Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Wiretaps in Federal Prosecutions | Florida

An Overview of Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping
Wiretaps in Federal Prosecutions 
A friend at the Federal Defender's Office in Florida just sent us this information on Wiretaps in Federal Prosecution and  provided us with a new Congressional Research Service report entitled "Privacy: An Overview of Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping." It is comprehensive and should be useful to anyone with a case in which wiretaps are an issue. Some excerpts are below and a download of the complete document is available below.:

"Unless otherwise provided, Title III/ECPA outlaws wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping; possession of wiretapping or electronic eavesdropping equipment; use or disclosure of information obtained through illegal wiretapping or electronic eavesdropping; and disclosure of information secured through court-ordered wiretapping or electronic eavesdropping, in order to obstruct justice, 18 U.S.C. 2511. Elsewhere, federal law proscribes:
  • unlawful access to stored communications, 18 U.S.C. 2701;
  • unlawful use of a pen register or a trap and trace device, 18 U.S.C. 3121; and
  • abuse of eavesdropping and search authority or unlawful disclosures under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, 50 U.S.C. 1809, 1827."
The report summarizes:

"At the heart of Title III/ECPA lies the prohibition against illegal wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping, 18 U.S.C. 2511(1), that bans:

  • any person from
  • intentionally
  • intercepting, or endeavoring to intercept,
  • wire, oral or electronic communications
  • by using an electronic, mechanical or other device
  • unless the conduct is specifically authorized or expressly not covered, e.g. one of the parties to the conversation has consent to the interception
  • the interception occurs in compliance with a statutorily authorized, (and ordinarily judicially supervised) law enforcement or foreign intelligence gathering interception,
  • the interception occurs as part of providing or regulating communication services,
  • certain radio broadcasts, and in some places, spousal wiretappers."

The complete report is available here,


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Debra LaFave - Probation Early Termination Approved by Florida Supreme Court

The too-pretty-for-prison teacher, Debra LaFave was released from probation early by today's ruling in the Florida Supreme Court. The Court ruled that the state attorney could not appeal the trial court's order terminating the probation, even though the no prison plea agreement provided that her probation was not to be terminated early. 

The Florida Supreme Court said:

Early Termination of Probation


"Six years into her ten-year nonprison sentence, LaFave unabashedly sought early termination of her probation in 2011 in direct violation of her plea agreement. She asked the circuit court to terminate her sex offender probation four years early. On October 3, 2011, over objections from both the state attorney and the Department of Corrections [(DOC)], the circuit court granted her motion and terminated her probation as requested. "

"We answer the certified question in the negative and find that the State did not have the right to petition the district court [to appeal the decision] for certiorari review in this case." 

Complete Decision Here: 



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Executive Clemency Initiative - Five Possible Requirements

Executive Clemency Initiative, Clemency, Clemency review, Clemency Law, Clemency Lawyers
Executive Clemency Initiative
Five Possible Requirements
Update:  September 25, 2014 - Attorney General Holder Resigns

Our team has begun organization of resources for expediting the clemency petitions to be filed under the new Executive Clemency Initiative. Two Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyers and a number of other attorneys and paralegals are standing by in offices near the Coleman Federal Prison in Florida.

We believe most inmates will eventually receive some attention. However, our plan is to quickly gather needed information, and expedite the completion of the case file for federal authorities to review. Remember there are Five Possible Requirements and the initiative is limited. 

Five Requirements for Clemency Eligibility


• Are currently serving a federal sentence in prison and, by operation of law, likely would have received a substantially lower sentence if convicted of the same offense(s) today; 

• Are non-violent, low-level offenders without significant ties to large-scale criminal organizations, gangs, or cartels; 

• Have served at least 10 years of their sentence; 

• Do not have a significant criminal history; 

• Have demonstrated good conduct in prison; and 

• Have no history of violence prior to or during their current term of imprisonment.

For More Clemency and Pardon Information Check Here:


  • Pardon | Seal | Expunge | Tampa Criminal Defense Lawyer ...

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    Apr 21, 2014 - Federal Clemency Lawyer http://www.centrallaw.com/practice-areas/tampa-criminal-attorney/clemency-petitions-pardons/ in Tampa, Florida is ...
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    Nov 16, 2011 - A Tampa Bay, Florida resident benefited from a "presidential pardon this week ... Furthermore, "if you are seeking clemency for a state criminal ...
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  • www.centrallaw.net/2010/05/attorney-general-internal-memo-on.html
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    May 19, 2010 - From: Eric H Holder, Jr. Attorney General. Subject: Department Policy on Charging and Sentencing. The reasoned exercise of prosecutorial ...

  • Friday, August 29, 2014

    Lyft on Trial in Tampa, Florida

    Judge or Jury will soon decide: Does a Lyft car meet the definition of taxicab?

    *Lyft Technology on Trial in Tampa* Lyft ride sharing service is under attack by taxicab regulators. With Lyft, rides are arranged by smart phone app, drivers take no money from customers. fares are donations, riders can pay all of fare, part  or none  at all. Today in a Hillsborough County Courtroom, government offered to let a  driver pay  fines, but he refused the offer, opting for the jury trial.

    Brave driver said, “We are not a cab,” he said. “We are not a transportation company. Lyft is a platform and I’m an independent contractor.” More information on the law in Tampa is here.

    Here are a few Legal Definitions

    Definition: “Taxicab” means any motor-driven Vehicle, equipped with a Taximeter, with a Capacity for 9 or less passengers, including the driver, for the transportation of For hire passengers, which Operates within Hillsborough County, but does not include Sight-seeing cars or buses, streetcars, or motor buses Operated pursuant to franchise. Taxicab includes the Taxicab classification of Standard Taxicab and Luxury Taxicab. Unless otherwise indicated, use of the word “Taxicab” within these Rules shall be meant to include “Standard Taxicabs” and “Luxury Taxicabs”, collectively. 

    “Taximeter” means any internally mounted device that records and indicates a rate of fare measured by distance traveled, time traveled, waiting time, or extra passengers which has been inspected and sealed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and which has been calibrated to the approved rates promulgated by the Commission.

    Source: http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/DocumentCenter/View/6827

    Source: http://tbo.com/news/breaking-news/fight-between-hillsborough-and-ride-sharing-services-goes-up-a-notch-20140828/


    Friday, August 15, 2014

    Tampa Computer Trial Attorney - Lawyer on Computers in Court

    Tampa Computer Trial Attorney - Lawyer on Computers in Court



    Law Enforcement and attorneys for the other side have a team working against you. Why not have your own Forensics Team working for you? More than ninety percent (90%) of documents are now created electronically, and less than thirty percent (30%) of those electronic documents are ever converted to paper. Rules on preserving electronically stored information and strategies to recover that data make having a Forensic eDiscovery team more important than ever before.

    Tampa Computer Trial Attorney - Lawyer
    Police have specialized equipment analyzing original digital media such as hard drives, disks, and flash drives, and optical disk drives in the computer forensics lab. There is special hardware and software that retrieves evidence from cell phones, including text messages (SMS) and pictures. For computers, specialized software is used to examine the computers and extract the evidence. We can too.

    We use a team of attorney(s) and forensics expert(s) to help sort through data used in prosecution of federal indictments and state charges, fraud, hacking, theft of trade secrets, and other forms of cybercrimes.

    With surge in popularity of mobile devices we can now forensically retrieve Information from mobile devices.  We also provide help in searching corporate e-mail, personal e-mail, Short Message Service (SMS) text messages, personal notes, calendar entries, photographs, address books, and inbound and outbound call logs. This type of information can be invaluable to prove certain facts for a case. 

    Remember - an expert can help preserve the chain of custody and this data can then be used in litigation.

    Computer in Court? Tell Me Your Story Toll Free 1-877-793-9290 .

    Saturday, July 12, 2014

    Need To Know Facebook Personal Information Disclosures!

    Court Order, Discovery, Facebook,  subpoena, account information, Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.280(b)(1)
    Court Order Was Improper
    What happens when employers get access to your Facebook profile? This seems to occur when disclosure is a condition of employment or part of the job interview process. Arguably, this is with consent. 

    What happens when an opponent in court tries to force the enemy to grant access to a Facebook page or social graph? This can occur when a Court Order directs a reluctant person to disclose their online lives. When police or prosecutors want records from social media websites like Facebook, they need only comply with this procedure and get an appropriate Court Order. When private parties want information the process is similar. You can review your own Facebook information to see what is found in your account information:  How can I download my information from Facebook?

    Facebook says, "We work with law enforcement where appropriate and to the extent required by law . . . ."

    You may wonder; Does Facebook tell you that someone else is trying to get your account information? The answer is not always. The company tells us, "Facebook may notify users before responding to legal process as permitted by law." See https://www.facebook.com/help/473784375984502 . The exception occurs when certain laws allow companies to respond to subpoenas in secrecy.

    "Facebook may notify users before responding to legal process as permitted by law."
    Uncovering a witness' past using social media is a common tactic. These disclosures are granted under Florida law's fairly broad standard that the person must disclose relevant information or information reasonably likely to lead to relevant evidence. However, one court in Florida in a traffic accident case drew the line and called efforts by Defendants overly broad and probably amounted to a fishing expedition.

    Facebook Court Order

    One Florida Court ordered a user to produce information on:

    1. Counseling or psychological care  
    2. Photos, "likes" or videos 
    3. Relationships with her other children, both prior to, and following, the accident; 
    4. Relationships with other family members,  boyfriends, husbands, and/or significant others,  both prior to, and following the accident; 
    5. Mental health, stress complaints, alcohol use  or other substance use, both prior to and after,  the accident; 
    6. Postings relating to any  lawsuit filed 
    Case Ruling:

    "Under the basic principles for evaluating discovery in Florida, the party seeking discovery must establish that it is (1) relevant to the case's subject matter, and (2) admissible in court or reasonably calculated to lead to evidence that is admissible in court. Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.280(b)(1); Langston, 655 So. 2d at 94. We agree . . . Defendants have not met this burden as to the requested discovery." 


    Why did this Court decide the Facebook information was not relevant?

    The court observed, "the requested discovery constitutes a fishing expedition. The defendant's attorney stated, "These are all things that we would like to look under the hood, so to speak, and figure out whether that's even a theory worth exploring." Even the magistrate acknowledged that relevancy might be a problem, noting that "95 percent, or 99 percent of this may not be relevant."


    Source: http://www.2dca.org/opinions/Opinion_Pages/Opinion_Pages_2014/February/February%2005,%202014/2D13-3205.pdf

    Five Legal Questions Answered Here:

    What happens when an opponent in court tries to force the enemy to grant access to a Facebook page or social graph?

    What happens when employers get access to your Facebook profile?

    Does Facebook tell you that someone else is trying to get your account information?

    How can I download my information from Facebook?

    Does Facebook tell you that someone else is trying to get your account information?