Sheppard, White, Kachergus, & DeMaggio, P.A. Attorneys & Counselors At Law
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Regular office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Criminal Defense Archives

Florida's changing marijuana laws

Laws surrounding marijuana have changed significantly in recent years. Florida is one of many states reconsidering the penalties for possession; some officials believe the consequences that come with minor drug offenses such as possession of marijuana are far too harsh. Yet even with the state's gradual shift toward legalization, there may still be a long way to go. 

How Prosecutor Misstatements Overturn DUI Convictions

A defendant's right to a fair trial imposes important limitations on how prosecutors can characterize evidence or argue their case before the jury. If a prosecutor makes objectionable comments during trial, the court has wide discretion whether to let the comment slide or declare a mistrial and force the State to start its case over in front of a new jury. However, if a prosecutor repeatedly makes inflammatory or misleading comments, the cumulative effects of those statements may require the defendant to receive a new trial.

DNA

A new case has come out of the circuit court in Miami denying the State's Motion to Obtain Oral Swabs from a gentleman who was charged with robbery of a drug store with a firearm. According to the State, he "gave a full post-miranda confession" and "lead officer to the location of a backpack which contained a plastic firearm and the stolen currency and the clothes he wore when the crime was committed."

Bill Sheppard Named 2018 Lawyer of the Year

Congratulations to Mr. Sheppard for being named Jacksonville's 2018 Lawyer of the Year in Criminal Defense: White Collar by Best Lawyers In America. This will be the fourth time Mr. Sheppard has been selected as Lawyer of the Year in his areas of practice, in recognition of his work in the areas of criminal defense, first amendment and employment law. In addition being named Lawyer of the Year, he was recognized this year in the areas of Appellate Practice, Criminal Defense, General Practice, Employment Law-Individuals and First Amendment Law. The firm has also been recognized as a Tier 1 law firm and individual members have been recognized in their areas of practice. While the firm appreciates such accolades, we are mindful that our greatest reward is assisting people in their time of legal need and vigorously defending their cases. 

Dog Searches: Can Two Police Officers Do What One Cannot?

The use of dogs to sniff out contraband remains one of the most frequent methods by which police discover contraband in vehicles traveling on the highway. The Supreme Court has allowed such searches in limited circumstances, but only in those instances where there is not a delay between the stop and the dog's arrival. Anything beyond a brief delay constitutes a seizure, which requires probable cause to be lawful. This "time-limiting doctrine" was firmly adopted by the Supreme Court in Rodriguez v. United States.

Rooming Houses and the Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment provides citizens with the most protection inside their own homes. A recent decision by the Florida Second District Court of Appeal-Davis v. State-addressed which areas in a rooming house constitute a Defendants' "home" for the purposes of such protection. Davis involved a defendant who stashed a pill bottle containing cocaine inside a lattice beneath the rooming house where he sometimes stayed. A police officer proceeded to remove the lattice and search the pill bottle. Davis's criminal defense attorney sought to suppress the results of the search. He argued that removing the lattice constituted an unlawful search of the defendant's home.

Is It a Crime for a Sex Offender to Use the Internet?

Thousands of sex offenders have been prosecuted for engaging in activity which most of us take for granted. In many jurisdictions, it is a felony for a registered sex offender to access the internet for any reason. Some statutes also prohibit offenders from creating Facebook profiles using LinkedIn, or using any forms of social media. These prohibitions make it virtually impossible for offenders to even own a smartphone. They create great hardship, preventing people from seeking jobs, places to live, or even from communicating with family members. The recent Supreme Court case of Packingham v. North Carolina makes it clear that such blanket prohibitions will no longer withstand judicial scrutiny.

Pierce v. State: Can Police Lie to Obtain a Confession?

It has been conventional wisdom for many years that police are allowed to lie to obtain incriminating statements against a defendant. For instance, during interrogation, police can tell the accused that an eyewitness has identified him as the person who committed the crime. Police also commonly and falsely claim that a co-defendant has confessed and implicated the defendant in the crime. Under the reasoning of the recently decided Pierce v. State, FLW (Fla. 1st DCA, June 6, 2017), however, police cannot misstate the application of Miranda v. Arizona to obtain a confession.

Can a Refusal to Admit Sexual Misconduct Be Grounds to Violate Sex Offender Probation?

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  1. Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Rated for highest level of Provisional Excellence 2016 Best Lawyers Best Law Firms US News 2016 American College of Trial Lawyers William J.Sheppard Best Lawyers Lawyer of the year 2014 The Florida Bar Board Certified Best Lawyers|Best Law Firms US News|Criminal Defense: White-Collor|Tier 1|Jacksonville|2017
  2. Best Lawyers Best Law Firms US News 2017 AV Martindale Hubbell Peer Review Rated For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability Super Lawyers Best Lawyers Linking Lawyers And Clients Worldwide

Sheppard, White, Kachergus, & DeMaggio, P.A. Attorneys & Counselors at Law.
215 N. Washington Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202

Phone: 904-701-0589
Phone: 904-727-7191
Fax: 904-356-9667
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Regular office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

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