Monthly Archives: April 2014

Justin Bieber Detained and Released by Customs Officials

Justin Bieber Mug Shot

Justin Bieber Mug Shot

Canadian pop-singer Justin Bieber was detained and questioned upon reentry to the United States after and Asian trip (he is a U.S. resident). They are calling routine secondary questioning, but it is clearly a result of his ongoing legal issues. Frankly, as he hasn’t been convicted of anything, they were probably more concerned that he might be transporting drugs into the country, after news reports claimed that he has taken marijuana-saturated plane trips in recent weeks. I still doubt that Bieber is going to have to worry about deportation, though it has happened to other foreigners, such as singer Boy George, who had a false imprisonment conviction. Apparently George has been granted permission to return for upcoming performances after a decade of inadmissibility.

DUI Checkpoint in Lee County this Weekend

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint at an undisclosed location in Lee County this weekend. Everyone be safe, and don’t drink and drive!

Crimcourts again wishes to commend LCSO on their open policy to inform the public about such special patrols. Publicity serves the primary purpose of reducing impaired drivers on the street: less people drive if they recognize the likelihood of consequences. Apparently FMPD did a DUI saturation patrol last weekend, but did not publicize it. That may be “better” for arrest numbers, but it doesn’t have the same preventative benefit as an operation that is publicly announced. Kudos LCSO.

Man with “Murder” Neck Tattoo Wants it Removed for Murder Trial

Jeffrey Wade Chapman, neck tattoo neck murder tattoo

Jeffrey Chapman

Neck tattoos never work. We see them all the time in the courtroom, and all the time they are worn by people on the wrong side of the bar- Defendants. This guy, Andrew Chapman has a neck tattoo that takes the cake. Perhaps the state is trying to introduce it to the jury as an admission of guilt. The court will almost certainly have to do something to cover it up: the prejudicial effect will clearly trouble the jury, regardless of the evidence in the case: he’s facing an actual murder charge. They should do something about the teardrop, too. A filled in teardrop is known to be a notch for having killed someone. Of course, it’s better than the guy that got convicted because he tattooed a murder scene on himself!

I did have a client who’s neck tattoo worked in her favor. The cop said the suspect had a tattoo that said “RED”. My client had a neck tattoo, but it very clearly said “DION”. I introduced my client’s neck into evidence, and she was found not guilty!

Dane Eagle Arrested, Charged with DUI

  • State Rep Dane Eagle (Cape Coral), arrested for DUI
  • Prosecutors will make a filing decision in the next few weeks
  • Eagle refused Field Sobriety Exercises and a Breath Test
Dane Eagle Mugshot

Dane Eagle Mugshot

Dane Eagle was pulled over at 1:50 a.m. Monday morning by officers in Tallahassee, where he is currently representing Cape Coral for the ongoing legislative session. He was pulled over after coming out of a Taco Bell. No word on whether the officer was deliberately targeting Taco Bell… Eagle has been charged with DUI: driving under the influence to the extent that his normal faculties are impaired. He is innocent until proven guilty, and has released a statement to the News-Press claiming that there is not a “clear and accurate picture” of events.

The Huffington Post points out that Eagle recently statedWe need to be as elected officials held to a higher standard” relating to his sponsoring of a bill to require legislators to submit to drug testing. The arresting officer indicates that Eagle refused to take a breath test, in addition to refusing to submit to field sobriety exercises when he was pulled over. Eagle claimed to have nothing to drink, but the officer alleges he detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage when Eagle spoke to him, and that he did not detect the odor in Eagle’s vehicle after he got out. That’s what looks worst for Eagle: if he was telling the truth and had not had anything to drink, why didn’t he take the breath test? An officer could be mistaken about an odor of alcohol, but blowing .000 would prove whether he’d had anything to drink.

