commercial sex from 2008 through 2017.

The women lived at the man’s homes and traveled to hotels and other locations to meet men and engage in sex for money, which the man kept, prosecutors said.

The man used violence to force the women to participate, authorities said.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office human trafficking task force arrested the man in November 2017 after one of the women’s father contacted them, the agency said then.

The federal jury handed up its decision on Dec. 20. The man was convicted of three counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion; two counts of sex trafficking of a minor and one count of obstructing a human trafficking investigation.

He is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 26. He could face a prison sentence of 15 years to life.

Society considers sex crimes to be some of the most heinous crimes. A conviction for a sex offense can result in serious penalties, including mandatory registration as a sex offender on the Florida Public Sex Offender Registry. In the court of public opinion, the mere accusation of a sex offense can make you appear guilty in the eyes of others, including jurors. This bias often leads to false convictions and harsh sentencing.

If you have been convicted of a sex offense, like human trafficking, you may think your fate has been sealed. However, that is not necessarily true. The prosecution, juries and judges can make mistakes, legal errors, and new evidence may come to light, which all award you the right to pursue post-conviction rights.

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A former Colombian anti-corruption official is facing prison time after pleading guilty to U.S. money-laundering conspiracy charges as part of a bribery scheme.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled Thursday in Miami federal court for the former director of the anti-corruption office for Colombia’s chief prosecutor.

The man faces up to 20 years in prison.

The Drug Enforcement Administration says in court documents that the man sought to obtain thousands of dollars in bribes from a former governor of Colombia’s Cordoba region who was under a separate corruption investigation.

Bribery is defined as the act of offering money in order to influence the actions of another. The crime of bribery usually arises in the case of public officials, where a private citizen may offer something of value as a means to influence how the public official carries out their public duties. Most bribery cases are charged as conspiracies. In a conspiracy, the government believes that two or more people agreed to engage in criminal conduct.  

With extremely harsh penalties on the line, anyone facing accusations of bribery needs a powerful federal criminal defense attorney on their side to protect their interests, their livelihood, and, most importantly, their freedom.

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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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