When Florida law enforcement officers make a mistaken arrest it’s important to take immediate steps to win back your freedom, your reputation and your future. Here are the critical steps you should take to regain control of your life.

1. Preserve evidence. If there is video, audio or other evidence of the incident be sure to keep the original and make copies. Any discrepancies between the police reports or officer testimony and tangible evidence helps to weaken the state’s case against you.

Finding evidence of innocence is the key to establishing that someone has been falsely arrested.
Find Evidence of Innocence

2. Preserve witnesses. In a recent felony Battery on a Police Officer case that I handled a cab driver observed an officer from the St. Petersburg Police Department push my client’s head into the  pavement, which was far different than the officer’s false allegation that my client had tried to take his badge. Finding this witness and exploiting his damaging testimony resulted in the case being dismissed (no filed) by the Pinellas County State Attorney’s Office in Clearwater.

3. Find corroborating details. Once in an alleged grand theft and burglary case that I handled the defendant happened to have a time dated ATM withdrawal slip which placed him far from the scene of the crime at the time the crime was committed. Had he not had that evidence of a corroborating detail he likely would have been convicted of the crime. Further, I’ve often encountered situation in allegations of misconduct or violations of probations where traffic ticket, pay stubs, work records or business records readily establish that my client is innocent.

4. Find computer, social media or smart phone trails. Most of our lives are now being tracked in countless ways by our computers, social media, smart phones and apps. Within the search structure and query system lay clues that may convict on exonerate you. It’s essential to have computer experts search the content of your devices in search of helpful evidence.

5. Think outside the box. Think of everything that may possibly help you by retracing your steps that day. Place everything that happened on a flow chart by writing every down event and nonevent that occurred that day chronologically. Then fill in the details of each event. You will find further supporting evidence of innocence. 

If you’ve been falsely arrested in Clearwater, St. Petersburg or Tampa you should hire the best possible lawyer to ensure that these steps will be followed and that you’re provided with an excellent defense. 


The Federal Appeals Court made a recent decision that helps protect your computer information even from a Federal Grand Jury subpoena based on good reason to suspect that your computer has been used for criminal activities. Although the case which is now the law in Pinellas, Clearwater and Tampa Bay involved computer crimes where the grand jury was told by law enforcement that  child pornography was on a computer, the decision protects any encrypted information on a computer. If you’ve been charged with any computer crime, fraud or identity theft contact a Clearwater Criminal Law Attorney as soon as possible.
A computer could harbor significant information about crime other than specific computer crimes; for example, an accounting program used for a business under a fraud investigation or an analysis of drug sales for dealer or the office computer in a medical fraud case. The decision means that if a computer is successfully encrypted by the Defendant the Government can not gain password information thru a grand jury subpoena. Of course, the Government will still have the hard drive of the computer and can still have its experts attempt to break the encryption which if successful will be used at trial against a Defendant unless you hire a Computer Crime Criminal Lawyer.
This is a well thought through opinion on whether production and decryption constitutes “testimony,” and if so then is protected under the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (remember that yellowing old piece of paper up in Washington).  The legal analysis clears an area of law that has at times appeared murky by finding that this testimony of a password can not be compelled from the Defendant. 

My Computer is slow but sure…
An abacus from China, The Ming Dynasty


All of us are at risk when using computers, cell phones, and email accounts with companies such as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Apple. All of these companies are storing more and more of our personal information ‘in the cloud,’ placing each of us and those in our ‘contact lists’ at risk of fraud.

With the complex nature of these charges, many police officers in the Tampa Bay Area, including Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Pinellas County, Florida neither have the training nor the computer literacy to fully comprehend complex computer networks accusing and arresting those who had nothing to do with the unlawful acts, an important consideration if you’ve been falsely accused of a White Collar Crime.

Companies across America will spend in excess of $130 Billion because of data breaches, how much will it cost you? CNNMoney

James Fallows’ recent article in The Atlantic, HACKED!, describing his wife’s ordeal when her Google account is taken over by a Nigerian thief – Fallows attempts to regain control of the account and the lost information – even as the Nigerian contacts everyone on her contact list for money to be wired immediately because of her mugging in Madrid:


As email, documents, and almost every aspect of our professional and personal lives moves onto the “cloud”—remote servers we rely on to store, guard, and make available all of our data whenever and from wherever we want them, all the time and into eternity—a brush with disaster reminds the author and his wife just how vulnerable those data can be. A trip to the inner fortress of Gmail, where Google developers recovered six years’ worth of hacked and deleted e‑mail, provides specific advice on protecting and backing up data now—and gives a picture both consoling and unsettling of the vulnerabilities we can all expect to face in the future.

A stream of concerned responses from friends and acquaintances, all about the fact that she had been “mugged in Madrid.” The account had seemed sluggish earlier that morning because my wife had tried to use it at just the moment a hacker was taking it over and changing its settings—including the password, so that she couldn’t log in again. The bogus message that had just gone out to me and everyone else in her Gmail contact list was this:

From: Deb Fallows <debfallows@gmail.com>

Date: Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 8:45 AM

Subject: Problem


now this might come as a suprise to you,but I made a quick trip to Madrid in Spain and was mugged.My bag,valuables,credit cards and passport all gone.The embassy has cooperated by issuing a temporary passport.I need funds to settle outstanding hotel bills,ticket and other expenses.

To be honest,i don’t have money with me at the moment. I’ve made contact with my bank but the best they could do was to send me a new card in the mail which will take 2-4 working days to arrive here from DC. I need you to lend me some Money to sort my self out of this predicament, i will pay back once i get this over with because i need to make a last minute flight.

Western Union or MoneyGram is the fastest option to wire funds to me. Let me know if you need my details(Full names/location) to effect a transfer. You can reach me via hotel’s desk phone and the number is, +34 981 600916867.

Hacked! – Magazine – The Atlantic

Here is a recent portrait of Deb Fallows as her GMail Account is being HACKED by Nigerian Thieves. Scholars believe the white flowers floating in the air and water represent the lost emails. Somehow out of great pain and loss magnificent art always emerges:
The Birth of Venus (Nascita di Venere) is by Sandro Botticelli. c.1486, many thanks to the Uffizi Museum in Florence. Perhaps the museum would be willing to fly me to Florence so that I can more accurately present these paintings to the world.