The officer further alleges that Eagle nearly struck the curb a couple of times before he pulled him over, and that Eagle was speeding. He finally pulled Eagle over after he allegedly ran a red light, without braking. The officer said Eagle was swaying, and stumbled into the door of his vehicle when he tried to walk.

While he has not been convicted yet, the state can make a consciousness of guilt argument. When Eagle was asked to take the breath test, he was informed of the consequences: a one-year driver’s license suspension. So, the prosecutor can argue that even though Eagle knew they were going to take his driver’s license, he still refused the breath test. That’s not the behavior of someone who had nothing at all to drink.

Eagle has defenses to work with, so a conviction is not a foregone conclusion. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to point out how difficult the case is to prove. Since Eagle didn’t do any exercises, the State is short on proof that his normal faculties are impaired. Since he is facing criminal charges, Eagle cannot really respond in full to the allegations, but he will likely dispute some of the details of the officer’s statement. The officer apparently recorded the incident, so the case will really depend on how bad Eagle looks on the video.

The case is a long way from a possible trial, the prosecutor will have some time to make a filing decision, then it’s usually a couple of months before a case resolves. The case may still be pending when Eagle’s primary come around for his seat: he faces a Republican challenger Jim Roach. Eagle’s father is currently in Federal prison for fraud charges related to land deals in Lee County. We have covered Greg Eagle’s case extensively on this blog.

Taco Bell continues to be ground zero for DUI busts:

DUI Checkpoint at Taco Bell?

DUI Checkpoint at Taco Bell?

Full article, statment, and report on News-Press:


Illegally Held for 30 Years

Post from friend Janese Caruthers about an illegally sentenced man finally getting his release. Check out her blog!

Challenge and Controversy

I recently read an opinion from the Second District Court of Appeal in Florida concerning Rolland Shultz. Mr. Shultz has been in prison for the past 30 years based on an illegal sentence. He is still in prison now while I am writing this. I want to ask him how did the system fail him and what should have been done differently to prevent this mistake.

Mr. Shultz was sixteen in 1978 when he was charged as an adult for very serious crimes. He entered a plea to attempted sexual battery and burglary of a dwelling and was sentenced to 2 years prison followed by a lifetime of probation. When he violated his probation in 1980, he was sentenced to 99 years in prison. In 1978 and 1980, he was sentenced as a youthful offender so the maximum sentence that could be imposed legally was 6 years in prison. He…

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Justin Bieber Could Be Deported

  • Criminal charges can lead to deportation, even for people living here legally


Justin Bieber Mug Shot

Justin Bieber Mug Shot

CNN takes a look at the possibility of Justin Bieber being deported, as does the International Business Times. They suggest he’s receiving special treatment, but there’s no indication of that. He hasn’t been convicted of anything, so it would be unlikely for them to commence deportation proceedings. And the article is correct that he could have deportation consequences for a plea deal, but he likely won’t take a deal that would have such consequences. Instead, they will try to work out a deal that doesn’t have immigration ramifications, such as avoiding drug possesssion charges, or crimes involving moral turpitude. Justin Bieber is not worried about getting deported at this point.

The CNN article brings up a point that may surprise many people: President Obama’s administration has deported more people than any other president. They refer to him as the “deporter-in-chief”. The increased aggressiveness of the immigration officials has certainly affected the way criminal defense attorneys approach cases when an immigrant is charged, even on minor offenses and when they are legal residents.

Another Attack Cat Puts a Family in Hospital #felinemenace

  • California kitty, named Khat, puts 3 in Hospital
Kaht the Cat

Kaht the Cat

We covered Lux, the Oregon kitty with a “history of violence” that cornered an entire family in a bedroom, charging them as they desperately called 911. Now, a California cat has attacked his family, and sent them to the hospital. Unlike the last attack, this cat apparently did not have a history of violence.  It sounds like the wounds were superficial, hopefully everyone is recovering, but this is another reminder to beware the feline menace. #felinemenace

Somebody call Jackson Galaxy!

via Gawker: