Thursday, July 2, 2009

Law Updates for June 26, 2009

Cote, 34 FLW 1219, 4th DCA, exigent circumstances: Where ofcs responded to an anonymous complaint regarding narcotics activity in a certain apt. Apt door was open when they arrived, and ofcs observed the def in the kitchen, 2-5 feet in front of them, wiping down the counter with a paper towel and also observed a digital scale on the kitchen counter with a white powdery substance and straw on it. Ofcs were not justified in entering the apt without a warrant. Where the def was not aware of the ofc's presence, his action in wiping down the counter would not be interpreted an attempt to destroy evidence in response to law enforcement's presence. Ofcs, not def, created exigent circumstances.

Wilson, 34 FLW 1221, 4th DCA, Lewd and Lascivious: Trial court erred in forcing the def to choose between testifying further and giving up his attorney when the defense counsel expressed viewpoint that more testimony was not a good idea. Most of the testimony of the def was relevant to the charges. No suggestion he intended to testify falsely and no rule of evidence precluded his testimony. Trial court should have ordered the def counsel to continue with the direct examination. New trial required.

The Law Offices of Roger P. Foley, P.A.

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