You’d think Florida Law Enforcement Officers would be held to a higher standard. You’d hope Officers caught doing crimes would not only be prosecuted to the full extent of the law but be drummed out of service.  If that’s what you believe – you’re wrong, as the this recent and ongoing series of articles, How Florida’s Problem Officers Remain on the Job from the Herald Tribune make clear: officers are getting away with every crime under the sun, crimes for which every other citizen is brought before judges and juries and if convicted punished with jail time.

Among the Herald-Tribune’s findings:
One in 20 active law enforcement officers in Florida has committed a moral character violation serious enough to jeopardize his or her career. Nearly 600 have two or more such acts of misconduct on their record and 30 current officers and prison guards continue to wear a badge despite four or more offenses.

Officers in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Sarasota have been accused of violence acts such as aggravated battery, grand theft, possession of drugs and sexual battery enough to keep your favorite Clearwater Defense Attorney busy for years. Five years ago in an earlier blog post I wrote about the systemic corruption in a bargaining sex for drug reduction scandal at the Clearwater State Attorney’s Office, now it appears corruption still exists in many Florida law enforcement agencies as can be seen in case studies of officer corruption.
For the law to be an effective deterrent to crime every citizen especially those sworn under oath to protect us, to defend us and to uphold our law must be subject to the law.

These corrupt officers should immediately be fired. A grand jury should be convened to indict those responsible at the highest levels of each law enforcement agency and each state attorney’s office who coddled these criminals. 
If you believe that you are the victim of a crime at the hands of a Florida law enforcement officer you’ll want to contact a Pinellas Crime Lawyer immediately to determine what action to take including reporting the crime to federal watchdogs such as the FBI Tampa Anti-corruption Squad which can conduct complex undercover operations investigating any corruption in law enforcement agencies in Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Pinellas.

At least Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife was honest, incorruptible, loyal and kept his one bullet ready to defend – Barney we need you…

Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife
  • Favorite Quotations from Officer Barney Fife:
  • “Floyd, if you would keep your mind outta Washington and stick to your barbering, I might get a better haircut. Now, what did you do with my sideburns?”, paying Floyd, “Here, go buy a barber book!” 
  • “If a chicken hawk is hanging around, a wise rooster doesn’t bury his head…he keeps his eye on the chicken” (advice for Andy on keeping Andy’s girlfriend safe from another man)
  • “I’m sorry about this, but us lawmen can’t take chances!” –Barney (as he frisks an Older Woman at a roadblock, searching for an escaped convict) –“But Barney! I’m your mother!” 


Local activists against domestic violence and sexual violence will help plan a new special Domestic Violence Pinellas County Court in Clearwater, Florida next year which will not only take in criminal cases but also be able to track and assign immediate injunctions for protection and restraining orders to protect victims. 

Money is also being allocated to ‘train’ Pinellas Judges to give sentences of jail or probation which includes completing successfully Pinellas Batterer Intervention Programs which entail six month group counseling sessions led by certified facilitators – who one assumes must go to work not only with a thick skin but perhaps shrouded within a suit of armor. 

The mere allegation of abuse should not be sufficient to bring criminal charges tho unfortunately this is not always true, if you’ve been falsely accused, arrested, charged or investigated it’s necessary to contact a Pinellas domestic violence attorney to defend your rights and to conduct a complete investigation of the facts for your criminal defense.
The trend seems to be that every type of crime will one day have its own specialized Court with its own specialist Judge dealing only with the issues resulting from that type of crime. The Pinellas Drug Court has been a success as noted previously in this criminal defense blog and here, but drugs are a victimless crime
It’s important to keep in mind that every crime even a repugnant or heinous crime such as the arrest for domestic violence must be proven in Florida by a reasonable doubt if the facts are in dispute.

741.28 Domestic violence; definitions.As used in ss. 741.28741.31:

(1) “Department” means the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
(2) “Domestic violence” means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.
(3) “Family or household member” means spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.

Be careful with that Pitchfork, Fella – or you’ll be sent to the Pinellas Domestic Violence Court.

Man and woman with stern expession stand side-by-side. The man hold a pitch fork.
American Gothic by Grant Wood, 1930.



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.


The Fifth Amendment of the U. S. Constitution prohibits the government from prosecuting individuals more than once for a single offense and from imposing more than one punishment for a single offense. The Constitution states, “No person shall . . . be subject for the same offense to be twice put in JEOPARDY of life or limb;” this is known as the Double Jeopardy clause.
Florida has its own constitutional double jeopardy provision which does not prohibit a defendant’s retrial when a prior trial has been concluded by mistrial because of a HUNG JURY (see Lebron v. State, 2001 WL 987233, 26 Fla. L. Weekly S553 (Fla. 30, 2001); West’s F.S.A. Const. Art. 1, § 9).  http://www.law.fsu Lebron v State pdf

A jury’s verdict of acquittal terminates jeopardy. An acquittal cannot be overturned on appeal even if later overwhelming proof of a defendant’s guilt is found or even if the trial judge committed reversible error in ruling on an issue at some point during the proceedings.
Double jeopardy embodies within each sworn jury the power to nullify an inappropriate prosecution. The power of the government is is checked because each jury possess the power to correct corruption of the legal system by law enforcement, government officials, confidential informers, prosecutors, state attorneys, and even judges themselves
A jury can also implicitly ACQUIT a defendant when it is instructed by the judge on the elements of a particular crime and on a lesser included offense, if the jury returns a guilty verdict as to the lesser offense, a second prosecution for the greater offense is barred by the Double Jeopardy Clause. 

Double Jeopardy
Criminal Defense Attorney and Trial Lawyer Pinellas, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, FL
Federal Crimes Trial Lawyer & Criminal Defense Attorney in Pinellas, St. Petersburg, Clearwater,Fl
JEOPARDY! Alex Trebek
Bill of Rights 
Annotated Constitution Fifth Amendment

Why are the two men at the left with arms raised so upset? “I didn’t say Double Jeopardy…we ordered Double Espresso…” Can you find Ben Franklin? Good thing he didn’t bring that kite of his.
File:Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States.png