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Gun Trafficking Means Federal Prison for New Jersey Man

Being chased by the law is no picnic; Luis Velazquez-Pinero found that out the hard way. He was sentenced to over two years in prison, 38 months to be exact. The man that was 39 years of age was from New Jersey and was sent to federal penitentiary for gun trafficking. Luis had been caught with a van that was filled to the top with guns. The incident took place a year ago; he was stopped in Jacksonville, Florida while on the way to Puerto Rico said the U.S. Attorney’s office.

On January 12th, Luis Velazquez-Pinero had put in the guilty plea; this plea was for trafficking firearms and had then made a false testimonial to the federal agency. The court judge that had sentenced him was, U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives had pulled a van over, in the month of May 2011. They had said that there were 64 guns in the back that were ready to be shipped out to Puerto Rico. The documents that were associated with the guns were tracked back to Luis. They had his telephone number and found his address that way.

After this incident, six months later, the agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives had discovered a bag that was full of firearm parts. This was at the Orlando International Airport; apparently Velazquez-Pinero tried to bring this bag onto the flight to Puerto Rico.

The agents of this bureau say they saw a guns dealer, who was unlicensed, sell 22 guns to Luis. He had put them in the back of his car in July 2011, and then drove off. After the agents let him leave, he was stopped, the agents then proceeded to search his car. This search had led to the revelation of 21 different pistols and an AK-47 style rifle. These ended up being the guns he had recently purchased.

This gun purchaser from New Jersey had gone down to Florida just to buy these illegal guns. He had then resold them to people. All of this was done without a firearms license from the federal government. The investigators of this case had said that Luis Velazquez-Pinero had bought close to 200 guns and tried to sell them this way.

Criminal Defense FAQ – What you need to know about FL Law

If you have been arrested for a crime or a DUI in Florida, you undoubtedly have questions about what will happen next. Here are answers to some of the more frequently asked questions that pertain to criminal or DUI arrest.

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Criminal Defense EXPLAINED

It may sound cliché, but the old adage “everyone makes mistakes” rings true in many instances. A criminal conviction can and will have life altering consequences to an individual. If you’re in need of experienced Jacksonville criminal lawyers, contact Casey Bryant, P.A. of Jax Defense to make sure that you have someone willing to fight for your rights. Our firm has the necessary trial experience and knowledge to aggressively defend against your conviction.

An arrest and conviction for a criminal charge can be a tremendous blow to your name and your reputation. However, just because you are convicted of a crime does not mean that you case is over. At Jax Defense, we promise to work diligently with you on the details and evaluation of your case, exploring all possible options in order to attempt to reverse your conviction. Although an appeal doesn’t allow the introduction of new evidence, it does allow for arguments based upon prior happenings and submitted evidence that the court has relied upon to make its prior conviction. You owe it to yourself to make sure you explore all of your options to fight against your conviction and protect your reputation.

At Jax Defense, we believe that an aggressive criminal defense attorney can put the law to work to protect your innocence and your rights. We promise to move quickly and decisively in your defense to provide you with the best opportunity to defend your name. If you’re in search of criminal lawyers in Jacksonville, Florida, contact Casey Bryant, P.A. of Jax Defense today for a free consultation and evaluation of your specific case.

Jacksonville Mother Accused of Selling Child for Drugs

Jacksonville mother accused of selling sex with her 6-year-old daughter in exchange for drugs and money.
Dalina J. Nichols, 35, is being held on child neglect charges after a tip about sexual abuse on her child was reported to the police. The tip came to the police in January and Nicholas was extradited for Muscogee County, Georgia to Jacksonville, Florida. In addition to Nichols’ charges, the police also charged two men with capital sexual battery and one other suspect is being sought as well.
The tip from January came from a homeless man who flagged down a passing office and told him what had been going on in the home. The man had been to the home prior for drugs and gave the police the information about the sexual abuse said Sergeant Mark Evans, the lead detective for the case.
Police started an investigation upon hearing the tip which ultimately led to the warrant for Nichols arrest. During an interview with the daughter, she told the police the details of the sexual attacks by three men. By the time the police were set to arrest Nichols, she fled the area.
Nichols lived in Jacksonville Beach where she supported herself and her drug habit by selling her daughter for various sexual acts. Witnesses and neighbors told police that drug were frequent in the home and many different men were seen coming in and out of the house at all hours of night.

With a suspect still at large, it’s too soon to tell what will happen with the investigation and case. However, those close to the case find it difficult to get past the horrific nature of the situation.

“I can’t think of an adjective that’s bad enough to describe [the allegations],” Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Bruce Thomason said. “Anyone who would harm a child is just beneath contempt.”

Ohio School Shooting Takes the Lives of Three

17 year old takes the lives of three of his classmates in a school shooting.

Monday, February 27 a shooting took place at Chardon High School, 30 miles east of Cleveland, Ohio.

7:30 am, T.J. Lane walked into the cafeteria and up to a group of boys. There were 5 victims in all – 3 of the 5 have been declared dead. Lane was two feet away from the group when he fired the shots, the Cafeteria went into chaos. As soon as the first shots were fired, almost all of the 100 students in the Cafeteria fled. T.J. Lane was chased from the building by a teacher and arrested about a half mile away from the school.

The victims of the shooting had been waiting for a bus; they attended a school in Auburn called Lake Academy. T.J Lane went to school there as well.

Story Unfolds on Facebook

After news of the shooting broke out, media outlets and journalists scrambled to find more information about the alleged shooter and found something even more disturbing. It has also been reported that the night before the incident, Lane posted on his Twitter, that he would be bringing a gun to school the next day. No one took his threat seriously.

A poem written by TJ Lane that was posted on his Facebook page. The poem read: “”He was better than the rest, all those ones he detests, within their castles, so vain. Selfish and conceited. They couldn’t care less about the peasents [sic] they mistreated.”

“The world is a sandbox for all the wretched sinners,” the post continues.”They simply create what they want and make themselves the winners. But the true winner, he has nothing at all. Enduring the pain of waiting for that castle to fall. Through his good deeds, the rats and the fleas. He will have for what he pleads, through the eradication of disease. So, to the castle he proceeds, like an ominous breeze through the trees.”

“I’m on the lamb but I ain’t no sheep,” the post ends. “I am Death. And you have always been the sod. … Now! Feel death, not just mocking you. Not just stalking you but inside of you. Wriggle and writhe. Feel smaller beneath my might. Seizure in the Pestilence that is my scythe.”

“Die, all of you.”

T.J. Lane, a 17 year old junior, was known as a quiet but nice guy. He lives with his grandparents and known to have been friends with the victims. Students were in shock that he would do something like this. It is rumored that T.J. Lane had been bullied in the past.

Probation Violations

An individual can be put on probation for a violation of the law that is either a misdemeanor or felony. When put on probation an order of probation is entered and this document outlines what are the requirements of probation. All probationers must abide by the general conditions of probation, these typically include: report to the probation office as directed, pay the cost of supervision, not change residence or employment without notice to probation officer, do not own or possess firearm, live without violating the law, do not associate with others involved in criminal activity, do not use or possess intoxicants, hold or seek employment, comply with all orders of court and probation officer, pay restitution and court costs, and submit to random drug tests.

In addition, a court may impose special conditions. A special condition is a condition that is unique to the probationer’s case. They may include; community service hours, AA or NA meetings, rehab, counseling, a letter of apology, curfew, and/or fines.

To violate a condition of probation, the condition must exist in the order of probation. A skilled criminal defense attorney must review the order of probation and analyze; whether the condition exists, whether the condition is lawful and whether a willful and substantial violation of probation has occurred. If a probationer admits or is found by a preponderance of the evidence to have violated probation, a judge may revoke the probation and sentence the offender to the maximum penalty minus credit for any time already served.

At the Law Office of Casey Bryant we have handled probation violations on both misdemeanor and felony cases throughout the North Floirda area. We have the experience to present evidence for reinstatement and fight against the violation, whether it is a failed drug test, a new law violation, or a failure to pay, contact our office now and let our experienced criminal defense attorneys fight for you. We offer a free consultation and payment plans are available.

Importance of Hiring the Right Criminal Attorney Early

The two most important things when seeking criminal defense representation, are seeking the attorney with whom you are most compatible with, and finding that attorney early.

A criminal defense attorney and the client are a team. They two must work together and combat the prosecutor and police who are seeking a conviction and criminal penalties.  It is imperative that attorney and client are compatible as a team, and avoid internal strife, to successfully combat the prosecution.

Another important factor is finding a criminal lawyer early, if a lawyer is fighting for you early on in the process they may be able to get the case dismissed, sent to diversion program, or have the charges diminished from felony to misdemeanor.

Whenever an individual is arrested by the police, they are arrested on suspicion of committing a crime. The police do not have the ability to formally charge an individual with a violation of the law, only a prosecutor or grand jury is vested with that power. After an arrest, a prosecutor must review the case and determine what, if any crimes they can prove. If the prosecutor can prove a law violation they must file a charging document, referred to as an Information, under Florida law.

It is at this point a criminal attorney can fight against the prosecutor and seek an outright dismissal or reduction in the charges. Waiting until an initial court date to hire a defense lawyer does not give you this advantage.  That is why you must act fast to combat any criminal prosecution.

At the Law Office of Casey Bryant we fight for our client’s at all stages of a criminal proceeding. We begin fighting for you as soon as we are retained. We will seek a dismissal, reduction or deferred prosecution on your behalf, so you never have to step foot in a criminal courtroom. Call us today and schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and legal rights. We have attorneys standing by to answer your calls. (904) 334-7103


Why Do I Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, you need a lawyer who practices criminal law. In Jacksonville, Florida there are hundreds of lawyers, but only a handful which practice only criminal defense. At the Law Office of Casey Bryant, P.A. we only practice criminal defense. So, we know exactly how to handle your case.

The law is always evolving, on a daily basis. An attorney must be informed and knowledgeable of the changes in the law and have the ability to apply those changes to a client’s case. If an attorney practices many different types of law, they are not capable of staying informed of the changes in the law.

A criminal case, whether a misdemeanor or felony, requires familiarity with the prosecutors and judges who handle these cases. If a lawyer does not routinely appear before these courts, they cannot build relationships and use those relationships to the benefit of the client’s case.

A criminal attorney must also be familiar with sentencing alternatives and trial procedure. A criminal case is always headed towards a trial. If a lawyer cannot or will not take a case to trial, the prosecutor will hold all the bargaining power. An experienced criminal defense attorney will build a reputation as a trial lawyer and earn the respect of prosecutors, who will know they better be ready to put up a fight. Additionally, an experienced criminal lawyer will also have creative ideas for sentencing options and alternatives. A plea does not always require prison or probation, be creative and make the case work for you.

If you need representation on any criminal matter, you need to hire a lawyer who practices exclusively in criminal defense. You liberty and rights require it. Call Criminal Defense Attorney Casey Bryant to discuss your case and options. All we do is criminal defense. Call (904) 334-7103 to schedule a free consultation.

What is a Minimum Mandatory?

Under Florida law, many crimes have certain minimum mandatory penalties. A minimum mandatory penalty or sentence is a sentence that must be imposed following a plea of guilty or no contest, or being found guilty by a judge or jury. When sentenced to a minimum mandatory prison sentence, an offender is not eligible for any form of parole, gain-time or early release. The entire minimum penalty must be served before any form of release.

Currently, Florida law requires offenders to serve 85 percent of any sentence imposed. Throughout the 1980’s and early 1990’s, offenders were only required to spend 65 percent of any sentence imposed prior to become eligible for early release.  This law is subject to change with prison overcrowding, but any forecast on when such will be done is pure speculation.

The two main areas in which minimum mandatory penalties exists are when the crime involves the use of a firearm, Florida’s 10-20-Life law and crimes involving drug trafficking. Under the 10-20-Life law, if a gun or firearm is displayed or brandished during the omission of a crime, a 10 year minimum penalty must be imposed, discharge the firearm 20, and if someone is killed, then life.

With prescription drug abuse and sales increasing, trafficking charges involving hydrocodone or oxycodone are prevalent. As little as 6 pills of hydrocodone, or Lorcet, may invoke a 3-year minimum mandatory sentence for drug trafficking. As the weight of the pills increase, so does the minimum sentence. The minimum sentence can reach 15 or even 25 years in prison.

So how does a criminal defense attorney get around a minimum mandatory sentence? Mitigation and negotiation. A skilled criminal lawyer can negotiate through the proper channels and present mitigation in an effort to entice the prosecutor to go beneath the minimum sentence.

If you or someone you know has been arrested or charged with a crime which involves a minimum mandatory sentence, call Criminal Defense Attorney Casey Bryant to discuss your legal options during a free consultation.


Police Encounters Across Florida and Beyond

The law categorizes police encounters under three separate and distinct categories. The three categories are founded on the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution. The 4th Amendment provides “the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizures.” When the police attempt to detain and restrict the freedom of movement of an individual, they may have seized the individual for purposes of the 4th Amendment.

Any evidence found during an unlawful seizure of an individual may be suppressed from a prosecution in a criminal case if it was found unlawfully. To suppress a piece of evidence a citizen must have “standing.” Standing is the right to claim one’s personal rights were violated. A criminal defense attorney must file legal motions to suppress evidence to a judge and support the motion with legal precedent of law.

The first level of citizen-police interaction is a consensual encounter. During a consensual encounter, a citizen is free to leave at any time. The citizen may speak with the officer or refuse to. Because the citizen is free to leave at anytime, the 4th Amendment is not invoked.

An investigatory stop is the second level of police-citizen encounter. Under a “Terry” or investigatory stop, an officer may temporarily detain a citizen if they have reasonable suspicion, the citizen has, is, or is about to commit a criminal act. Mere suspicion is not enough; the officer must possess a “well-founded articulable suspicion.” During a “Terry” stop, an officer may frisk a citizen for weapons or officer safety. A full cavity, in-depth search is not legally permissible.

The third and most restrictive level of police-citizen interaction is an arrest. To make an arrest, an officer must have probable cause to believe a crime is or has been committed.

An arrest is the easiest level of police-citizen encounter to identify, and the thoughts of the citizen may differ from that of the police. If you have had evidence seized during a police encounter, it may be eligible for suppression if the seizure was illegal.

Call Criminal Defense Attorney Casey Bryant to discuss your case and rights during a free consultation.


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