Justin Bieber Pleads Guilty to Lesser Charges in DUI Arrest Case

Justin Bieber Mug Shot

Justin Bieber Mug Shot

Justin Bieber pled out to lesser charges stemming from his DUI arrest in Miami. According to CNN, he pled to Careless driving, which is a civil infraction, and resisting arrest, which is a misdemeanor. It’s unusual in Florida to plea a case all the way down to a careless, but the DUI case was exceptionally weak. We pointed out some problems on this blog before, but I hadn’t seen that GPS evidence further disproved the cops’ allegation that there was a drag race. The car was slowing down at the time the cop claimed it was racing!

The plea deal includes anger management classes, and a major donation to a youth charity. Biebs avoids a BS DUI, and underprivileged kids get financial help: it’s a win-win plea offer. 

Now Charlotte County is Getting in on the Online Sex Offender Sting Bandwagon

Charlotte County, which apparently doesn’t understand news cycles, released info this afternoon of their online sex-offender sting operation. They only caught 11 people, and since they were willing to bring in people from out of county, suggests that the actual sex offenders have wisened up, or that the investigators were actually taking precautions to avoid entrapment situations. Experience tells me the former is more likely the case, which represents a fail all around.

Where did they do that press conference? Is that the county commission chambers? What is that… that’s ghetto law enforcement. If this is anything like the last round of sex offender stings, poor law enforcement technique will leave these arrests open to challenge by defense attorneys…

http://www.nbc-2.com/story/26233761/11-arrested-in-north-port-child-sex-sting#.U-VdZPldXVU

Judge Makes Interrupting Lawyer Produce a Training Video

A Federal Judge in Iowa found that an attorney was deliberately making excessive objections during depositions, and as a sanction, has ordered that attorney to produce a training video for lawyers, explaining why the tactic is improper. She and her firm are contesting the sanction… natch.

I guess the takeaway is, don’t object to much. Well, really, it’s don’t be a jerk. Object when it’s prudent, but not merely to obstruct the process. Though, Florida courts frown on “standing objections”, so the baseline is low for when repeated objections need to be made.

http://www.nbc-2.com/story/26210251/objection-interrupting-lawyer-gets-rare-sanction

Car Writer Goes to Jail for His Test Drive

Camaro ZL1, photo courtesy Chevrolet.com

Camaro ZL1, photo courtesy Chevrolet.com

No, he didn’t steal the tester… he just drove like he stole it. Patrick George, a writer for car-enthusiast website Jalopnik.com, recently got charged with reckless driving for speeding during his test drive. No doubt, his speed was excessive, but so was the sentence: which entailed three days in jail on a first offense. His eye opening experience led him to write a great first-person account of his brief, yet eye-opening, time in jail: “Never Speed in Virginia: Lessons From My Three Days in Jail“. Go read it now.

Yasiel Puig Arrest

Yasiel Puig Arrest

The legal issue that stood out for me was that Virginia automatically considers high speed to be reckless driving, and therefore a criminal offense. In Florida, speed alone cannot constitute reckless driving. That’s why when baseball all-star Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers got pulled over flying across the Alligator Alley a few months back, the state ultimately dropped the charges. That didn’t keep an overzealous Trooper from throwing him in jail instead of issuing a citation in the first place, but that’s an argument for another post. But speed alone can be a crime in Virginia, subjecting drivers to up to a year in jail.

I suspect that not many first time reckless drivers actually end up in jail… frankly I hope not. Not only does it cost taxpayers money, it goes against well established principles of recognizance for first time offenders. Sheesh, make a guy pay a fine or do some community service if you have to: something to benefit the community instead of taxing it. I don’t practice in Virginia, but this reeks of small town justice. The national media writer from DC gets popped in a small town, and they hammer him to teach a lesson. This kind of abuse of power also carries the risk of discriminatory sentencing. Think of the cliche little town with an all-powerful judicial figure; Boss Hogg still lives. I keep thinking of “Nothing But Trouble“, an unfortunate Chevy Chase/Dan Akyroyd vehicle from 1991. And in that movie, Chevy Chase actually fled, in this case, Mr. George was immediately contrite. They say speed kills, but random jailings don’t really work as effective deterrents.

http://jalopnik.com/never-speed-in-virginia-lessons-from-my-three-days-in-1613604053

Florida Public Sex Grandma Details

 

Peggy Klemm Mug Shot

The Daily Mail, who did a bang up job exposing the oversexed community at the Villages, did an extensive follow-up piece on Margaret “Peggy” Klemm. She was sentenced to 6 months in jail for having public sex in the town square. The Mail reveals that she is the caretaker for her husband of 50 years, who lost one of his legs to cancer.

The Daily Mail is doing good work:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2713311/I-love-Woman-68-sentenced-six-months-public-sex-younger-man-Florida-retirement-community-declares-love-husband-50-years-court.html

Our earlier story: http://crimcourts.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/florida-grandma-gets-six-months-in-jail-for-public-sex/

 

BU Law Building Made the 50 Most-Impressive List

BU Law Tower and Expansion

BU Law Tower and Expansion

Lots of cool photos on the link. My alma mater, Boston University (BULaw) made the list. We would not have made it if this was a list of the prettiest buildings. The BU Law tower is a prime example of the Brutalist Architecture, categorized by bare, angular concrete. The Boston City Hall (below) is another, well-known example.  It’s undergoing a major renovation, but the tower will remain, the new construction is essentially adjacent to the tower (the caption is a rendering of the “new” building). It’s worth checking out the other most impressive law buildings.

http://www.bestchoiceschools.com/50-most-impressive-law-school-buildings-in-the-world/ via http://abovethelaw.com/2014/08/ranking-the-most-impressive-law-school-buildings/

Boston City Hall

Florida’s Sex-Sting Operations Have Gone Statewide

The Florida Sheriff’s Task Force, a statewide joint effort of many sheriffs, held a press conference today announcing arrests across the state spanning several months. Most of the arrests have already been made public, but the leaders of this operation hadn’t had enough press conferences yet,  and held another one. Like with most of them, they had to come up with a catchy nickname, this time it’s “Operation Cyber-Vigilance”.

There isn’t much detail available online, but these operations likely used the same problematic procedures that have become commonplace in sex-offender stings across Florida. In the past, investigators have made mistakes that have allowed defense attorneys like myself to capitalize and defeat some of these charges: errors that have caught up non-perverts of entrapped people that might have actually been looking to do something nefarious. Until the investigators change their tactics, these arrests will be attacked and questioned. While the article above doesn’t give much counter information, it does point out that some charges have already been dropped by prosecutors. That alone should signal a red flag.