Articles Posted in Variety

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Gallardo-Law-Firm-and-Criminal-Defense-Lawyer-Miami-small-300x200Civil asset forfeiture is different from most legal processes, where law enforcement officials seize property they assert has been involved in criminal activity. One need not be involved or charged with a crime in order for his or her property to be seized. In other words, in civil asset forfeiture proceedings, it’s essentially the property that is charged with the crime.

Forfeiture laws have been used historically and are intended to be used as tools to fight organized crime. When targeting criminal organizations whose sheer amount resources make them incredibly difficult to prosecute, having a legal means to seize the assets of these organizations can be helpful in weakening them. In practice, however, civil asset forfeiture laws are not always used in this way.

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Alexandra-Danison-244x300Alexandra Danison of Palm Springs, Florida was arrested on Sept. 13 on a DUI charge. She was arrested inside Palm Beach after she failed to follow police orders to exit the island via one of the security checkpoints set up in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Danison, 32, was charged with a DUI. She was held at Palm Beach County jail and released on her own recognizance the following day. It is unclear if she has acquired the services of an attorney.

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Hurricane-Irma-1-300x227Looters have reportedly been breaking into empty homes and businesses around Florida despite stern warnings from authorities. Some have been caught on camera.

ABC News caught footage of a group looting a shoe store in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday. The footage shows looters leaving Simon’s Sportswear with boxes of shoes. The perpetrators went on to rob a nearby pawn shop, sources say.

The suspects, six adults and three teens, were arrested by Fort Lauderdale Police hours later. The adults were identified as Rossano Henry Jr., Tyrell Pratt, Teonhki Robinson, Kenneth Pinkney, Michael Brown, and Zara Dumornay. All the suspects are charged with burglary during a natural disaster.

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Edgar-Reyes-300x169Edgar Reyes of Davie, Florida turned himself in on August 31 at the Broward County Courthouse to face DUI charges for his alleged involvement in an April car crash that led to the death of his girlfriend, Martha Hernandez Rondon of Hollywood.

Reyes, 45, faces multiple DUI-related charges, including DUI manslaughter. He is being held at Broward Main Jail. Bond information was not immediately available and the press did not list an attorney for him. A bulletin issued by police last week said Reyes is not a U.S. citizen, making him a potential flight risk.

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club-2492011_960_720-300x167The Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act can be found in Florida Statutes 932.701-932.706, and allows for the seizure and civil forfeiture of property and contraband related to violations of the law.

The forfeiture procedure is a two-step process. The first is the seizure or the initial restraint on the property, and the second is the forfeiture itself. Of course, the outcome must be determined in a court of law before property can be subject to forfeiture. It’s important to understand what falls under the category of “contraband” to understand forfeiture in Florida.

What is “contraband?”