We are frequently asked how to respond when a police officer asks for consent to search your vehicle. Our emphatic response is "Just Say No!" By consenting to the search of your vehicle, you forfeit your right to challenge the search of your vehicle, and anything found within it can be used against you if you are charged with a crime. In order to search your vehicle the police officer must have probable cause to search it, or exigent circumstances must exist to do so. Police cannot search your car just because you have been arrested. If an officer thinks he or she has the right to search your vehicle, there is no reason to request your consent. Asking to search your vehicle is an implicit admission that the officer does not have cause to do so.
William J. "Bill" Sheppard is a criminal trial attorney based in Jacksonville, Florida. For the past forty-four years, he has built a reputation as an eminent civil rights, criminal defense and appellate attorney. He is well known for handling cases involving police misconduct, police shootings and the First Amendment to our nation's Constitution in state and federal court. He has also taken on a number of race, age and gender discrimination cases. Bill's interest in vindicating his clients' rights has led him to argue before the United States Supreme Court. He has appeared in front of the court on three different instances, including his successful augment in Doggett v. United States in 1992. One of Bill's greatest successes as an attorney was when he litigated Florida's momentous statewide prison conditions case, which produced considerable improvements in sufficient care for those who were incarcerated. Whether it's a complicated white-collar defense case or death penalty case, Bill has successfully exonerated his clients for the past four decades he's been practicing law
After yet another incomprehensible act of violence, people around the country are wondering what can be done to prevent the death of more innocent people. Certainly, the accessibility of guns with the capacity to inflict maximum damage to maximum numbers of people must be addressed. As someone who has seen the unavailability of accessible care, however, the issue I would like to address is how we treat - or don't treat - people with serious mental health issues.
William J. Sheppard invited to speak on veteran's rights at Federal Bar Association annual meeting
"It has always been the belief of the members of this firm that the use of mandatory minimum sentences is wrong. The imposition of a lengthy prison sentence for a first-time, non-violent drug offense, is contrary to any civilized notion of justice. Judge Bennett, a federal district judge sitting in Iowa, has been a fierce critic of such sentences and the following article presents one of the most persuasive arguments we have read about the injustice which accompanies these sentences."
Early Jail and Prison Conditions Litigation in the Middle District of Florida Today jails and prisons throughout the Middle District of Florida are hardly places a person would want to spend the night. However, those currently incarcerated in the Middle District of Florida ("Middle District") have had many rights secured for them which did not exist prior to the existence of the Middle District. The story of prison reform in the Middle District illustrates the power hardworking, courageous pro se plaintiffs, attorneys, and judges can wield to ensure all inmates receive the constitutional liberties and protections to which they are entitled.
Marc Doggett was charged by indictment with conspiracy to import and distribute cocaine. He called me and made an appointment a few days after he had been arrested in Reston, Virginia. The case itself was in Jacksonville, Florida, so he came to Jacksonville and hired us. I'm not altogether clear how Mr. Doggett found me, but the minute I met him, I knew what his avenue of escape from the clutches of the United States might be. I recall meeting with Marc in the conference room in the afternoon and, during the course of our conversation, I had the folks in the office retrieve a closed file in the case of United States v. A.J.B.1 AJB's case involved the very same issue as Doggett's: the Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial. I had won AJB's case on a motion to dismiss before the Honorable Charles R. Scott, United States Federal District Judge for the Middle District of Florida. The difference between the two cases was that Mr. Doggett's delay was far longer than AJB's (8-1/2 years versus 32 months).
Whether you are involved in a civil, criminal, or appellate case, the most important step in the process is to find the right trial lawyer for your case. Aggressive legal representation is an invaluable asset when it comes to preserving your freedom and reputation. With decades of experience, the attorneys of Sheppard, White & Kachergus will prepare diligently for your case to ensure that you have the best chance to succeed at trial. Our reputation as trial lawyers speaks for itself. As one of the premiere law firms in Jacksonville, we believe that our level of service and knowledge is unmatched. At our firm, you are more than just a number. We give each and every case that comes through our doors the individual attention and maximum effort it deserves. In fact, we consider each of our clients a member of our team and strive to generate the results that you desire and deserve.
Although the days of the Civil Rights Movement seem like a distant memory to some, discrimination is still a rampant issue in today's society. Discrimination laws prohibit discrimination on the grounds of: