Florida Criminal Appeals Attorney Law

Appellate Law, Criminal Defense and Appeals and Post Conviction Relief in Florida Courts, Federal District Courts and the 11th Circuit

Tag: Broward

Dinkines v. State, No. 4D12-1845: Good Example of Preserving Objections For Appeal

The Florida Supreme Court is in recess until August 29, 2013, but I came across a good opinion issued by the Fourth DCA that I wanted to pass along because it provides a good example of preserving objections for purposes of appeal.  If you’re an attorney that handles appeals, criminal or civil, then you know that preservation of issues for appeal can sometimes be crucial.  For those of you who don’t handle appeals, preservation basically comes down to this: if you want to make an argument on appeal, you must have first objected and/or made that same argument to the trial court.  If you haven’t objected, or if you haven’t presented that argument to the trial court, then the appellate court may decline to entertain that argument on appeal.

In Dinkines v. State, 4D12-1845, a case which originated in Broward County, Dinkines was charged with dealing in stolen property and false verification of ownership or false identification given to a pawnbroker.  After a jury trial, Dinkines was convicted of the false verification of ownership, but was acquitted of dealing in stolen property.  Even though Dinkines scored any non-state prison sanction, the trial court sentenced Dinkines to three years in Florida State Prison.

According to the opinion, at the sentencing hearing, defense counsel did everything he or she could have to preserve the issue for appeal: (1) counsel filed a rule 3.800(b)(1) motion to correct sentencing error; and, (2) at the hearing on the motion to correct, counsel argued that the trial court erred by basing its sentence on argument of the prosecutor at the sentencing hearing, rather than on evidence or testimony.  Even after the trial court remained steadfast in his opinion, defense counsel continued to press the court, arguing that Dinkines had been acquitted of dealing in stolen property, that she was only convicted of the false verification charge, and that Dinkines had not been charged with burglary or any other crime.  Unfortunately for Dinkines, the trial court was unpersuaded by defense counsel’s argument, and entered a written order containing findings of fact in support of the 3 year prison sentence.

On appeal, the Fourth DCA agreed with the arguments of Dinkines’ counsel, and reversed.  Apart from the preservation aspect of the opinion, you might want to take a few minutes to read the Fourth DCA opinion because the Court took the time to pinpoint several problematic aspects of the trial court’s sentencing considerations, including the fact that the court referred to Dinkines as a “thief,” criticized her for failing to demonstrate remorse, and sentenced her based on argument of the prosecutor which was not substantiated by the trial.  Let’s hope that when the trial court resentences Dinkines on remand, that the court does so based on the evidence contained in the record, not on his personal opinions.

Florida Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Challenges To S.B. 1960 Moving Ahead, and Brief Filed in Ulloa v. CMI, Inc., No. SC11-2291

South Florida’s criminal defense and criminal appeals lawyers who take court-appointed criminal cases and appeals may be interested to know that the case filed by Brent DelGaizo to challenge the constitutionality of S.B. 1960 is moving forward.  On August 7, 2012, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal, located in West Palm Beach, issued an order directing the Chief Judge for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit (Broward County) to respond to Del Gaizo’s arguments raised in his petition for writ of certiorari.  The response is due August 27, 2012.  To see the docket for DelGaizo v. Chief Judge, Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, case number 4D12-2548, click here.  If the link malfunctions, just go to the 4th DCA’s search page, and enter the case number, 4D12-2548.

The Miami Chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL-Miami) has likewise filed a challenge to S.B. 1960 in Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal, located in Miami.  Amazingly, an organization of Florida prosecutors has even recently voted in favor of filing an amicus brief in support of FACDL-Miami’s petition to the Third DCA.  This is great news, and only serves to reinforce that the challenges to S.B. 1960 are about more than just money.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted.  To read my previous posts on S.B. 1960, click here, here and here.

Meanwhile, in Ulloa v. CMI, Inc., No. SC11-2291, Ulloa filed his jurisdictional brief today.  To read the brief, click here.  To read my previous post on this case, click here.  Since the case is relatively new, a decision should not be expected for some time.

United States Supreme Court Affirms Removal of Asian Husband and Wife, Lawful Permanent Residents Since 1984, After They Are Convicted of Filing False Tax Returns: Kawashima v. Holder, No. 10-577

Now that the Mardi Gras season is over, the federal criminal defense and immigration defense lawyers in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami Dade county may want to take a few moments moment to read a newly issued opinion from the United States Supreme Court: Kawashima v. Holder, No. 10-577.  On February 21, 2012, the Court affirmed the deportation and removal of Akio and Fusako Kawashima, natives and citizens of Japan who were lawful permanent residents of the United States since June 21, 1984.  According to the opinion, in 1997, Mr. Kawashima pleaded guilty to one count of willfully making and subscribing a false tax return in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1), and Mrs. Kawashima pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(2).  After  framing the issue as “whether aliens who commit certain federal tax crimes are subject to deportation as aliens who have been convicted of an aggravated felony,” the Court held that “violations of 26 U. S. C. §§ 7206(1) and (2) are crimes ‘involv[ing] fraud or deceit’ under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(M)(i) and are therefore aggravated felonies as that term is defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U. S. C. § 1101 et seq., when the loss to the Government exceeds $10,000.”

Justice Thomas delivered the majority opinion of the Court, and was joined by the other conservative members of the Court, Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Alito, and Sotomayor.  Although the majority opinion is a rather short 11 pages, be warned: the writing is a dry, statutory construction discussion of several  tax and immigration sections, including 26 U.S.C. §§ 7206(1), (2), and 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101(a)(43)(M)(i) and 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

As with most Supreme Court opinions, the dissenting opinion is once again the most interesting part to read.  While Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kagan also undertake a statutory-construction discussion, the critical tone in which the dissenters point out the flaws of the majority opinion cannot be mistaken.  Ordinarily, I would summarize the points in the dissenting opinion for you, but in this case, Justice Ginsburg’s writing is so persuasive, that I think that you really should take a few moments and read it for yourself.

On a side note, I am interested to see how much media attention, if any, the Kawashima opinion will receive.  Immigration is always a hot-button issue in American politics, but I suspect that this case will attract little, if any attention.   After all, it’s a boring tax and immigration case, right?  If any of you are basketball fans out there, you probably know of some of the racial comments that have been made about the New York Knicks’ Jeremy Lin.  And if you read the article that I read on CNN this morning, you might also know that for some reason, racism against Asians appears to be more socially acceptable than racism against other minority groups.  Saturday Night Live addressed that topic nicely, as you’ll see if you read the article yourself.  I suspect that in light of today’s culture, nobody will care much at all about the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Kawashima are going to be deported because they are Asian.  I hope that’s not the case.  I hope that people instead think about what really happened here: Mr. and Mrs. Kawashima, lawful permanent residents of the U.S. since 1984, made the unfortunate choice of filing false tax returns.  And now they are being deported?

Broward Medical Examiner Reportedly Mishandled Thousands of Oxycodone and Hydrocodone Pills

If you are a criminal defense attorney handling drug cases out of Broward County, this report from the Sun Sentinel may be of interest to you.  The Broward Inspector General issued a report detailing employee misconduct and gross mismanagement by the Broward Medical Examiner’s Office in connection with the handling and disposal of several thousand pills, including oxycodone and hydrocodone.  ME Legal Investigator Supervisor Linda Krivjanik (who was already investigated by BSO and fired) and former Chief Medical Examiner Joshua Perper were both named in the report.  Apparently, the lax attitude at the ME’s office was so rampant that even its own employees called the manner in which drugs were stored a “free for all.”  The ME’s office is now trying to determine the whereabouts of at least 3,600 pills, including over 2,100 oxycodone and over 150 hydrocodone.

Broward Man Wins Stand Your Ground Decision

Heads up, South Florida criminal defense attorneys: the Sun Sentinel reports that a Broward man, Nour Badi Jarkas, has beat first degree murder charges after relying on Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.  According to the report, Jarkas went to trial on the charge of murder after he shot and killed the boyfriend of his estranged wife, John Concannon.  At the trial, Jarkas testified that he was invited to his wife’s home in Plantation, Florida, and that she left the residence when Concannon  arrived.  Jarkas also testified that he shot Concannon after Concannon taunted and grabbed Jarkas, and threatened to kill him.  The jury found Jarkas not guilty of armed kidnapping and aggravated assault with a firearm, but could not reach a unanimous verdict on the murder count.  In support of her ruling, Judge Holmes cited the testimony of the medical examiner and Jarkas.  Although Jarkas remains in custody at the Broward County Jail, awaiting a hearing on Thursday, December 15, 2011, his lawyer hopes to secure his release before such time.

The Sun Sentinel’s report also states that another Broward man relying on the Stand Your Ground law, Patrick Wonder, is facing manslaughter charges in the death of a federal agent following a road rage incident in 2008.  In an Order issued May 26, 2011, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that Wonder was entitled to an evidentiary hearing on the Stand Your Ground defense.  Wonder’s Stand Your Ground motion is reportedly set for January, 2012.  For more on the Patrick Wonder case, click here and here.

For some of my previous posts on Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, click here, here, and here.

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