Possession of Testosterone
Facts: Our Client was arrested for a felony Possession of Testosterone.
Results: Our firm aggressively began negotiations with Felony Case Filing. As a result, we successfully convinced the filing attorney to send the case down to county court and reduce the felony charges to a misdemeanor offense. Once the case was filed in county court, our firm began negotiating with the County Court Prosecutor and reached an agreement where our Client’s charges would be dismissed. As a result, the felony was dropped, and The State of Florida dismissed misdemeanor charges.
Early Termination of Probation
Facts: Our Client was placed on ten years probation since 2014 on five separate cases. He came to us to ask if we could file a motion requesting permission to travel out of the country to be with his wife, who had just had surgery. So we took his case to file the motion on his behalf.
Results: While looking into his case and going to every piece of document, we realized that he should no longer be on probation. We drafted a motion to terminate, outlining the specifics facts why he should no longer be on probation and sent a copy to the state. Because of the detailed and thorough motion, we drafted the prosecutor had no objection. The Client retained us to request permission to travel while on probation, but we ended his probation entirely due to our research.
Habitual Traffic Offender by Mistake
Charges: Habitual Traffic Offender by Mistake
Outcome: Charges Reduced!
Facts: Our client had a suspended license after he decided to pay a traffic infraction on his own without hiring an attorney. When he paid for the ticket, “Unknowingly Driving Under Suspension”, his DL was immediately suspended.
He came to us to see if we could help. Our attorneys filed a motion with the court to vacate our client’s plea and allow him to enter a plea which would not result in a suspension. We argued that our client entered a plea of guilty when he paid his ticket. Our client did not know of the immense consequences to his license.
Our motion was granted, and the suspension on our client’s driver’s license was vacated.
It’s extremely important to hire an attorney, even if it’s “just a ticket.”
Marijuana Shipment Investigation
Charges: Marijuana Shipment Investigation
Outcome: Investigation stopped, no arrest, no charges
Facts: Our client came to us after being visited at his home by police and DEA agents. Allegedly, a package was sent to our client’s home which contained large quantities of marijuana flower and edibles. The package came from California and was addressed to our client’s home in Palm Beach County.
As soon as we were retained, we used our law enforcement contacts to determine whether an investigation was ongoing, and what the scope of that investigation was.
After speaking to law enforcement, we invoked out client’s right to counsel so that the officers could not contact our client. The investigation ended shortly thereafter. Our client was never arrested or charged.
Two Cases – High Speed Fleeing/Attempting to Elude, Failure to Obey Law Enforcement Officer
Charges: Two Cases – High Speed Fleeing/Attempting to Elude, Failure to Obey Law Enforcement Officer
Outcome: Client faced 70 years in prison, served 6 months, no probation
Facts: Our client was involved in two high speed chases with law enforcement officers in a period of two months. He was being held without bond, facing potentially 70-years in prison.
After going to the jail and meeting with our client in person, we immediately ordered the evidence in both cases, and opened up a line of communication with the felony Assistant State Attorney at the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office.
The State was looking to for our client to spend time in prison for both cases. We accumulated a substantial amount of mitigation materials, including 40-year-old medical records from out of State. After we presented all the information to the State, their offer went from multi-year prison with probation to 9 months in the county jail, with no probation to follow. Our client became a trustee in the jail and served 6 months.
DUI – Drug Based
Charges: DUI – Drug Based
Outcome: Charges Reduced in two open DUI cases
Facts: Our client’s family came to us after our client was arrested for a second DUI, while he already had another DUI open. In both DUI cases, it was clear the intoxicating substance was a narcotic and not alcohol. The State Attorney’s Office wanted the cases to resolve with jail and probation. When we were retained, we worked with the family to get our client into in-patient rehabilitation. Our client was able to get sober and complete a program successfully. We provided supporting documentation too the State Attorney’s Office and were able to come to a resolution where both DUI’s were dropped, and our client entered a plea to Reckless Driving in both cases.
Violation of Probation for Grand Theft and Organized Scheme to Defraud
Charges: Violation of Probation for Grand Theft and Organized Scheme to Defraud
Outcome: Violation Dismissed, Probation Terminated Successfully
Facts: Our client was put on probation in 2017 for Grand Theft and Organized Scheme to Defraud. In 2021 a warrant was issued for her arrest for violating her probation. Our client was arrested and held while her family scrambled to care for her four young children. Upon being retained, we contacted the State Attorney’s Office and began to negotiate a resolution as quickly as possible. Within 48 hours we were able to obtain documents showing our Client had fulfilled conditions of her probation that caused the violation. Within two days of being retained, our client was released from custody, and her probation was terminated successfully.
Driving Under Suspension – Habitual Traffic Offender
Charges: Driving Under Suspension – Habitual Traffic Offender
Outcome: Cases Dismissed
Facts: Our client came to us after completing intensive inpatient treatment for an opiate addiction. His driver’s license was suspended, and he had two open criminal cases for driving with a suspended license. He had an attorney who had recommended that he plea to the charges. When we were retained, we immediately worked on a plan to get his license back. During the process, our client was rearrested for driving under suspension. The Judge wanted our client’s bond revoked, but our arguments and negotiations prevented that from happening. We helped our client get his license back and then presented that to the prosecutors. The State dropped the charges against our client.
Charges: Domestic Battery
Outcome: No Charges Filed
Facts: Our client was charged with domestic battery on her sister in our client’s home. The altercation stemmed from utility bill issues. The electric bill and water bill have doubled since our client’s sister moved in and our client was asking for contribution or to have the sister leave. Our client’s sister refused to leave the house and began antagonizing our client’s daughter. Our client began to remove her sister’s property from the home, at which point our client’s sister became physical and the two fought. Our client left the home before the police arrived but was later arrested based on the word of her sister. Once retained we contacted the State Attorney’s Office and presented them with evidence including eyewitness statements indicating that our client was not the aggressor, she was defending herself and her daughter. The State Attorney’s Office did not file charges.
Outcome: No Charges Filed
Facts: Our client was a 64-year-old woman charged with battery on a homeless man. Our client was accused of causing lacerations to a homeless man’s head. We contacted the State Attorney’s Office and asked them to wait on making a filing decision until we got more information. Our relationship with the State gave us the time we needed to research the incident. From what we learned and later relayed to the Assistant State Attorney, our client fed, clothed, cleaned, and purchased clothing for the man. The man then left our client’s house and got heavily intoxicated before returning. My client did not let the man back into her home and believed he left. Police arrived hours later and arrested her for an injury caused to the man’s head. Our investigation determined the homeless man was intoxicated, tripped, fell and hit his head. We even found a witness the police overlooked. The witness saw the homeless man fall from afar with no one else around. We told all of the information to the Prosecutors, who ultimately dropped the matter.
Grand Theft Auto, Dealing in Stolen Property
Charges: Grand Theft Auto, Dealing in Stolen Property
Outcome: Nolle Prosse – Dismissed
Facts: Our client was working for a landscaping company on a property adjacent to a home. The homeowner asked our client to remove a trailer on the property. Our client told his boss, who on his own called a separate company to come and remove the trailer. When the trailer was removed by someone other than our client, the homeowner called the police. The homeowner told the police our client had someone else take the trailer, sold it, and kept the money. The police arrested our client for the theft of the trailer. Upon being retained we contacted the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office and immediately explained our side of the story. After speaking with the alleged victim, the Prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case after diversion.
Charges: Domestic Battery
Outcome: No Charges Filed
Facts: Our client was accused of domestic violence by his ex-girlfriend. The woman accused our client of hitting her, breaking windows, and breaking a windshield. Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Deputies investigated the incident and turned their reports over to the State Attorney’s Office to make a filing decision. We were retained and immediately contacted the Domestic Violence Intake Department at the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office. We asked that they give us some time to investigate the matter before they file charges. Our firm’s relationship with the Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office has been cultivated since the Firm’s inception. With the State’s blessing, we began our own investigation. Within one week, we obtained Ring Camera footage that showed our client’s ex-girlfriend break a window. We presented the evidence to the State Attorney’s Office, and the State Attorney’s Office did not file charges.
Charges: DUI 2nd
Outcome: 2nd DUI Dismissed, DUI Diversion
Facts: 55 – year old mother of college kids went out to pick her daughter up from downtown Jupiter. When she arrived, she failed to stop long enough at a stop sign. She was pulled over and asked if she had been drinking. Our client admitted she had a glass of wine and she was immediately asked to do field sobriety exercises. After being arrested for DUI, she decided to refuse to give a breath sample. Our client also had a prior out of State DUI which would subject her to greater sanctions. As soon as we started discussing the case with the State Attorney’s Office, we were mindful of the prior DUI but waited to see if the prosecutors found the information. We negotiated a resolution based on a first time DUI and were able to get our client a reckless driving, with no conviction.
Outcome: Charges were Not Filed
Facts: 18-year-old Client driving an Audi was stopped by Florida Highway Patrol for allegedly speeding in a work zone. An overzealous Trooper improperly conducted a DUI investigation and arrested our client. Immediately upon being retained, our firm contacted the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office to open a line of communication with the DUI filing department. Within a matter of days, the State Attorney’s Office No-Filed the case.
Habitual Traffic Offender
Charges: Habitual Traffic Offender
Outcome: Charges Reduced!
Facts: Our client was stopped on several occasions and cited for driving while her license was suspended. These were civil infractions, rather than criminal charges, so she paid her ticket like she was supposed to and went about her days without seeking legal counsel. Until she got a letter in the mail that her license was suspended for 5 years as a habitual traffic offender.
Results: We immediately obtained and reviewed our client’s driving record and were quickly able to ascertain that she had paid for 3 driving while license suspended tickets within a 5 year period. Although, they are traffic tickets the DMV counts them the same as criminal convictions for the same charge and 3 convictions within 5 years qualifies you as a habitual traffic offender, resulting in a 5 year suspension. We determined that vacating the conviction and received a withhold as to the most recent citation would remove the habitual offender sanction from our client’s license. So, we immediately filed a motion with the court explaining that our client was unaware of the potential consequences of paying the citation and that she did not have legal counsel at the time. The judge agreed with us and modified our client’s sentence and she was able to not only remove the habitual traffic offender designation and suspension, but she was able to reinstate her driver’s license to avoid issues going forward.
Domestic Battery and Child Abuse
Charges: Domestic Battery and Child Abuse
Outcome: Case dismissed!
Facts: Our client was wrongfully accused of hitting his girlfriend and her son. Immediately upon being retained, we filed our notice of appearance, entered a plea of Not Guilty, and demanded a trial by jury. Shortly thereafter, all charges were dismissed! We’ve now begun the process of destroying the arrest record and removing this stain of injustice from our client’s past.
Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Charges: Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Outcome: Case Dismissed!
Facts: Our client was charged with six different crimes as a result of an alleged altercation with a neighbor. Immediately upon being retained, a pointed email was drafted and sent to the State Attorney’s Office detailing all of the evidentiary issues with the case. Within a week of receiving our email, the State
Battery on Law Enforcement Officer, Resisting Arrest with Violence, Burglary of a Dwelling & Criminal Mischief
Charges: 2 Counts Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer and Resisting Arrest with Violence, Burglary of a Dwelling and Criminal Mischief
Outcome: All Felony charges dismissed
The defendant was accused of breaking into a home and cracking the window with a rock to do so with a co-defendant. After breaking into the home, the cops were called and the defendant and her alleged accomplice ran away. After being caught, our client is alleged to have spit at the cops, used profanity, and kicked the officers. She was taken into custody and charged with multiple felonies. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and did significant amounts of pre-file work to establish that our client was at the house to retrieve a cell phone she left there, not to commit a crime inside. Thus, the burglary charge was dropped. After helping our client get the help she needed, our firm provides enough mitigation to the State Attorney’s Office to secure a deferred prosecution agreement. After successful completion, all charges were dismissed.
Domestic Violence Injunction
Charges: Domestic Violence Injunction
Outcome: Case Dismissed!
Facts: Our client’s wife filed for an injunction on behalf of our client’s two minor children. She sought to prohibit contact between our client and his sons. After a full evidentiary hearing where we cross-examined our client’s wife on the truthfulness of her assertions, the Judge dismissed the petition and the case is closed!
Felony Possession of Testosterone
Charges: Felony Possession of Testosterone
Sexual Battery Charges in Palm Beach County
Charges: Sexual Battery
Outcome: No Charges Filed
Facts: Our client was accused by someone of engaging in sexual intercourse while underage. Our firm was retained on a pre-file level to secure representation on these serious allegations. After being retained, our firm was able to avoid prosecution for these charges.
Accused of Multiple Felony Offenses in Palm Beach County
Charges: Possession of Hash, Child Neglect, Possessing or Leasing a Home to Traffic Drugs with a Minor Present, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Ecstasy, and Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Sell
Outcome: No Charges Filed On All Charges
Possession of Child Pornography
CHARGE(S): Possession of Child Pornography
OUTCOME: No Charges Filed
Facts: The firm was retained to represent a client who was accused of possessing child pornography. After intense pre-file work including invoking our client’s right to counsel and right to remain silent, Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was able to secure a finding by the detective that there was no probable cause to charge our client. He would have been facing upwards of 100 years in Florida State Prison.
Possession of Cocaine
CHARGE(S): Possession of Cocaine
OUTCOME: Dismissed & Currently Being Expunged (All Records of Arrest Permanently Destroyed)
Defendant contacted our firm after being arrested with her boyfriend for the same bag of cocaine. They were allegedly sitting in the parking lot of a bar at 3:00am when an officer shined his flashlight into the car and saw the cocaine in plain view. Our client was the Director of a large marketing firm and feared her entire career would be ruined.
Our Firm got to work immediately and provided the State with case law showing that 1) the interaction with the officer was unlawful and 2) that our Client could not be charged with the bag of cocaine in her boyfriend’s possession without evidence of knowledge. In addition to case law, mitigating information was sent to the State about the Client’s career and education history. After a lengthy discussion regarding the legality of the law enforcement officer’s actions that night, the State agreed that it did not have a reasonable basis to believe it would be able to prove the case.
The possession of cocaine charge was dismissed without any admission of guilt and the Client immediately hired our Firm to assist her in the Expungement (destruction) of all records relating to her arrest.
SEVENTH Driving Under the Influence Arrest, Reckless Driving, and Resisting an Officer Without Violence
Plea to a “Dry Reckless” which entails a Withhold of Adjudication, Court Costs, No Jail, No Probation
This Client retained our firm after living in fear of his open warrant for almost 10 years. The call came from out of State from an elderly man seeking to right past wrongs. He was willing to accept probation, take classes, and do whatever he needed to clear his name.
At the time, this Client could have never imagined the result Meltzer & Bell, P.A. would eventually work out in his case. First, an agreement to recall this 9-year-old warrant was reached. That was one less burden for our Client and it allowed us the time necessary to properly prepare the case and build a legal defense. The first offer from the State was 9 months in the Palm Beach County Jail with the threat to up-file the case to a felony if the plea was not accepted by a certain date.
Only through months of investigation was it determined that a critical piece of evidence had been lost over the years. The police report indicated that a video of the traffic stop and roadside interaction captures copious evidence to prove DUI. Once we were able to certify that the DVD had been lost, we set depositions of the officers involved in both the traffic stop and arrest. In detail, we established at deposition that neither office had an independent recollection of the stop or arrest and would need to rely on their reports. A Motion to Suppress the Traffic Stop was filed, and the State reached out with an offer to make the case go away without the Client ever having to return to Florida. The DUI was dropped and the case was closed two weeks later after our Client decided he did not wish to return to Florida to litigate the Motion to Suppress.
Sexual Battery with Force
CHARGE(S): Sexual Battery with Force
OUTCOME: No Arrest, No Charges Filed
This Client came to Meltzer & Bell, P.A. during the most stressful moment of his life. An older man with a large family, he had never been accused of wrongdoing in his entire life. The allegations against him stemmed from a massage therapist reporting that she was sexually assaulted in our Client’s home. Prior to retaining our Firm, a Sex Crimes Detective had already contacted him several times seeking a statement about the allegations made against him.
Once retained, our Firm immediately reached out to the Detective. We informed him that while our intention was to be fully cooperative and not obstruct the investigation in any manner, under no circumstances were we going to allow our client to provide a statement to law enforcement. A notice of invocation of our client’s Constitutional Rights to both Legal Counsel and Silence were sent to this Detective on our Firm’s letterhead.
For months, there was a constant dialogue between our Firm and this Detective. Some of the Detective’s questions were answered after careful debate and consideration and some inquiries were respectfully declined. We cooperated, but only to the extent, we felt comfortable. In the end, the Detective decided not to pursue charges against our Client and nobody ever found out about these accusations.
Driving Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance
CHARGE(S): Driving Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance
OUTCOME: Case Dismissed
This Client was referred to Meltzer & Bell, P.A. by a previous client of our firm. After his wife experienced a true medical emergency, our Client followed the ambulance to the hospital. As a result of COVID-19, he was not permitted to accompany his wife in the back of the ambulance. Just minutes from the hospital, our client allegedly hit multiple curbs and drove what the officer described as “dangerously close” to the ambulance. A DUI investigation was conducted near the hospital and our client was unjustly taken to jail while his wife was being treated just feet away at the hospital. After providing two 0.000 breath samples, a urine sample was provided that did indicate the presence of a controlled and chemical substance.
To ensure a second injustice did not and could not occur, our Firm assigned three criminal defense attorneys to this case who worked tirelessly for weeks to get these charges dismissed. In the end, the DUI was completely dismissed, and our client did not have to admit to ANY wrongdoing whatsoever. This Client needed someone to zealously fight for him. Our firm provided THREE attorneys to do so.
Aggravated Battery with a Firearm (20-year minimum mandatory prison sentence)
Aggravated Battery with a Firearm (20-year minimum mandatory prison sentence), Aggravated Assault with a Firearm
OUTCOME: Time Served Plea, Withhold of Adjudication + 1 Year Probation
The Defendant was arrested for Aggravated Battery with a Firearm after law enforcement responded to the shooting of a child in suburban Palm Beach County. Defendant invoked his right to remain silent and did not provide a statement, which led to the State essentially believing the uncontested facts provided by the accuser. At the time the Defendant’s family retained Meltzer & Bell, P.A., he was already being represented by counsel and the State had never made a plea offer. Defendant remained in jail on these charges.
The same day our firm was retained, contact was made with the State Attorney’s Office and information was presented that showed the accuser was not truthful with law enforcement. With the consent of our client, information was provided that called into question the truth of the most egregious allegations. A very favorable time served offer was proposed to the State on behalf of our client which was immediately accepted. Our client was back at home with his family within a week of hiring our firm.
(1) Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer with a Deadly Weapon. (2) Aggravated Assault with Firearm. (3) Disorderly Intoxication
In February 2021, a client came to use with a very serious matter, in which he was accused of (1) aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer with a deadly weapon; (2) aggravated assault with firearm; (3) disorderly intoxication. These allegations could result in significant prison time.
After a night out on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach, our client returned to his condominium when and was confronted by a security officer at his building.
Our client was being harassed by the security guard and began to feel threatened. Our client advised the security guard that he owns firearms and would protect himself. The security guard followed our client as he was returning home. Our client was concerned he was going to be the victim of a burglary, so he retrieved his firearm.
After a short time, there was a knock at our client’s door. Our client opened the door with a firearm in his hand, pointing it at whomever was on the other side of the door. To his surprise, two police officers were standing in his doorway. Our client was ultimately arrested for disorderly intoxication, threatening to use a firearm against the security guard, and the police.
After our client was arrested and was at the police station, his instincts and fear were realized when the security guard broke into our client’s home and stole his property.
After being retained, our firm contacted the head of felony case intake at the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office. Over the course of multipage emails, we insisted that our client was innocent, and his actions were reasonable. After reviewing all of the evidence, the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office informed our office that they would not be filing charges against our client.
Outcomes: No File on all charges
(1) DUI Crash Enhanced
Our 18-year-old client and his parents came to us in December 2020, after being charged with DUI Crash Enhanced. Our client is a college student and was home on winter recess with the arrest occurred. An independent eyewitness observed our client’s vehicle strike a street sign and then take off at a high rate of speed. Officers stopped our client and after an investigation, made an arrest for DUI Crash. Our client then provided a breath sample where he blew a .213, nearly three times the legal limit. The Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office was looking to pursue one count of DUI Crash Enhanced with no possibility for DUI Diversion.
After being retained, we applied to the DMV for a formal suspension review hearing, and we immediately opened communication with the State Attorney’s Office.
At the DMV formal review hearing, we argued that our client’s suspension should not be upheld based on a lack of probable cause. The DMV sided with Meltzer and Bell, and our client’s driver’s license suspension was invalidated.
During communications with the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office, we used our cultivated relationships to effectively negotiate legal and factual issues with the case. After being reviewed by multiple supervisors, the State Attorney’s Office, agreed to drop the DUI Crash Enhanced charge, and allow our client to plea to Reckless Driving. Our client accepted the State’s Offer and was placed on probation for Reckless Driving.
Outcomes: DUI Crash Enhanced was dismissed, client plead to Reckless Driving.
Improper Lane Change with Fatalities Traffic Infraction
Our client came to us after being in a horrific traffic crash. While not charged criminally, our client was still facing significant administrative consequences as a result of this case.
In March of 2020, our client was driving on I-75 and attempted to merge to an exit. As she entered the lane to her right, traffic in that lane came almost to a stop. Our client quickly tried to merge back into her original lane when she was struck by a large commercial vehicle. In the end, seven vehicles were involved, and multiple fatalities occurred.
We advised our client that the upon a conviction, the Court would suspend her driver’s license for six months, but the Court, could decide to suspend her driver’s license permanently, require driving school, and levy significant fines.
The Court set the case for a final hearing in order to take testimony and evidence before making any rulings. After hours of reviewing reports and video footage, we were prepared to move forward with the traffic hearing. However, after excellent strategy and negotiation, our firm was able to obtain and accept a resolution from the judge, in lieu of a hearing.
We secured our client a resolution with the minimum six-month license suspension, minimal fine and no other conditions.
Outcomes: Minimum fine and minimum suspension.
2016 DUI – (3rd Outside of 10 years), Violation of Probation with an Open Warrant
Our client contacted us from New Jersey about an open warrant for violating his probation.
In April 2017 our client entered a plea to his 3rd DUI Outside of 10 years and a criminal refusal to submit to breath, blood, or urine testing. He was placed on probation with a lengthy list of special conditions. Included in his conditions was a 90-day period of incarceration.
In September 2017, our client’s probation was violated by the State. Included in the nine alleged violations was the failure to complete the 90-day jail sentence and absconding from the jurisdiction.
Our client was facing an almost certain 21-months in jail based on the alleged violations and this was his 3rd DUI.
Immediately upon being retained, we opened communication with the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office. The State’s initial offer was for a maximum jail sentence.
Through a series of emails and phone calls our office addressed all nine violations and argued against most of them. Based on our advocacy and negotiations, we were able to get the State to agree to recall the warrant, terminate probation, allow our client to complete his 90-day jail sentence and then serve an additional sentence of only 30 days. We were able to get the State’s offer from 21 months to 4-months.
Outcomes: Warrant recalled, probation terminated, 120 days county jail.
(1) Racing on Highways
Our client came to us after being charged with Racing on Highways. Our client, a young professional with no criminal history, was traveling behind a Ferrari when it caused a crash with a separate vehicle. Our client stopped after the crash and waited for first responders. When officers arrived, they observed my client’s sporty-BMW parked behind the Ferrari and assumed the vehicles were traveling together. After an independent eyewitness said she saw the Ferrari “racing on the highway”, the officers cited the driver of the Ferrari and our client for racing.
After being retained, we immediately contacted the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office. Through multiple phone calls and emails, we determined that the offer was going to be a conviction.
We continued negotiations and challenged the State to provide us with evidence to establish our client’s guilt. After months of negotiations, we were able to get the State Attorney’s Office to dismiss the racing charges against our client in exchange for a 4-hour driving course.
Outcomes: Charge Dismissed
Aggravated Battery with a Firearm
In September 2020, our client was arrested and charged with aggravated battery with a firearm.
After a verbal argument with his girlfriend, our client allegedly pulled out a firearm and shot his girlfriend in her hip.
Our client had no prior criminal history, and was facing a minimum mandatory sentence of 25-years in prison.
Immediately after being retained, we contact the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office and began to communicate with the prosecutor who would decide which charges to file. The prosecutor filed the most serious charge and her offer was 25-years in prison.
During months of negotiations with the State Attorney’s Office, and after providing an affidavit from the victim, photographs, screenshots, and other evidence, we were able to work out an excellent resolution.
Instead of 25-years in prison, our client would plea to a lesser charge, and would serve 6 months in county jail, followed by one year of probation.
Outcomes: Plead to lesser charges and was sentenced to 6 months county jail followed by 12 months of probation.
Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card (2 Counts) Fraudulent Use of Person ID Information (2 Counts) Unlawful Possession of Stolen Credit Card Petit Theft
Our client came to us after he was charged with using his child’s mother’s credit card. After her car was stolen, police tried to influence our client’s child’s mother to believe our client had stolen her vehicle. When our client would not confess to a car theft, he was arrested and charged with 6 crimes.
After being retained, we immediately contacted the State Attorney’s Office and set up a line of communication regarding this case. We provided information and a sworn affidavit, signed by our client’s child’s mother, indicating she did not want a prosecution to go forward.
After receiving the affidavit, the State Attorney’s Office chose not to file charges.
Outcomes: No Charges Filed
Fleeing and Eluding and DUI
Our client was charged with leading law enforcement on a high speed pursuit following a car meet. Our client was ultimately stopped by 11 marked police units. The initial offer from the State included a lengthy jail sentence.
While he was out on bond in that case, our client picked up a DUI. The State Attorney’s Office wanted to revoke our client’s bond and keep him in custody pending the resolution of the case. Using personal relationships and negotiations, we were able to prevent the State from filing a motion to revoke bond.
We ultimately negotiated a global resolution to both the Fleeing and Eluding, and the DUI. The global settlement called for less jail then the original offer, and minimal sanctions for the DUI.
Outcome: No prison, no bond revocation, no warrant execution, minimum probation terms on the DUI.
DUI Enhanced (2nd Outside of 5 Years)
Our client came to us after picking up his 2nd Enhanced DUI outside of 5 years. The State Attorney’s Office offered additional charges, jail time, 24 months of probation and a 24 month Driver’s License suspension.
After providing mitigation information to the State which included character letters and personal information, the State significantly modified their offer. Their new offer included a 9 month driver’s license suspension, 12 months of probation, and no jail time.
Outcome: No Jail, No 24 month period of probation or DL suspension.
During the height of COVID-19, our client and her ivy league student daughter, got into an argument leading to our client’s arrest.
Our client and her daughter succumbed to the stress of the pandemic mixed with the typical dynamic of a college kid returning home for a break.
After immediately establishing a line of communication with the State Attorney’s Office, we were able to modify the no-contact order allowing for our client to return home and speak to her daughter. Our client’s daughter signed an affidavit against the prosecution of her mother. The State Attorney’s Office decided to No-File the case.
Outcome: No Filed Charges
Fact: The Defendant contacted our Firm after being arrested for Grand Theft in excess of $10,000. It was alleged that he stole products form his employer. The allegation became a reality when the showed him the surveillance video before he made a full confession to law enforcement. It was the quintessential “dead to rights” case. That is, of course, until our Firm got involved. It took more months that we would have liked, but the results could not have worked out any better for our client. Even though he admitted to taking the $10,000 worth of product from his employer, we were able to negotiate a significantly lower number. Our Client was happy to pay back that dollar amount, complete a theft course, perform a few community service hours, and sit back and wait for the dismissal. Just because it may seem that you are “dead to rights” on a bad criminal case, that doesn’t mean our Firm can’t get you an unbelievable resolution. This client never had to admit guilt and is now in the process (also with our firm) of having this charge expunged from his criminal record.
Outcome: Dismissed after completion of “Pre-Trial Intervention Agreement”
Fact: This Client retained our firm to represent him in a Petition for an Injunction Against the Protection of Domestic Violence. Attorneys from our firm diligently handled that matter and after a three hour hearing, the Petition was denied. That, however, did not stop the State Attorney’s Office from bringing criminal charges against our Client. Even though the Judge handling the injunction hearing found that the Petitioner did not meet her burden “by a preponderance of the evidence”, the Government for some reason believed they could prove the same set of facts “beyond and to the exclusion of all reasonable doubts.” The Government was mistaken. The transcript of the Injunction Hearing was provided to the Government, along with photographs, text messages, surveillance video, and voicemails from the accuser. It became clear very quickly that it’s case could not survive. All charges against our Client were dismissed, which was even more important due to the fact he was in the country on a Visa and faced certain deportation if convicted.
Outcome: Case Dismissed
Possession of a Suspended Driver’s License
Fact: This Client came to our firm with an open warrant that had been active for more than 5 years. He was arrested for carrying his own driver’s license which unbeknownst to him, had been suspended just days earlier. Living out of State, this warrant was something that had been coming up in job interviews and housing applications. While the warrant was not extraditable, it was having negative consequences on his life. Our client’s wife indicated that we were the third law firm she had contacted over the years and that for some reason, nobody could get to the bottom of this. Our firm was retained to handle the matter. Within seven days of retaining our firm, the warrant was withdrawn, and the case was dismissed.
Outcome: Case Dismissed
Failure of a Sex Offender to Properly Register
Fact: The Defendant was arrested for Failure of a Sex Offender to Properly Register after law enforcement determined that he had moved to South Florida with his girlfriend. His mistake of the law, that since he was living in a motor home, he did not need to register the address where it was parked, was not a defense to the criminal charge. Attorneys from our Firm immediately went to work building a mitigation file to present to the prosecutor. Mitigation is essentially any information that can be provided to the Government which would mitigate the criminal conduct of the accused. In this case, the Defendant had been out of trouble for several years. He had started his own business that employed almost a dozen people. He was by all accounts, a contributing member of our society. Contact was made with the State’s Attorney’s Office and this information was presented, along with factual discrepancies between what the officer wrote in his report and what actually happened. While our Attorneys were ready to zealously advocate for this particular client at Jury Trial if need be, the case never got that far as the State entered a No-File prior to any charges being filed.
Possession of Alprazolam
Facts: The Defendant was in a dark alley parked with a friend. She was dropping off a friend. An officer pulled into the alley and stopped our client even though she was legally parked. After obtaining consent to search her vehicle, drugs were found. Our client was interrogated and ultimately admitted to the drugs being hers. The matter was assigned to the Felony Intake Unit with the Office of the State Attorney. A very long and detailed pre filing email was sent outlining the reasons that the charges should not be filed. Amongst those reasons were the stop in the alley along with the failure to Mirandize our client which resulted in a 5th amendment violation and an inadmissible confession. After a full review of the filing packet submitted by the arresting officer, the State agreed that our client’s 5th amendment rights were violated.
Outcome: Charges No Filed
Driving Under the Influence
Facts: The defendant was traveling on the road at night erratically. A caller was concerned and reached out to 911. When the officer located the car, the defendant was driving all over the road and hit a curb pulling into the parking lot. After noticing signs of impairment, he was asked to step out of his car and submit to roadside exercises. He performed poorly and was arrested. At the jail, he blew triple zeros and submitted to a urine sample. The sample came back with multiple controlled substances. The matter was assigned to the DUI unit at the State Attorney’s Office. After negotiations and providing mitigation to the prosecutor, an agreement was entered into to reduce the charges to reckless driving. The DUI was dismissed. Our client was not convicted of the reckless driving offense.
Outcome: Charges Reduced
Driving Under the Influence
Facts: The Defendant had worked a double back to back shift as a nurse during the COVID-19 Pandemic. He had a beer at a friends house and on his way home fell asleep at a traffic light with the car running and in drive. The officer noticed the vehicle was not moving and woke up the driver. Once alert, the officer stated he noticed an odor of alcohol, slurred speech and signs of impairment. Additionally, our client admitted to having a Budweiser. The officer asked our client to step out of the car. He did so with no issues. On camera, our client was speaking clearly and concisely. His behavior was not consistent with the officer’s reports. He was asked to submit to roadside exercises which he refused. It was obvious on scene by our client’s gait that he was pigeon toed and would not be able to perform them because of that. He was arrested and taken to jail. At the breath alcohol testifying facility he refused to submit to a breath test. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained. The matter was assigned to a case filing attorney in the DUI division at the State Attorney’s Office. Mr. Bell drafted several in depth emails pre filing to convince the ASA to drop the charges. That prosecutor initially did not agree with our assessment of the facts. However, that did not stop our aggressive push to have the matter dropped. We again asked of another prosecutor to review what it was we were addressing. Eventually, the agreed that a DUI charge should not be filed. Additionally, our client was not required to participate in the first offender program either.
Outcome: Charges No Filed
Failure to register as a sex offender
Facts: Our client was charged with failing to properly register as a sex offender after faithfully reporting on time for nearly 20 years! Immediately upon being retained we prepared for the first appearance hearing. The prosecution originally wanted to hold our client on a $100,000 bond. After presenting mitigating information to the Court, we convinced the Judge to release our client on his own recognizance. Then the work began to have the State to drop the charges. After some back and forth with the felony filing unit, the State declined prosecution. All charges dismissed!
Result: Charges dismissed!!
Two Separate Cases of Domestic Battery
Facts: Following an alleged altercation with his girlfriend, client was arrested and charged with Domestic Battery by Strangulation, Witness Tampering, Resisting an Officer, and Domestic Battery. Client adamantly denied the allegations. Luckily, client retained our services so soon after his arrest that we were able to contact the State Attorney’s Office prior to any formal filing decisions. We let the State know that we were retained to represent client and that we would contact them with more information. We told the State not to make any decisions until they heard from us again. Thereafter, we contacted the alleged victim and inquired about the allegations. During our conversation, the alleged victim admitted that she fabricated the allegations and that our client never touched her! Armed with this information, we went back to the State and implored them to confront the alleged victim about her story. Within days ALL CHARGES WERE DISMISSED. But our representation didn’t end there. During the same period of time, the alleged victim falsely accused our client of another domestic battery incident. The police, armed with her statement, requested that the State Attorney’s Office apply for a warrant. We quickly found out which State Attorney was assigned to the case and presented that lawyer with more evidence of the alleged victim’s questionable behavior and motives. Shortly thereafter, the State declined to issue a warrant.
Outcome: ALL CHARGES DISMISSED
Driving Without a Valid Florida Driver’s License (2 cases)
Facts: The Defendant was arrested for driving without a valid license. He was a New York transplant trying to resolve issues with the New York DMV. He hired our firm to handle his first Florida driving issue. Within a couple of weeks, he was again arrested for driving without a valid Florida license. Our firm was retained on that case as well.
The offer was not friendly from the State. Months of negotiations took place while the Client attempted to reinstate both of his driver’s licenses as a show of good faith. He was unsuccessful, unfortunately, in both states. At that point, mitigation was gathered from the Client. Mitigation includes information that helps show the Client is a good person and should not be punished to the fullest extent of the law. It took 6 months, but both cases were DISMISSED. The Client saved thousands of dollars in court costs.
Outcome: Both cases DISMISSED
Possession of Cocaine and Violation of Emergency Curfew
Facts: The Accused in this case was driving home from a friend’s house during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time there was a curfew in place. The Defendant ran into a group of officers enforcing the curfew. Incident to her arrest for the curfew violation, officers searched the Defendant’s car uncovering a large bag of cocaine. After spending a night in jail, our firm was retained to get involved in the case.
Contact was made with the State to try and work out a deal, since the Client had never been arrested. The case was, however, filed and contact was made with a second Assistant State Attorney. Since the Client had no criminal history and case law arguing there were legal issues with the traffic stop were provided to the prosecutor. A diversion program was offered by the State and our Client was more than happy to accept the terms, which included a substance abuse evaluation and paying a small cost of prosecution in exchange for the case being dismissed. If everything goes to plan, the case will be dismissed within 90 days of arrest.
Outcome: The Felony charge and curfew charge will be DISMISSED.
Public Assistance Fraud
Facts: The Defendant was charged with one count of Public Assistance Fraud over $10,000. It was alleged that she had received approximately $15,000 in Florida welfare benefits that he was not entitled to receive. It was also alleged that the Defendant had made almost $100,000 in income during that time period. The Defendant interviewed our firm, along with at least three other law firms, within a few days of her arrest.
Our firm was retained and immediately got to work on the case. The Defendant, having had made a mistake, immediately transferred the alleged stolen funds into our Firm’s trust account. Contact was made with the Assistant State Attorney responsible for the case and an agreement was reached during that first conversation. Our client’s case was DISMISSED within 2 weeks of hiring our firm. The Felony charge will now be expunged from her record. The Client quite clearly hired the right Law Firm.
Outcome: Case Dismissed within THREE WEEKS of arrest
Domestic Battery by Strangulation
Facts: The Defendant was charged with Domestic Battery by Strangulation. Officers responded to a domestic violence call and spoke with the caller. Injuries consistent with the caller’s statement were observed and the Defendant was placed under arrest the following day. Both parties have a statement that implicated the Defendant in the incident.
Our attorneys were able to speak with the prosecutors in advance of a filing decision being made on the case. After providing additional evidence, along with an affidavit of non-prosecution from the accuser, the criminal charge was dismissed without the Defendant ever having to go to court.
Outcome: No Filed Charges
Leaving the Scene of an Accident Causing Damage, Failure to Report a Crash, Failure to Drive in a Single Lane
Facts: The Defendant, a gentleman in his mid-70s, contacted our Firm after he was given a Notice to Appear in Court for Leaving the Scene of an Accident Causing Property Damage. He was driving in his neighborhood when he hit in a tree. After heading into his home to sit down for a moment and process what just happened, the police showed up. Even after he explained what happened and how it was just an innocent mistake, the officers at the scene decided to charge him with a crime.
Within a month of our Firm getting involved, all charges were dismissed. Our Client did not have to complete any driving courses, nor was he required to complete any community service hours. Once we took the time to explain everything in detail to the prosecutor, it was clear that our Client should never have been charged with a crime.
Outcome: All charges were quickly DISMISSED!
Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon and Deprivation of 911
Facts: Following an altercation with his wife, client was arrested in the middle of the night and charged with Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon and Deprivation of 911. After answering the call in the early hours of the morning, we made sure, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, to be present at his first appearance hearing. We got there early, went through pandemic clearances to get into the jail, and prepared our client for what to expect at the hearing. After reviewing the charging documents, it became clear that our client was wrongfully charged with battery and that the proper charge, if true, should have been assault. We successfully argued our position to the State and judge, and our client was released on a low monetary bond. From there, we quickly contacted a bondsman on behalf of our client and a few hours later, our client was a free man. Thereafter, we successfully negotiated the return of various personal and business items so that our client could continue earning a living through the pandemic and pendency of his case. And the best part – after multiple communications with the State, and in less than 3 weeks, ALL CHARGES WERE DISMISSED!
Outcome: Case Dismissed
Driving with a Suspended Driver’s License, Driving with No Insurance, Driving without Vehicle Registration
Facts: The Defendant contacted us after she was issued a Notice to Appear in court for driving with a suspended driver’s license. Since that traffic stop, the driver’s license was reinstated by the DMV.
A telephonic hearing was scheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At that hearing, our Firm told the Judge and Prosecutor that not only was the Defendant’s driver’s license valid, but proof of valid insurance and registration had been provided. A deferred prosecution agreement was emailed to our Firm right after the telephonic hearing. An executed copy, along with proof of the valid license, insurance, and registration was sent to the Judge and Prosecutor.
The traffic citations for driving without valid insurance and driving without valid registration have already been dismissed by the Judge. As soon as the courthouse opens back up for regular business, the criminal charge will be Dismissed.
Outcome: Case Dismissal Pending Due to COVID-19
Driving Under the Influence
Facts: The Defendant was on probation for Driving Under the Influence when the COVID-19 pandemic hit South Florida. He was still, however, required to complete various conditions in-person. Having two parents that suffered from pre-existing health conditions that put them at an increased risk from the virus, he was understandably concerned about their well-being and his probation possibly putting them at risk. That’s when he called Attorneys at our Firm.
The Defendant’s plea agreement specifically stated that there was to be NO early termination of probation permitted.
Attorneys from our Firm immediately reached out with these concerns to both the probation officer and the prosecutor responsible for the Defendant’s case.
Within 24 hours of hiring our firm, the Judge signed an order Terminating the Defendant’s Probation FIVE months early.
Outcome: Motion for Early Termination of Probation GRANTED
Possession of MDMA, Possession of Xanax, Possession of Adderall, Possession of Marijuana
Facts: The Defendant was an out-of-state Teacher visiting her family in South Florida. Late one evening, a traffic stop was conducted for speeding. The officer alleged that he smelled freshly burnt marijuana coming from the interior of the vehicle. The Defendant provided consent to search the vehicle and numerous unlawful controlled substances were located. The Defendant was arrested and charged with multiple Felony charges.
Our firm was retained to help save this teacher’s career. Attorneys from our firm put together a comprehensive mitigation packet and presented it to the prosecutor for review. These documents showed that not only was the Defendant a successful teacher, but she was a pillar of leadership in her local community. Character letters were submitted. Employer evaluations and substance abuse evaluations were provided to the prosecutor along with proof of multiple clean drug tests. After a few very stressful months, all criminal charges against our Client were Dismissed.
Outcome: All felony charges DISMISSED
Driving Under the Influence
Facts: The Defendant’s sister hired our Firm the day after he was arrested for violating his probation. At the time, the Defendant was being held with No Bond. Attorneys from our Firm were able to get the Defendant into court the next day and plead with the Prosecutor to release him from custody pending a final violation of probation hearing. The Prosecutor was provided with evidence that the Defendant was neither a flight risk, nor a danger to the community. The Defendant was released that same day.
Once released, the Defendant immediately work diligently to finish his remaining probation conditions. Once his required treatment sessions were completed and his drug testing fees were paid, the Prosecutor agreed to terminate our Client’s Probation Successfully with no additional conditions or jail time.
Outcome: Released from Jail Pending Violation of Probation Hearing Probation Terminated Successfully
Lewd Conduct on a Minor (3 cases)
Facts: The Defendant was arrested and charged with Lewd Conduct on a minor 2 years after the incident after the victim in the case wrote a letter to her teacher about it. After being taken into custody, he appeared in court for his first hearing and was arrested again after two more juvenile victims came forward. All of the girls were 15 years of age or younger. Our client was facing 45 years in Florida State Prison and scored a minimum of 3 years in prison under the Florida Sentencing Guidelines. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. is highly skilled and trained in the area of mental health issues as it relates to our client. We implemented a strategy to have our client evaluated by two independent experts. One performed a psychosexual to provide the State and Court with a Risk Assessment. Additionally, due to Mr. Bell’s experience in the field of autism spectrum disorder, he was able to spot signs and symptoms our client was exhibiting. Thus, we made sure our client entered into the REACH program in Palm Beach County with highly skilled experts in the field of sexual addiction and mental health issues. The therapist seeing our client also noticed the signs of spectrum disorder. Thus, we retained another expert to perform a downward departure major mental health evaluation to provide our firm with the tools needed to litigate our client’s issues before the court. Under Florida law, in order for the court to sentence our client below the lowest permissible sentence, it must be based on one of a few circumstances. One is an uncoerced plea bargain. That was not an option for our client as the State wanted him to serve 36 months (3 years) in Florida State Prison. The second would be if our client was a youthful offender, i.e. 21 or younger at the time of the offense. That did not apply to our client either. The other is if our client had a major mental illness, separate and apart from substance abuse for which he is amenable to treatment. Dr. Michael Brannon diagnosed our client with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Thus, we were able to file the motion and set the matter for a sentencing before the felony judge. Mr. Bell called 7 witnesses including family members and experts. The State maintained their position asking the court to sentence our client to 3 years. The judge granted our motion and departed from the guidelines. After a short county jail sentence, our client will be home with his family.
Outcome: Motion for Downward Departure Granted. No Prison sentence imposed
Petition for Injunction for Protection against Domestic Violence
Facts: The respondent and Petitioner are husband and wife. In December, the two went out for a work event downtown Palm Beach. They were both drinking and ultimately left together in the wife’s car. After having a brief argument, the husband began punching and breaking mirrors in the vehicle and jumped out of the moving car. Our client then jumped out and tried to stop him from leaving. The husband started recording it all and the wife can be seen pulling and grabbing him trying to prevent him from leaving. The police came but nobody got arrested. Almost 90 days went by when they had another disagreement and cops came telling the husband to get a restraining order if he wanted her out of the house. The husband then filed the Petition which caused the wife to hire Meltzer & Bell, P.A. The hearing was held in Palm Beach County Court. The husband testified and introduced videos and pictures. Mr. Bell, partner with Meltzer & Bell, P.A. cross examined the husband bringing out inconsistencies and challenged the veracity of the evidence presented. Additionally, Mr. Bell was able to offer evidence substantiating the wife’s version of events. Ultimately, the court found that the burden was not met regarding the husband needing protection from our client for Domestic Violence. Thus, the Petition was denied and our client was reunited with her 4 year old son one hour later. She had not seen him in two weeks since she was served with the injunction.
Outcome: Petition for Injunction Denied
Domestic Battery by Strangulation
Facts: The Defendant was arrested and charged with domestic battery by strangulation. It was alleged that a fight broke out between the Defendant and his girlfriend where he put his hands around her neck and restricted her breathing.
Our firm’s investigator immediately went to the location of the incident and obtained the surveillance video which refuted the allegations. Contact was made with the filing attorney responsible for the case. The surveillance video was sent to her office along with a detailed memorandum pin-pointing why the State would not be able to prove its case in front of a jury. On the eve of the State’s filing deadline, a No-file was entered and all charges against the Defendant were dismissed.
Results: No Charges Filed
DUI Violation of Probation
Facts: The Defendant contacted us after a warrant was issued for her arrest. It was alleged that she failed to complete required treatment, that she has numerous fines that she failed to pay, and that she had only completed a small portion of her community service hours.
Contact was immediately made with the prosecutor responsible for her case. An agreement to recall her warrant was entered into by both parties, thus preventing this young lady from having to go to jail. She was given an additional two months to complete all of the outstanding conditions of her probation. At the end of those two months and after providing proof that she has satisfied all outstanding conditions, the affidavit was withdrawn and her probation was terminated successfully.
Results: Violation of Probation Affidavit Dismissed, Probation Terminated Successfully
Domestic Battery and Felony Witness Tampering / Petition for Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence
Facts: The Defendant was a victim of domestic violence. His girlfriend initially alleged that he had struck her in the face and then ripped her phone out of her hand, thus depriving her of the ability to call 911. Law Enforcement officers responded and after taking a statement from both individuals, arrested the man. Attorneys from our firm were able to obtain surveillance video from the next door neighbor’s house which showed that she lied to police and had in fact been the person who committed the domestic battery. After the State viewed the surveillance video, all criminal charges against our client were dismissed. He has now started the process of having the arrest expunged from his record.
Our client then Petitioned for an Injunction against this woman. She evaded service for nearly a month before our office filed a motion to hire a private process server. That private process server was able to serve her within days. After a very short hearing, the Injunction was GRANTED.
Results: Felony Case Dismissed & Petition for Injunction GRANTED
Sexual Battery & Lewd Molestation
Facts: Our client was charged with Sexual Battery and Lewd Molestation after being accused of engaging in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a minor for a period of over six years. The State’s original offer was 15 years in prison. For over a year, we fought to discredit the State’s accusations, and after multiple rounds of negotiations, hours of witness depositions, and countless time spent strategizing the best possible defense, the State agreed to drop the Sexual Battery charge and our client was sentenced to only two and a half years in prison. With credit for time already served, our client will be released from custody in a little over one year’s time.
Outcome: Sexual Battery DISMISSED.
The client was accused of engaging in sexual intercourse without the consent of the alleged victim at his place of work. This sexual battery occurred, according to the alleged victim, during work hours in our client’s office. A warrant was obtained to gather an oral swab and DNA of our client. There was an ongoing sexual relationship with our client and the alleged victim in the past. After being served with the warrant for his DNA, Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained. We immediately invoked our clients 5th and 6th amendment rights as is relates to interrogation with the lead detective on the case. In addition, we were able to obtain mounds of mitigating evidence to help establish that the allegations made against our client were not entirely accurate. After the matter was presented to the Office of the State Attorney, charges for Sexual Battery were declined.
Result: No File
Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon
Facts: The Defendant was arrested and charged with stabbing a family member with a knife. The police report made the incident out to be something much more violent than what actually happened. After being retained on the case, our attorneys and investigators made contact with multiple victims and were able to gather evidence that the accuser had in fact started the altercation with a large machete.
The Defendant had photographed his injuries along with photographs of the weapons used by both individuals. With the evidence provided showing that the police report was exaggerated and witness accounts that the accuser was the initial aggressor, the Government declined to file any criminal charges against the Defendant. This case was resolved less than two weeks after the Defendant retained the firm.
Outcome: NO FILED CHARGES
Possession of Cocaine
Facts: The Defendant was attending a youth football game with a group of friends. After the game, the group was stopped in a gas station after the officers alleged that the driver was not wearing his seatbelt. Upon making contact with the occupants, the officers stated that they smelled the odor of burnt marijuana.
All occupants were removed from the car. A backpack that was alleged to have been in between the Defendant’s legs was searched. Multiple bags of cocaine were located within the backpack. A search of the front seat passenger turned up trafficking quantities of heroin as well.
Attorneys from our firm were able to speak with the Government prior to a filing decision being made on the case. In addition to providing mitigating information showing the Defendant’s good character and lack of recent criminal history, inconsistencies in the police reports and statements were identified and provided to the Government early on for their review. The Government declined to file any charges against the Defendant.
Outcome: DIMISSED CHARGES
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol
Facts: The Defendant was charged with one count of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol after being stopped for an illegal U-turn. The officer claimed that he detected an odor of an unknown alcoholic beverage and that the Defendant had bloodshot and glassy eyes.
After completing a series of field sobriety exercises, the Defendant was arrested. The officer claimed the Defendant performed poorly on each of the field sobriety exercises. Once at the Palm Beach County Jail, the Defendant refused to provide a breath sample to law enforcement.
Our attorneys gathered timesheets showing that the Defendant had worked 60 hours in the week leading up to his arrest and more than 10 hours on the same day as his arrest. The officer had mistaken his exhausting for signs of impairment.
On the morning of the jury trial, the Defendant’s DUI charge was dismissed in exchange for a plea to a reckless driving charge. The Defendant did not have to complete probation, take any classes, and he did not receive any points on his driver’s license.
Outcome: Plea to a Reckless Driving Citation | REDUCED CHARGES
Possession of Cocaine
Facts: The Defendant had been trespassed from a local bar one week prior to his arrest. He returned to that same bar and the police were called. Upon their arrival and their search of the Defendant, a bag of cocaine and a concealed firearm were discovered on the Defendant. He was charged with two felonies and facing a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Our firm was able to offer to the Government information about the Defendant’s good character. He was a business owner and had an immaculate criminal record. With the agreement to take a firearm safety class along with a drug education course, all charges against the Defendant will be dismissed. He will then be eligible to seal his record.
Outcome: No-Filed Charges
Attempted First Degree Murder with a Firearm
Facts: The Defendant was charged with Attempted First Degree Murder with a Firearm. Shots were fired by the passenger of a car driven by the Defendant. The initial police report stretched the truth to say that the Defendant was the catalyst for this shooting by handing the gun to the passenger and asking him to shoot at the other car. A traffic stop was made of the Defendant’s car and the firearm associated with the shooting was recovered.
Through extensive investigation, discovery, and public records requests, nearly all facts tending to show guilt against the Defendant were proven to be inaccurate. The case was diligently worked up for a Jury Trial and on the eve of the Defendant’s speedy trial, the Government offered him a deal that allowed him to go home to his family less than 4 months after his arrest.
Outcome: Time Served Plea to a Lesser Offense
Injunction against Protection for Domestic Violence
Facts: After a breakup with her fiancé, our client’s ex maliciously filed a Petition for Injunction Against Domestic Violence without alleging any specifics acts of wrongdoing. A temporary injunction was entered and a final hearing was set. After being retained on a Friday for a Monday morning hearing, our firm worked tirelessly through the weekend compiling evidence in defense of our client. At the hearing, a vigorous cross examination of the petitioner resulted in the Court swiftly dismissing the petition and clearing our client’s good name.
Outcome: Petition for Injunction Against Domestic Violence DISMISSED.
Facts: The alleged victim and his wife got into an argument at their home. After leaving the home to cool down and at the wife’s request, he returned to get his phone. His wife would not let him in the house so he tried to push through. At that time she grabbed him and scratched him. She called the police simply to attempt to diffuse the situation. Neither the wife nor the husband wished for anyone to get arrested. However, the officers arrested his wife and charged her with domestic battery. Making sure that all avenues were covered, Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained immediately before formal charges were filed. The husband came to the office and agreed to sign a waiver of prosecution. This document was provided to the assistant State Attorney in charge of making the decision on whether to charge our client formally. Within weeks of being retained, the charges were formally not pursued.
Outcome: No Charges Filed.
Facts: The Defendant was out drinking with his girlfriend at the Lake Worth Beach. Prior to leaving, an argument ensued which continued into the parking lot. Our client’s girlfriend was acting aggressive and was attempting to get into the vehicle. Our client was holding her back and trying to prevent her from drinking and driving. At that point, an eyewitness observed what he believed was our client aggressively pushing and shoving the woman to the ground. The police were called by this eyewitness and our client was arrested and charged with domestic battery. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained. We appeared at first appearance and our client was released without the need for a monetary bond. Additionally, we provided information and an a affidavit of non-prosecution to the assistant state attorney in charge of making the filing decision. Our client had no history ad was not the primary aggressor. We were able to point out that the eyewitness did not see what started the altercation, simply the end of it.
Outcome: No Charges Filed.
Facts: The Defendant was out with some girlfriends when she arrived back home to realize the father of her newborn child had locked her out of the house purposely. After being able to get herself back into the home, she then had to get into her bedroom where her 8 week old baby was on the bed with the father. She was told she was not welcome in the home and the father of the child pushed passed her at the bedroom door with the 8 week old baby in her arms. Being concerned for the baby, our client begged for him to put the baby in her crib so they could talk like adults. He refused and putt he baby in the carrier and attempted to walk out of the house with no shirt and boxer shorts on. It was late at night and he had no car. This seemed like a very dangerous situation for the baby so our client grabbed him to try and stop him from taking the baby out of the home. Our client was still nursing the child and did not want any harm done to her child. The police were called and because he had a scratch on him, our client was arrested and charged with Domestic Battery. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and immediately began pre file work with the state. We were able to provide photos of injuries to our client as well as mitigating evidence regarding defense of others.
Outcome: No Charges Filed
Aggravated Battery Causing Great Bodily Harm
Facts: The Defendant was on his way to Publix to pick up some food. When he reached the parking lot, and as he slowly drove through the area, he felt a thud on the back of his car. Unbeknownst to him, a couple was angry that he apparently didn’t stop to let them walk by. Our client simply did not see them as they were 5-10 feet away from his car at the time before passing. The alleged victim had thrown his cart into our client’s Infiniti. Our client immediately got out of the vehicle to see what the commotion was about. At that time, the alleged victim began yelling at the Defendant. As our client approached to talk to him, he smashed his coffee all over the back of our client’s car and then began reaching into his back pocket. Our client has a concealed weapons permit and thought he was pulling a gun from his pocket. The alleged victim also took a couple of steps towards our client. At that time our client punched the alleged victim in the face which put him on the ground with a broken jaw that had to be wired shut. Our client left the scene out of fear of retaliation. When called by the police he immediately went to the station to give a full statement. He was charged with Aggravated Battery Causing Great Bodily Harm. This would have scored him mandatory prison and his maximum penalty could have been 15 years in the Department of Corrections. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained immediately. We answered the phone call from his wife at 2 a.m. while he was in custody so that we could be there for his first appearance and vigorously defend him on these accusations. After meeting with our client once he was released, we decided it was vital to get our private investigator involved immediately. Mark Murnan with Complete Legal Investigations was retained. He went out to the scene to take pictures and create a video recorded reenactment of the scene with a shopping cart. The alleged victim told a story of raising his hands in disgust as our client drove by and the cart “rolled” into our client’s vehicle. This could not have been true as our investigator went to the exact area of the incident and there is a negative grade which results in the car rolling backwards, not forwards when your arms are taken off the cart. Thus the car had to have been pushed forward. Additionally, Mr. Murnan took a sworn statement from the only witness on scene who candidly admitted she did not see what started the whole thing but simply the argument and punch at the end. Our firm provided a massive amount of mitigating evidence to the State Attorneys Office, specifically to the Felony Intake Prosecutor who was assigned to make the filing decision. A decision was made to reduce the charges to a Misdemeanor Battery. However, that did not end Meltzer & Bell’s push to have these charges dismissed. It was our position from the beginning that our client defended himself and was not the primary aggressor. Under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, the burden was now on the State of Florida to prove that our client did not defend himself by clear and convincing evidence. We would not accept a plea to probation or a guilty plea to a battery. To that end, depositions were scheduled of all State Witnesses including the alleged victim. Days before the depos were scheduled, a resolution was reached to have the charges dismissed.
Outcome: All criminal charges Dismissed! Our client is now eligible to expunge his record entirely and has retained Meltzer & Bell, P.A. to do so.
Resisting Arrest without Violence
Facts: The Defendant was allegedly trespassing where an officer was doing a check. After asking him to leave, he was seen drinking but would not leave. He was asked three times and finally stated that he was “under contract there an allowed to be there”. The officer said he was yelling and shouting incoherent statements. He was uncooperative and would not tell the officer who he was. He then tried to light a cigarette and was told to throw it out. He then tried to use his cell phone and still would not tell the officer who he was or why he was allowed there. He began gathering his things and was asked to sit down before leaving. He refused and was taken to the ground by the officer. He was resisting and charged criminally.
Outcome: We provided photos and evidence to the State of Florida that our client was, in fact, allowed on the property and was not doing anything wrong. The State of Florida agreed to dismiss the charges for Resisting without Violence.
Resisting Arrest without Violence
Facts: The client was fishing near a lake and then ran from a Fish and Wildlife Commission Officer. That officer was able to identify him at a later date.
Outcome: After retaining Meltzer & Bell, P.A. our office was able to negotiate a dismissal of the entire case.
Facts: The Defendant was intoxicated in a bar and was upset because drinks would no longer be served to her. She became violent and was screaming and yelling and then collapsed on the floor and stumbled around the place into the bushes. She then continued to scream in the restaurant and eventually tried jumping out of the car window of the friend who was trying to get her out of the parking lot. She was sitting on a curb when the officer arrived and she started to immediately curse. She was charged with Disorderly and hired Meltzer & Bell, P.A.
Outcome: Our firm was able to negotiate with the State Attorney a resolution that resulted in a complete dismissal of the charges. All criminal charges dismissed!
Violation of Probation (Burglary and Petit Theft)
Facts: The Defendant was placed on probation for Burglary. After completing all of his conditions, but just prior to his early termination date, he was charged with Knowingly Driving on a Suspended License. His probation was violated and a warrant was issued for his arrest for him to be held without a bond. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and immediately contacted the office of the state attorney on the matters.
Outcome: Our firm investigated the reason for the suspension and was able to get our client’s case on the docket for a self-surrender within 24 hours of being retained. After talking with the State Attorney, they agreed to recall the warrant and dismiss the affidavit for violation of probation. Our client never had to step foot in jail and was placed back on probation.
Violation of Probation (Violation of a Temporary Injunction Against Repeat Domestic Violence)
Facts: The Defendant was on probation when he allegedly committed a new grand theft charge by taking more than $600.00 worth of items almost out of the store without paying for them. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was immediately hired as a no bond warrant was issued for our client’s arrest.
Outcome: We immediately spoke to the assigned prosecutor on the violation of probation and filed a motion to surrender our client in the courtroom. We had extensive discussions with the state about the facts of the new charges and the defenses thereto. After these lengthy discussions, the firm was able to convince the State of Florida to reinstate our client’s probation without having to plead guilty to the new charges. The warrant was recalled in open court and our client did not go to jail!
Violation of Probation (Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Paraphernalia and Driving Under Suspension)
Facts: The defendant was stopped because the officer ran his tag and it came back suspended for child support. He was arrested for Driving Under Suspension with his work truck on site. His vehicle was searched and a brown container was found under the driver floorboard with paraphernalia in it for smoking marijuana. Additionally, Xanax was found in a cigarette packaging in his center console. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained to represent the Defendant. We immediately began work at the pre-filing stage. Our firm secured a written sworn statement from a witness in New York who had a valid prescription for what was found in our client’s truck. Additionally, she provided testimony that she placed it there in that packaging and had forgotten to tell our client about it. Additionally, we provided proof to the State Attorney that an employee of our client was recently fired and he smoked marijuana and that box was his. He rode in this work truck all the time and our client was not aware it was there. As a final issue, our firm provided the Filing lawyer with proof that the suspension from child support was a mistake. Our client actually had a credit. After providing all of this evidence to the State, the Office of the State Attorney entered a formal “No File” on the matter. They declined to prosecute. Our client was violated for the new felony charge above and new criminal case. Our firm was retained before the warrant was issued. We were able to successfully convince the Judge that leaving our client on Supervised release, rather than a no bond hold, was the right remedy at the time based upon the felony case possibly being no filed.
Outcome: Once the charges were, in fact, no filed, our office negotiated a complete dismissal of the violation of probation.
Grand Theft (Violation of Probation)
Facts: The defendant was reinstated on probation in 2014. This was after release from an 18 month prison sentence. 3 weeks before terminating probation in 2016, a warrant was issued for testing positive for multiple drugs. The state was seeking 4 years in Florida State Prison.
Outcome: After researching current Florida Law, Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was able to find that the previous violation in 2014 was never tolled or “paused” by the affidavit filed in that case for failing to pay restitution. This his admission and reinstatement after his natural termination date in August of 2014 was illegal. The state agreed after pointing this out. Our client was released and his probation terminated.
Improper Exhibition of a Dangerous Weapon or Firearm (Violation of Probation)
Facts: The Defendant was placed on probation for one year and as a special condition ordered to complete an anger management course. Additionally, there were reporting issues with our client as well. A no bond warrant was issued and an affidavit for violation of probation was filed by our client’s probation officer. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and immediately began speaking with the assigned state attorney.
Outcome: We were able to prove that our client’s family member passed away resulting in the lag time on getting the course done. Thus, the very next day after being hired, our firm provided an order to the court recalling the warrant and dismissing the affidavit for violation of probation.
Carrying a Concealed Weapon into an airport
Facts: The Defendant was walking through the metal detectors at the airport with her laptop bag when she was detained. According to the security personnel, she had a collapsible baton in her bag.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we immediately obtained sworn affidavits from our client’s son and daughter in law. Our client’s son has the same laptop bag and her daughter in law placed the baton in it by accident at the family event. Our client was visiting for a family gathering and had no clue the baton was placed in the bag. Our firm also provided the State Attorneys Office with pictures of the identical bags. After this evidence was provided to the Office, all criminal charges were dismissed.
Violation of a Firearms Permit
Facts: The Defendant was on his way to a business trip at the airport where the security personnel saw a firearm in his bag through the security scanner. He was stopped and charged due to his bringing a loaded firearm into an airport. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained.
Outcome: We immediately secured evidence from our client that he had dropped his vehicle off at the dealership and took his gun out of the car so that it wasn’t there when it was worked on. He had then placed the gun in his bag, which he NEVER does. The car was to remain there during his business trip and we had all the receipts to prove it. After presenting evidence to the State of Florida, they agreed to a dismissal of all criminal charges.
Aggravated Assault with a Firearm
Facts: The Defendant drove over to his brother in law’s house after a feud had been taking place. When he pulled up in his car, the victim was standing at the driveway. The wife of the defendant was in the car as well. The Defendant put his hand on a firearm under a blue cloth and said “I will put you in your box”. Other members of the victim’s family heard it as well. Officers that responded to our client’s home found a firearm in the house that fit the description from the alleged victim. He was facing a three year minimum mandatory prison sentence if the State of Florida was able to convict him of the charges.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we began a pre-filing investigation. We were able to obtain a sworn affidavit from our client’s wife that painted a totally different picture of the events that took place. After providing this along with other issues from the reports, the felony case filing lawyer agreed to no file the charges!
Possession of Firearm by a Convicted Felon and Grand Theft of a Firearm
Facts: The Defendant was arrested and charged after officers searched his home via a search warrant and found stolen guns and firearms in his attack. The guns were stolen in a burglary prior to the search. The co-defendant was charged with the burglary and our client confessed to knowing they were stolen and that he helped put the guns in the attack.
Outcome: Our firm was retained and we spent almost a full year taking depositions and working up the case. The offer initially was for our client to plead guilty to 18 months in Florida State Prison. After negotiations and providing more information to the State, our client was sentenced to a short period in county jail where he would be released in approximately 60 days.
Shooting into a building, Discharging a Firearm from a vehicle, Resisting an Officer Without Violence and Shooting into an Occupied Vehicle
Facts: The Defendant was alleged to be the driver in a drive by shooting where more than 6 people were in the home where the shots were fired. Additionally, the husband of the victim was in the vehicle in the driveway when the house was shot at by the vehicle occupants. After shooting into the home, the vehicle was chased by officers with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office at a high rate of speed. After crashing, the occupants bailed out of the vehicle. Our client had the key on him and the vehicle was registered to him. The guns were found in the back seat and the ballistics of the bullets found at the scene matched the guns in the vehicle. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and our client was looking at a maximum of 36 years in Florida State Prison.
Outcome: Depositions were set and taken. The officers were unable to establish who actually fired the shots and issues arose through the depositions in the case. Our client was offered a plea that he accepted. The State graciously agreed to reduce one of the firearm counts and allowed our client to be placed on probation with a period of house arrest without becoming a convicted felon.
Carrying a Concealed Firearm and Possession of Marijuana
Facts: The Defendant was seen recklessly driving through a parking lot at a high rate of speed. After being stopped, the officer smelled marijuana. Our client was the passenger in the car. After asking the defendant where the marijuana was, he reached under the car and grabbed a large plastic bag with a large amount of marijuana in it. The marijuana weighed 25 grams (total package weight). He was asked whether there was anything else in the vehicle and he stated that there was a firearm under his seat as well. He admitted that the marijuana and the firearm was his. The State filed a felony count of Carrying a Concealed Firearm and misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained.
Outcome: Our firm immediately began negotiating with the State regarding issues surrounding the stop as well as corpus issues with the initial statement about the gun. After these negotiations, the State of Florida agreed to reduce the felony charge to a misdemeanor concealed weapon offesnse and our client was sentenced to time served. All felony charges reduced.
Carrying a Concealed Firearm and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Resisting Arrest without Violence
Facts: The Defendant was stopped for not wearing a seatbelt. The officer immediately smelled an odor of marijuana coming from the car. After asking the officer about illegal contraband in the car, our client admitted that there was a gun between the console and driver’s seat. He was removed from the car and detained. The vehicle was searched and a fully loaded firearm was found ready to fire. The officer also found paraphernalia for smoking marijuana in the car. The Defendant continued to actively resist the officer and was screaming. He first stated he had a permit for the firearm and then denied it. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained.
Outcome: After negotiations with the State Attorney, our firm successfully negotiated the felony firearm count to be reduced to a misdemeanor offense. Our client was time served on two misdemeanor counts and the drug count was dismissed.
Trespass after Warning
Facts: The Defendant was charged with Trespass After Warning and had handled the matter himself. Due to that decision, he missed court and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Certain conditions had previously been completed that he needed to do.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was hired to handle the warrant and the matter now that the pre-trial intervention agreement had been violated. Our client had to show up for his sentencing hearing, which he did not. Our firm was hired, and within 5 minutes an agreement was reached with the Assistant State Attorney to drop all charges and recall the warrant pending for our client. The next day our firm received the documents dismissing the charges.
Facts: The Defendant was seen by loss prevention at Walmart concealing phone equipment without first attempting to pay for it. He attempted to leave the store and was detained. He was charged with Retail Theft and facing the possibility of having a crime of dishonesty on his record.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we were able to convince the State of Florida to allow him to complete a course resulting in a dismissal of the criminal charges. The Theft charged with Nolle Prossed by the State of Florida.
Fraudulent Use of Credit Cards and Petit Theft
Facts: The Defendant had use of a credit card for which he previously had permission from a friend to use. However, after a falling out and without the victim’s permission, he took the card and continued using the card for his own personal benefit. The Defendant charged multiple things on the card including food and personal items. The law firm of Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained to represent the Defendant on the Felony charges and the misdemeanor.
Outcome: We immediately reached out to the Felony Intake Filing Unit and sent information to the filing lawyer as to why there were proof problems in the case. After reading through our emails, the Felony Filing Lawyer declined to file any criminal charges!
Grand Theft over 20,000.00 (2nd Degree Felony)
Facts: The Defendant was involved in an investment scheme with a few different individuals. He would promise investments and then take the money without putting them towards anything promised. He took over 44,000 dollars from a total of three people and was charged with multiple counts of Organized Scheme to Defraud and Grand Theft. He was facing more than 30 years in prison and a minimum of about 30 months in prison. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and began working on the case.
Outcome: After a period of almost 5 months, the firm was able to negotiate a resolution whereby the State would agree to dismiss all but one criminal charge. This agreement allowed our client to score on his felony scoresheet appropriately to avoid prison. Our agreement allowed our client to avoid probation, jail time and any house arrest. He was sentenced to time served and walked out of the courtroom on the day of the plea.
Facts: The Defendant was caught red handed stealing sunglasses valued at more than $350.00. The threshold for felony grand theft is property valued at $300.00 or more. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was immediately retained.
Outcome: Our firm aggressively began negotiations with Felony Case Filing. We were successfully able to convince the filing attorney to send the case down to county court and reduce the felony charges to a misdemeanor offense. Once the case was filed in county court our firm began negotiating with the County Court Prosecutor and was able to come to an agreement where our client’s charges would be dismissed. Felony dropped and Misdemeanor charges were dismissed by the State of Florida!
Facts: The Defendant was at a bar when the victim noticed that her purse was stolen. She went to the bathroom where she located her keys and then went to go outside where she saw the Defendant holding her purse. She asked if she could see it and then confirmed it was hers. Our client apologized and handed the victim back money that was taken from the purse as well. The property that was taken was valued at more than 300 dollars. She was arrested and taken to jail for Grand Theft.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we were able to talk with the felony filing lawyer immediately. After explaining what ended up being a misunderstanding over the purse (being that it looked just like our client’s friend’s purse), the State agreed to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor. Once filed in County court, our firm was able to negotiate a deal that resulted in the complete dismissal of the Petit Theft Charges. All charges ultimately dismissed by the State of Florida!
Grand Theft over $20,000.00, Organized Scheme to Defraud
Facts: The Defendant was involved in property sales and entered into a partnership with the alleged victim in the case. Our client purchased an option on a property should he be able to get it sold. The property may have intrigued some buyers to sell for around 1 million due to the location and potential conversion to business. Our client entered into a partnership and formed a company with the alleged victim. The alleged victim gave our client $60,000.00 as an investment into the deal. The property never sold and the alleged victim claimed our client took all of his money. The monies had, in fact, come out of the bank account in full almost the very next day after they were deposited.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A., was retained. The State Attorney’s Office was seeking a prison sentence of more than 3 years based upon our client’s history. However, we dug and dug and presented the State with key evidence that the Detective did not have. Our client actually sold a portion of his option on the unit to the alleged victim for $60,000.00 and we had the contract to prove it. Additionally, we had letters from the lawyers involved during the 1 year option where our client attempted to contact the alleged victim because a buyer was wanting to purchase. The alleged victim never responded to that letter. The State of Florida sent an investigator to the unit to take a sworn statement from the gentleman who sold the original option to our client. That person denied signing it and called our client a “thief”. They refused to dismiss the case.
We dug deeper. We contacted the notary and party who was present for the signing of the agreement who agreed to testify that the wife of the seller actually signed for the him and that he did not know. We had the State send the investigator back out and took a sworn statement of the seller’s wife. She swore to that and agreed it happened. Thus, our client legally held the option and did not commit a crime. After all our work was done, the charges were completely dismissed!
Failure to Redeliver Hired Vehicle (3rd Degree Felony)
Facts: The officers were dispatched to a call referenced 3 vehicles taken from a lot and being driven without authorization. The tires were deflated as they attempted to leave the property. 3 suspects were described and another described as fleeing the area eastbound. Our client was handcuffed and a witness identified him as a person who “took” the vehicles. However, post Miranda, our client described himself as just a “follower” of the other guys.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we were able to convince the State of Florida that the charges could not be proven and that our client’s connection to the crime was not enough to support a conviction. The charges were no filed!
Burglary of a Dwelling and Grand Theft
Facts: The Defendant and victim lived together for a short period of time. Some of the Defendant’s belongings were still at the home where he lived with the victim. After he had moved out and without the permission of the Victim, he broke the window of the home and went in and took the victim’s guitar valued at over $300.00. He was arrested and charged with Burglary of a Dwelling and Grand Theft. He scored a minimum of almost 2 years in Florida State Prison.
Outcome: The State Attorney’s Office was offering 364 days in the county jail. However, Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we were able to provide a more accurate account of the story to the State Attorney regarding the actions of our client. After our negotiations, the Firm convinced the State of Florida to reduce the charges. The Burglary charges and Grand Theft Felony Charges were both reduced to misdemeanors. Our client was placed on a short period of probation for Trespass and Petit Theft. All Felony Charges dropped!
Petit Retail Theft
Facts: The Defendant was seen taking property from the Craft department at Walmart. She opened the packaging and concealed it in her short pockets. She then took some electronics valued at over $70.00 and also put it in her pocket. She paid for some items but attempted to leave the store with the concealed items. She was stopped and admitted to stealing the items.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we negotiated a resolution that resulted in a dismissal of the criminal charges.
Facts: The Defendant was charged with theft from a retail store.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we began negotiations with the State at her first court date. After those negotiations, our client’s theft charges were ultimately dismissed after she completed diversion.
Facts: The Defendant was alleged to have stolen ipads from the victim. The victim used an app to locate his ipads in the back of the defendant’s car. When the Defendant was confronted by the police with the fact that the Ipads were in his car and he immediately uttered “I am sorry, I am sorry, I’ll give them back”. After being read Miranda, he changed his story on multiple occasions, but essentially said that two males took him to this party and took his car keys. The Ipads were placed there by these two males and he didn’t know what was going on.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we were able to obtain a “no file” on the charges. Charges not filed by the State Attorney’s Office.
Grand Theft (3rd Degree Felony)
Facts: The Defendant was stopped after being seen taking purses out of a store with other co-defendants. None of these purses were paid for and they were valued at just over $300.00.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we were able to negotiate a deal that resulted in a reduction of the charges to county court. After this reduction, our firm successfully negotiated a diversion agreement whereby our client’s charges were completely dismissed after successful completion.
Facts: The Defendant was charged with retail theft after stealing over 30 dollars’ worth of electronics from Walmart. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained.
Outcome: We were able to negotiate with the State Attorney’s Office whereby our client was permitted to enter diversion and receive a complete dismissal of all charges. Theft charges were dismissed.
Facts: The Defendant was charged with Retail Theft after stealing from a department store.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we immediately began negotiating at the first court date. We were able to negotiate a deal with the State whereby the charges were completely dismissed.
Facts: The Defendant was charged with Retail Theft after stealing from a department store. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we immediately began negotiating at the first court date.
Outcome: We were able to negotiate a deal with the State whereby the charges were completely dismissed.
Facts: The Defendant was charged with shoplifting after attempting to leave a store without paying for merchandise. She was facing misdemeanor criminal charges and was a student.
Outcome: Our firm was able to negotiate a resolution that resulted in the dismissal of the criminal charges.
Facts: The Defendant was at Sears where she allegedly attempted to conceal earrings and leave the Sears Department Store. After being read her rights, she admitted to it and said she was being stupid.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained. Our firm was able to negotiate a resolution that resulted in the dismissal of the criminal charges.
Facts: The defendant entered a supermarket with nothing in his hands and then took some items with him and did not pay for them. After being stopped, he admitted to it and was charged with Retail Theft.
Outcome: Our firm was retained and we were able to negotiate a deal by which the charges were completely dismissed.
Trespass of a Structure, Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest Without Violence
Facts: The Defendant was intoxicated at a bar and asked to leave. After our client was being escorted out of the bar he attacked an officer and was physically subdued. He was told to leave and wouldn’t. He was charged and Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained.
Outcome: Our firm immediately contacted the assigned prosecutor on the case and was able to negotiate a deal whereby our client entered diversion. After successful completion, all criminal charges were dismissed.
Grand Theft (Violation of Probation)
Facts: The Defendant was on probation for Grand Theft and was charged with Driving Under Suspension. His license was suspended for 2 years. After his probation officer was notified, a no bond warrant was issued for his arrest.
Outcome: Our firm was able to secure an agreement with the prosecutor if our client came into the courtroom whereby the warrant would be withdrawn and the affidavit withdrawn due to his immediately reinstating his license. Our client was placed back on probation with all previous conditions in place.
Facts: The Defendant went to Walmart and took a cell phone and ear buds and left the store. After being stopped, she was charged with theft. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained.
Outcome: We secured an agreement with the State which resulted in a Nolle Prosse (complete dismissal) once a class and costs were completed. All charges dismissed.
Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft
Facts: The Defendant worked for a business and was lent a work vehicle. After not returning the car and ignoring demands from the owner to return it, the police were involved. The Defendant finally dropped the car off at a parking lot where thousands of dollars of property was taken from it. Our firm was retained.
Outcome: After negotiating with the State for months and discussing the legal problems with the proof of the felony charges, the State agreed to time serve our client on a misdemeanor trespass charges. All felony charges were dismissed by the State of Florida and all theft charges were dropped.
Facts: The Defendant was seen by security footage stealing sunglasses from a store. After being caught, and questioned by the police, Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained to defendant him. Our office negotiated a surrender and cooperated fully with the Delray Beach Police Department. The sunglasses were valued at more than $300.00 dollars. Thus, our client was booked in on a felony and immediately bonded with the help of the bondsman.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. immediately began speaking with the assigned assistant state attorney in Felony Intake. Our cooperating and help in the investigation led to a reduction of the charges. The State agreed to file one count of Petit Theft. Our client was then permitted to enter diversion. After successful completion, the criminal charges were completely dismissed!
Grand Theft of a Fire Extinguisher and Felony Criminal Mischief
Facts: The Defendant was on vacation and staying at a hotel. A fire extinguisher was discharged and covered the entire floor of a hotel. The Defendant was seen with the fire extinguisher in the hallway and confronted by the police. He indicated that he was protecting himself but could not say from what. He was intoxicated. Over $6,000.00 in damage and lost profits occurred to the hotel because of the actions by the defendant. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was hired.
Outcome: We immediately began to secure character references and information regarding our client. After getting with case filing and the line prosecutor assigned to the case, our client’s matter was completely dismissed with full payment of restitution.
Facts: The Defendant was charged with retail theft. She had no criminal history. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and appeared at court with our client.
Outcome: Our office secured an agreement whereby our client was permitted to enter diversion. The retail theft charge was dismissed by the Office of the State Attorney.
Facts: The Defendant was working for a pet store when he began taking items from the store and returning them as if he bought them. He would obtain receipts for the items and then get cash back at the store totaling more than $300.00. He was arrested and charged with Felony Grand Theft. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained.
Outcome: After negotiating with the State Attorney regarding the restitution, the State agreed to reduce the charges to a Misdemeanor Petit Theft with full payment of the money owed to the victim. Our client did not receive a conviction for the petit theft charge and was not placed on probation.
Burglary of a Structure and Felony Petit Theft
Facts: The Defendant was looking at a significant time in Florida State Prison at the time Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained.
Outcome: Our office was hired and we immediately began negotiating with the assigned Assistant State Attorney. After a review of the facts of the case, our office convinced the State to reduce all felony charges and time serve our client on a Trespass charge. All felony counts dropped!
Grand Theft (1st Degree)
Facts: Our client was arrested and charged with theft of over $1,000,000 worth of goods. Our firm immediately hired a private investigator to more closely scrutinize the allegations. This investigation resulted in site visits by not only our investigator, but by Mr. Bell and our client. Pictures were taken and multiple subpoeanas were issued to retrieve and examine video surveillance. Our investigation also involved analyzing our client’s rental truck which had been seized by law enforcement. Our client was facing the realistic possibility of up to 30 years in Florida State Prison. After the conclusion of our investigation, our firm met with the economic crimes unit with the Office of the State Attorney. After this meeting, the Prosecutor agreed to abandon and no file the felony charges due to our client’s innocence.
Outcome: No Grand Theft Charges Filed
Solicitation of Prostitution
Facts: An undercover sting went under way in Palm Beach County where by defendant’s were sought out where were attempting to solicit potential prostitutes. Our client was alleged to have been involved in this solicitation. He was arrested and charged with Solicitation.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and immediately called the State Attorney assigned to the case at the Satellite Courthouse to negotiate a diversion program that would be as expeditious as possible for our client. After successful completion, all charges were dismissed and our client was eligible for expungement of his record.
Solicitation of Prostitution
Facts: The Defendant was stopped and charged after allegedly pulling over to attempt to solicit an undercover officer. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained.
Outcome: After negotiations with the Assistant State Attorney, an agreement was entered whereby the charges were ultimately dismissed.
Solicitation of Prostitution
Facts: The Defendant was stopped and charged after allegedly pulling over to attempt to solicit an undercover officer. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained.
Outcome: After negotiations with the Assistant State Attorney, an agreement was entered whereby the charges were ultimately dismissed. Our client was eligible for complete expungement of his record due to the dismissal of his charges.
Temporary Injunction Against Repeat Domestic Violence
Facts: The Defendant was served with a Temporary Restraining Order for alleging engaging in conduct that resulted in repeat Domestic Violence. The Petitioner alleged that our client battered her on more than one occasion and threatened the use of a firearm. A final hearing was set in 15 days from the date our client was served. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. came to find out that our client was the victim of domestic violence from the Petitioner’s daughter on the same day of one of the allegations. Additionally, there was physical evidence and pictures taken from separate incidents by the police officers which contradicted the story from the Petitioner.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. subpoenaed all of the officers involved in these incidents and brought more than 6 witnesses to the final hearing. The officers were prepared to testify for our client in the matter. On the day of the hearing, the temporary restraining order was dismissed.
Facts: The Defendant moved from another state to Florida and his girlfriend soon followed. They signed a lease and lived in a home together with her daughter from another father. One evening, the child became somewhat ill and their began to develop bickering between our client and the alleged victim. After further arguments ensued, the alleged victim alleged she wanted to take the child to the hospital and our client did not want to help. After further argument it was alleged that our client then pushed the alleged victim against her will into a pack and play causing injury. The police were called and he was arrested.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was hired and immediately began contact with the Office of the State Attorney. We developed a story that contradicted the police reports in the case and convinced the State or Florida that the alleged victim was the primary aggressor. The State of Florida declined to file any criminal charges against our client.
Facts: The Defendant was arrested for Domestic Battery after he was involved in an argument with his live in girlfriend. The argument escalated when there was an allegation that our client put his hands on the alleged victim and spilled water on her against her will. He was arrested and set for first appearance without a bond due to the domestic nature of this.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A., was retained and appeared on a Saturday for our client’s first appearance. The alleged victim was also present who did not want to prosecute. We were able to convince the judge to release our client on his own recognizance with no bond owed. Additionally, we immediately prepared an affidavit at the request of the alleged victim and provided that to the filing attorney responsible for the case in the Family Violence Unit. After reviewing the facts, no charges were filed against our client.
Domestic Violence Temporary Injunction against Domestic Violence
Facts: The Defendant was served with a Petition for an Injunction against Domestic Violence. A final hearing was set and Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained.
Outcome: Our firm was able to prepare a strategic defense on the matter and involved an investigator for certain matters in preparation for impeachment of the Petitioner. On the day of the hearing, the Temporary Injunction was dismissed.
Child Abuse (3rd Degree Felony)
Facts: The Defendant was involved in an altercation with his teenage son where he then allegedly sprayed him in the face and back with a fire extinguisher. The child had to be treated for ingestion of the chemicals and our client was arrested for Felony Child Abuse. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained immediately.
Outcome: Our firm prepared a sworn affidavit from a witness in the matter, the child’s mother. Evidence was provided through a sworn affidavit that an altercation began with the child and the child’s mom first whereby the child sprayed his mother in the face with the fire extinguisher. When our client came home and confronted the child about his actions against his mother, he became enraged and pulled a 9 inch blade and started waiving it at our client. In self-defense, our client then sprayed the child to prevent himself from the use of deadly force against him. After a full review of the case, the Office of the State Attorney agreed to dismiss all criminal charges.
Facts: The Defendant and her boyfriend were out to eat at a restaurant after a vacation. When they got home, an argument ensued where the police were called. Upon arrival, our client was asleep on the couch and woken up. She then went upstairs where the police followed her along with her boyfriend. Our client then pushed and/or hit the victim while the officer was watching and she was immediately arrested.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and upon further review of the facts, the story was more akin to our client slipping and accidentally hitting the victim. Thus, the State of Florida declined to file any criminal charges for Domestic Battery.
Facts: The police were dispatched by a husband claiming his wife battered her and had a knife in her hand. Upon arrival, he had a swollen upper lip and a laceration that was still bleeding. He was seen by fire rescue. Our client was also stating that she was battered and also had injuries.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and was able to immediately get with case filing. After numerous inconsistencies were pointed out in the reports, the State of Florida declined to file criminal charges. No criminal charges filed!
Facts: The Defendant was arrested for a Domestic Battery against his wife in Boca Raton, Florida. Immediately after this incident, the Defendant met with Meltzer & Bell, P.A. and explained that he actually called 911 in order to require that his wife come back inside the house and after a strictly verbal argument occurred. Officers arrived at the house and, according to the reports, no injuries were seen as to the Defendant or his wife. However, the Officers “felt someone had to go to jail”. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. immediately began its investigation of this incident and acquired sworn affidavits and testimony from witnesses to these events.
Outcome: All affidavits prepared by Meltzer & Bell, P.A. were immediately given to the State Attorney’s Office in an effort to prevent the filing of charges of Domestic Battery against our client. The State did not file any formal charges against our client for this offense and all NO contact orders were lifted. Our client never even had to set foot in a courtroom!
Child Neglect (3rd Degree Felony)
Facts: The Defendant went to the store one evening at approximately 4 am. After being stopped by an officer upon returning to his home, the officer noticed that there was no indication of impairment and then came to find out that the defendant had a 4 year old son at home who was asleep alone. Our client was gone from the home for a matter of 4-6 minutes. The case was presented to the State Attorneys Office after our client was arrested on felony Neglect charges.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we immediately began work with Felony Intake and case filing. After these negotiations, the State entered a “No File”. Charges not filed.
Violation of Injunction against Repeat Domestic Violence and Domestic Battery
Facts: The Defendant was alleged to have been in an argument with his girlfriend and punched her in the face. She has a swollen face and black eye for days. Within an hour of the alleged incident, she flagged down a police officer and told him the story. Our client returned to the scene and was arrested for Domestic Battery. The alleged victim then filed a petition for an injunction for protection against repeat domestic violence and a hearing was set on that matter.
Outcome: Our firm aggressively and vigorously defended our client. We refused to agree to the injunction and were armed with videos and photographic evidence which our firm used to impeach the alleged victim at the injunction hearing. Her 13 year old daughter testified and serious violent allegations were made by all witnesses. Our firm provided videos to the court and cross examined the officers. Our firm subpoenaed the officers as well to the hearing for the protection of our client. The alleged victim showed pictures of her swollen face to the court (over 15 pictures) and testified that our client abused her emotionally and physically. The court heard evidence from the Defendant and physical evidence offered by the Defense and dismissed the injunction immediately following the hearing. After seeing the additional evidence and hearing testimony at the injunction hearing, our firm was able to convince the State Attorney’s office to Nolle Pross the pending charges for Domestic Battery. Charges not filed.
Facts: The Defendant was involved in a verbal fight with his live in girlfriend. They were arguing at home when the Defendant picked up an ashtray and through it in her direction. It broke and a piece of it hit her and cut her face. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and our firm immediately began working with case filing.
Outcome: A review of the report did not indicate the requisite intent for a criminal battery. After bringing this to the attention of the filing lawyer with the Office of the State Attorney, the charges were dropped by the state of Florida. Criminal charges no filed!
Facts: Our client was involved in an altercation with his wife which allegedly took place in front of their child. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained. Our office secured a sworn affidavit from the alleged victim regarding her desires and wishes related to the prosecution of our client.
Outcome: After reviewing this affidavit, the State Attorney’s Office agreed to drop the charges. A formal no filed was issued in the case and our office began the expungement process immediately.
Aggravated Assault with a Firearm
Facts: The defendant was accused of a three year minimum mandatory felony of aggravated assault with a firearm. Video evidence of portions of the incident were provided. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was immediately retained.
Outcome: Our firm took a massive amount of depositions and did a large amount of discovery on the case. Subsequently, the state agreed to reduce the charges to a misdemeanor Improper Exhibition of a Dangerous Weapon or Firearm. Our client was placed on probation and the felony charges were dropped.
Facts: The Defendant was in a home with numerous other people. Her friend was involved in an altercation with her boyfriend when she stepped in to break it up and intervene. After this altercation, our client was alleged to have gotten a cutting board and smash it over the head of the alleged victim. Numerous other fights broke out with the alleged victim. The victim was bleeding from his head and wanted to prosecute. Our client was arrested and charged with aggravated battery (a crime punishable by up to 15 years in Florida State Prison).
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was hired and began working on the case. After a further review of the facts of the case, the charges were completely dismissed as there was no reasonable likelihood of successful prosecution. All criminal charges were dismissed.
Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon (3rd Degree Felony)
Facts: The Defendant came home from work and began an argument with his wife’s daughter. He picked up a cane knife and began walking towards her saying “I will cut your bloodcot head off”. She was walking with her baby in the stroller and he continued to yell at her with threatening comments. She called 911 and as she did he continued to threaten her. While in route to the scene, dispatch advised the officer that he was still coming at her and threatening her. When the officers on scene arrived, the cane knife had been hidden in our client’s truck. Our client was interrogated and eventually arrested. He was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Outcome: Our firm was retained and immediately began negotiations with the Office of the State Attorney and the assigned prosecutor. After having discussions regarding the truth of the allegations and the proof problems with the case, the State agreed to dismiss all criminal charges. Charges Nolle Prossed.
Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon
Facts: The Defendant was involved in a dispute with the father of her children. According to the alleged victim, our client ran at her with a cell phone and smashed it on his head causing injuries. Our client was arrested and charged with aggravated battery. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we were immediately in touch with the Office of the State Attorney and the Felony Intake department. We were immediately able to convince the filing lawyer that the cell phone was not a deadly weapon and therefore, those charges had to be reduced.
Outcome: Additionally, after discussing further issues surrounding the alleged victim along with a statement from the five year old child indicating our client did not touch the alleged victim at all, the State Attorney agreed not to file any criminal charges at all. Our client was initially facing up to 15 years in Florida State Prison. All charges declined by the State Attorney’s Office.
Facts: The Defendant was involved in a fight downtown outside of a club. He allegedly hit another gentleman and caused injuries to his face and he was charged with battery, a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in the county jail. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we aggressively went through discovery and talked with the assigned prosecutor.
Outcome: After pointing out that the facts were more akin to a mutual combat situation, the State Attorney agreed to a diversion program. Our client’s charges were completely dismissed.
Battery on Medical Personnel (Felony Charges)
Facts: The defendant was a police officer for 10 years and accused of multiple counts of felony battery for an incident that occurred after he was taken to the hospital from his home. A doctor, paramedic and hospital staff were initially different alleged victims in the matter. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained to represent the police officer.
Outcome: We vigorously fought to have the charges reduced and mitigated based upon numerous legal issues. The State of Florida agreed that there was only one allegation of a battery and also agreed to reduce the charges to a misdemeanor. The Firm attempted on numerous occasions to negotiate diversion for a dismissal to which the alleged victim objected and refused. The State of Florida would not offer it. Instead they asked that our client plead guilty to the charges and go on probation for a year. We took the deposition of the alleged victim and provided photos of the scene of the accident before the alleged battery.
We were able to provide medical records from the hospital establishing injuries and mental state which tended to raise reasonable doubt as to our client’s intent. The case proceeded to trial. Our client was found NOT GUILTY.
Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon
Facts: The Defendant was in an argument with his girlfriend in the driveway while he was in his car. Upon the argument escalating, he backed his vehicle up over her foot and injured her. He allegedly saw her jumping up and down in paid and then fled the scene. He was arrested and charged with Aggravated Battery when the alleged victim said he did it on purpose.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained. Upon investigating the case and pulling all the reports, it was clear that the State would not be able to prove the accusations with the requisite criminal intent for the Battery allegation as the incident was an accident. The State agreed and No filed the charges!
Facts: Our client was accused of manslaughter after a fight broke out in front of a bar. Being a prison release reoffender, our client was facing a minimum of 15 years in Florida State Prison.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we immediately began a full scale private investigation with our private investigation team. Massive interviews were taken and sworn testimony from all witnesses listed by the state. Most importabtly, our firm hunted down witnesses who had moved and were very difficult to locate, witnesses who exonerated our client. After this work, Meltzer & Bell, P.A. filed a motion to dismiss arguing that our client stood his ground under the new Florida Law shifting the burden to the state to prove by clear and convincing evidence that it was not self-defense. After agreeing our client was entitled to staturtory immunity, the State of Florida dismissed the Manslaughter charges completely.
Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer and Resisting Arrest
Facts: Our client was arrested on charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer without violence for an incident occurring at a concert.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we contacted the State pre-filing and convinced them to file the charge only as the misdemeanor resisting charge. We ultimately convinced the State to allow her to participate in a diversion program with various conditions. She completed the terms and conditions successfully and her case was dismissed and her record is in the process of being expunged. Case was dropped by the State on 2/19/19.
Possession of Marijuana
Facts: The Defendant was stopped for speeding and the officer smelled what he thought was burnt marijuana. He was asked where the drugs were and the Defendant denied having it. The officer then said, “I know you have it so do I need to find it myself?” The Defendant then reached into an ashtray and handed him the drugs.
Outcome: The Firm was hired and was able to convince the State to agree to ultimately dismiss the charges for Possession. Charges Dismissed.
Possession with Intent to Sell, Possession of a Controlled Substance (3rd Degree Felony), Felony Possession of Paraphernalia and Possession of Marijuana
Facts: The Defendant was seen rolling through a stop sign. After being stopped by campus police, he was found to be in the vehicle with a passenger as well. The officer smelled marijuana and the Defendant was acting nervous. Upon retrieving his driver’s license, a plastic bag appeared with what looked like marijuana. Upon further inquiry, a black backpack was found with a glass jar in it full or marijuana. Several smaller plastic bags and a scale was also found in the vehicle along with multiple pipes used to inhale and/or ingest marijuana. A vaporizer and pill bottle was also found with pills in it. The pills were controlled and our client did not have an active prescription for them. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we immediately began working with our client.
Outcome: After our client was able to get into treatment and see a doctor, certain medical evidence was provided to the Felony Case Filing lawyer. After further review with the State of the police report, in light of another person in the vehicle with our client, the State agreed to drop ALL felony charges. Our firm was then able to reach an agreement with the State Attorneys Office whereby all criminal charges were completely dismissed.
Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Facts: The Defendant was stopped by an officer who then smelled marijuana. After our client was searched, marijuana and paraphernalia was found. Our client was charged and our office was retained.
Outcome: We were able to convince the State to allow our client to complete a program which resulted in the dismissal of all criminal charges.
Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Improper U-Turn, Expired Tag and No Proof of Insurance
Facts: The Defendant made a u-turn where there was a “no u-turn” sign and was stopped. The officer smelled marijuana and noticed that our client was uncontrollably shaking and sweating. He was asked if he had any illegal narcotics in the car to which he replied “yes.” He then admitted he had marijuana in the car and 1 bag was found with 2 pipes, a plastic tube and another bottle containing marijuana. The Defendant continually stated he was sorry.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we were able to convince the State of Florida to complete a short diversion program which resulted in the dismissal of all criminal charges and all infractions. All charges dropped!
Possession of Marijuana under 20 grams
Facts: The Defendant was charged with possession of marijuana. This charge is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in the county jail or one year of probation. Additionally, if convicted, our client could have been facing a two year license suspension.
Outcome: Our firm was able to negotiate a deal which resulted in no jail time, no house arrest, no probation and no license suspension. Additionally, because of our efforts, our client’s charges were completely dismissed.
Possession of Marijuana
Facts: The Defendant was stopped for having equipment violations. Upon contact, the officer noticed the odor of marijuana coming from the car. Our client was asked if there was anything illegal in the vehicle to which he replied “not really”. At that point, he stated he had a rolled up blunt in the car and then showed the officer the marijuana. He was arrested and transported to jail. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we immediately began negotiations with the State Attorney’s Office.
Outcome: Although our client had prior arrests and charges for the same offense, we were able to convince them to dismiss the charges after successful completion of a diversion program.
Possession of Marijuana
Facts: The Defendant was stopped for speeding and the officer noticed a strong smell of marijuana coming from the card. The defendant became nervous and finally handed over a white paper with marijuana in it. Our client was facing misdemeanor criminal charges where, if convicted, he could have lost his ability to drive his vehicle.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained. We were able to negotiate a deal which resulted in the criminal charges for possession of marijuana being dismissed.
Possession of Marijuana
Facts: The Defendant had prior cultivation priors and prior possessions on his record. He was stopped by a police officer who smelled an odor of marijuana coming from his car. He denied having any but then provided it to the officer when asked. He was charged with the crime and facing the scary possibility of losing his driving privileges for 2 years after he had just gotten a good job and starting a family.
Outcome: At the first hearing, the State Attorney, because of his priors offered 30 days in jail and a 2 year license suspension. This offer was rejected and Meltzer & Bell, P.A. demanded a trial by jury. At the next hearing, we were able to convince the State of Florida to agree to a fine of $268.00, no conviction, no probation, no house arrest and no jail and NO LICENSE SUSPENSION.
Possession of Marijuana
Facts: The Defendant was seen by a mall security guard smoking marijuana in a vehicle with his friend. Upon approaching on foot, the officer smelled it and made contact. After finding a jar and marijuana in the vehicle, the Defendant was charged with the offense and given a court date.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and immediately negotiated a deal which resulted in a complete dismissal of all criminal charges. Our client was facing a license suspension and up to a year in jail. All charges dismissed!
Possession of Marijuana over 20 grams (3rd Degree Felony)
Facts: The Defendant was observed driving his vehicle with defective equipment. After being stopped, the officer noticed an odor of marijuana coming from the car. The Defendant was asked if he had anything illegal in the car and he denied it. He then admitted he had a glass jar in the back seat with weed in it. There was a grinder as well in the car. The marijuana tested positive weighing approximately 24 grams. Our client was arrested and taken into custody on felony possession. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we immediately contacted felony case filing.
Outcome: We were able to provide information relating to our client’s medical conditions that had resulted in numerous back surgeries over the years. The felony lawyer agreed to file the matter in county court as a misdemeanor and would not file the felony. Our firm then immediately began negotiations with the County Court Prosecutor and was able to convince her to agree to a resolution that resulted in a dismissal of all counts. All criminal charges dismissed by the State of Florida!
Tampering with Evidence (3rd Degree Felony) & Possession of Marijuana
Facts: The Defendant had previously been charged as a juvenile with Possession of Marijuana. He went through diversion and charges were not filed. However, he was seen a year later traveling well above the speed limit and an officer began to follow him as he was weaving in and out of traffic. The officer noticed that the defendant through something out of his window while trying to evade the officer. Once stopped, the officer pulled the defendant out of the car and took him to the ground. He was charged with Possession of Marijuana and Tampering with Evidence for attempting to destroy or conceal the marijuana on the highway.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and the State Attorney ultimately made an offer to dismiss the felony and withhold adjudication on the marijuana charge. However, that would have resulted in a license suspension for our client and a lengthy period of probation. Our firm ordered the video which took two months to retrieve. After review of the video, our client was practically beaten by the officer in what appeared to be an excessive use of force on the highway. After speaking with the State Attorney assigned to the case regarding this evidence, he agreed to dismiss all criminal charges!
Possession of Marijuana
Facts: The Defendant was stopped and ultimately was facing a first degree misdemeanor and a license suspension if convicted.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we appeared at court for our client. We negotiated a deal whereby the charges were going to get dropped. At the next court date, all criminal charges were dismissed!
Possession of Marijuana
Facts: The Defendant was stopped for speeding. The officers noticed an odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. After denying any drugs, marijuana was found in the trunk of the car which the Defendant admitted was his. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained.
Outcome: After pointing out issues with the case, our firm negotiated a deal which resulted in the dismissal of all criminal charges. Our client’s charges were dropped! Speeding ticket dismissed!
Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Facts: The Defendant was a passenger in a car that was stopped without headlights. A strong odor of marijuana was coming from inside the car. A small electric cigarette was seen sticking out of our client’s pocket. It had a brown substance in it. The officer took it and asked the defendant to step out of the car. The officers searched the car and found marijuana. Our client was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of Marijuana.
Outcome: Our client was in college and we wanted to make sure that we tried to keep this charge off his record. After negotiating with the State, all charges were dismissed.
Possession of Marijuana Under 20 grams and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Facts: The Defendant was a passenger in a car that was stopped by a cop and reeked like marijuana. A container was found with marijuana in the car and the defendant was charged. He was facing a year license suspension and two misdemeanor charges on his record.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we immediately secured an agreement whereby the charges would be dismissed quickly. At the next court date, all charges were dropped by the State of Florida.
Possession of Marijuana Under 20 grams and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Facts: The Defendant was was charged with two drug offenses and missed his court date. He had a warrant out for his arrest and called Meltzer & Bell, P.A. to handle the matter.
Outcome: We immediately secured an agreement with the State to have the warrant recalled. After further negotiations, the drug charges and all accompanying traffic tickets were completely dismissed.
Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Facts: The Defendant was stopped and the officer immediately smelled marijuana. He asked the passenger if there was anything illegal in the car and he said there was marijuana in the back seat. A pipe and cannabis was found. Rolling papers were also found.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained. We were able to negotiate with the State which resulted in a dismissal of all criminal charges.
Possession of Marijuana
Facts: The Defendant was stopped for speeding. While speaking to him, the officer noticed an odor of marijuana coming from the car. Further examination revealed marijuana on the front seat. He was arrested and denied any knowledge or presence of marijuana in the car. His passenger was also arrested.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained. We were successful in negotiating a resolution that resulted in a complete dismissal of the drug charges.
Possession of Marijuana under 20 grams, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Speeding and Expired Registration
Facts: The Defendant was stopped for speeding and eventually charged with marijuana and paraphernalia possession due to a search of the vehicle. After failing to appear for court, a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we immediately filed a motion to recall the warrant and attempt to amicably resolve the matter with the Office of the State Attorney. We were able to negotiate deal that diverted the case and resulted in a complete dismissal of all charges.
Possession of Marijuana over 20 grams and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (3rd Degree Felony and 1st Degree Misdemeanor)
Facts: The Defendant was stopped in an empty parking lot late at night and found with over 30 grams of marijuana in her lap and paraphernalia in the car. She was arrested and charged with a felony. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained.
Outcome: After pointing out to Felony Intake that the weight of the drugs included the packaging materials, not just the plant amount, the charges were reduced to misdemeanors. Our firm was then successful in working out a diversion agreement whereby all criminal charges were dismissed.
Possession of Marijuana
Facts: The Defendant was stopped for dark tint and an expired decal. After the stop, the defendant was asked if the vehicle could be searched. Our client consented to the search and marijuana was found in the car. The defendant admitted that it was his. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we immediately began negotiating with the State.
Outcome: After further discussions with the assigned assistant state attorney, our client was permitted to complete a short drug class in exchange for a complete dismissal of the drug charges. Charges nolle prossed!
Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Facts: The Defendant was stopped for a traffic infraction when the officer smelled drugs. He admitted to having a joint in the car. Officers found the drugs and paraphernalia and charged him.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we negotiated a deal whereby all charges were dismissed.
Possession of Marijuana
Facts: The Defendant was charged with Possession of Marijuana after the officer stopped him. The cop smelled a strong odor of marijuana and the defendant admitted it was in his pocket. After being charged, Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained.
Outcome: We appeared at the first hearing to negotiate with the Assistant State Attorney. Our client was permitted to enter diversion and the charges were completely dismissed.
Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Facts: The Defendant was stopped for a traffic infraction. After being stopped, the officer smelled marijuana. The Defendant admitted there would probably be a large amount in the vehicle. A search revealed 10 grams in the car and a grinder. After being charged, Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained.
Outcome: We were successful at negotiating a resolution whereby our client participated in diversion and the criminal charges were totally dismissed. Our client did not need to attend court.
Possession of Marijuana over 20 grams
Facts: The Defendant was a passenger in the car where the officers were attempting to make a traffic stop. The Defendant was seen leaning down on more than one occasion in the front passenger seat while the officers were attempting to initiate a stop. The vehicle was fleeing with lights and sirens activated. Upon being stopped, the occupants of the vehicle were removed from the car and handcuffed immediately. A large bag of more than 20 grams of marijuana was found under the seat of the passenger vehicle where our client was sitting. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained.
Outcome: Depositions were set for the agents involved in the takedown. After the main agent was deposed, information that was not in the report was uncovered, mainly the handcuffing issue and that another occupant of the vehicle took ownership of the marijuana. After the deposition was taken, the State agreed to dismiss the felony charge completely.
Cultivation of Marijuana
Facts: The Defendant was seen coming from a home on multiple occasions. This home was under surveillance for weeks regarding the growing of marijuana plants. Research indicated that the electric bills were way higher than other homes. Additionally, the defendant left his keys in the door on the last occasion after leaving the home. The officers went to retrieve the keys and ultimately secured a search warrant for the home. Over 20 plants were found in the home and our client was charged with cultivation of the marijuana.
Outcome: After being retained, Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was successful after negotiations in having the charges no filed due to issues proving our client could be convicted beyond a reasonable doubt.
Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Deliver, Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Deliver
Facts: The Defendant was parked in a BMW at a café when an undercover agent and another deputy pulled up. Upon approaching our client’s vehicle, our client was allegedly seen tossing two paper bags out the driver’s side window 10 feet away into the grass. The Defendant then drove away slowly staring down the officer. The detective then picked up the bags and opened them. Multiples baggies of cocaine and marijuana of different THC levels were found. Another deputy was ordered to come back to the scene and watch to determine if the defendant came back. According to the lead detective, our client did come back and scavenge the scene to look around where the bags were tossed. Our client was adamant on jail calls that the drugs belonged to someone else.
The State Attorneys’ Office obtained warrants to have our client arrested and to have DNA swabs done of our client. The DNA came back with three individuals on the brown bags. Our client was excluded as a contributor to the DNA on the bags. Additionally, we supplemented discovery which showed receipts that estimates were done 9 days prior to the incident for the driver’s side window not working and unable to go down. The owner of the body shop who did the estimate as well as the DNA expert were placed under subpoena for the trial. Our client was facing up to 6 years in Florida State Prison after it was agreed that only a simple possession could be proven. Additionally, he scored a minimum of almost 30 months in prison if convicted of the charges.
Outcome: The weekend before the trial, a misdemeanor time served plea was offered and rejected by our client. The evening before the trial, all Criminal Charges were dismissed by the State of Florida.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Failing to Redeliver Hired Vehicle
Facts: The Defendant was stopped for failing to use his turn signal. After being stopped, it was discovered that the vehicle he was operating was a leased vehicle that he had not returned in over a month resulting in significant loss to the rental company. Additionally, he had paraphernalia in the car. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained.
Outcome: We immediately contacting felony case filing after meeting with our client to discuss the legal problems with the return policy as well as the illegal stop for the turn signal. The State of Florida agreed with our assessment and refused to file the felony and misdemeanor charges. No action taken and all charges dropped!
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Facts: The Defendant was stopped for not having a functioning tag light. After nervous behavior was exhibited by our client, he was asked to step out. He was asked if there was anything illegal in the vehicle and he said no. After searching the car, the officers found a marijuana grinder that tested positive. The Defendant then admitted it was his.
Outcome: We negotiated immediately with the State of Florida and they agreed to a program which resulted in the complete dismissal of all criminal charges.
Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Facts: Officers responded to a home reference complaints. A check revealed all was well although this area was known as a high drug area. The subjects in the home were known gang members, drug addicts and prostitutes. While standing outside the residence, a white car pulled into the driveway with both windows down. As the vehicle pulled in, the officer smelled a fresh odor of pungent marijuana. The vehicle then suddenly began to back out. The officers commanded the vehicle to stop and the driver ignored the commands. The officer then had to walk along side the drivers door to stop the car and they finally complied. The passenger then got out and he said “you got me” as he removed a green substance from his pocket. The driver was also searched and a clear bag was found containing MDMA. She was arrested and charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained and we immediately began dealing with case filing at the State Attorney’s Office. We raised numerous search issues relating to the stop and pat down of our client. After a full review, the State Agreed to reduce the felony charges to a Paraphernalia charge. We then worked out an agreement whereby our client completed a course and the entire case was dismissed!
Possession of Marijuana and 3 counts of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Facts: The Defendant was stopped by an officer where he smelled an odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. All parties in the car denied having anything illegal. Then the defendant spontaneously stated that there was cannabis and paraphernalia in the car. A cardboard box was located with cannabis, a bong, metal grinder and a glass pipe. The State made an offer which would have required our client to plead guilty to all charges.
Outcome: After negotiations with the State Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was able to convince to the State to allow our client into diversion. All four criminal charges were dismissed upon successful completion.
Possession of Cocaine and Possession of a Controlled Substance
Facts: The Defendant was a passenger in the back of a vehicle when a DUI investigation began. After all passengers were removed from the car, a baggie of white powder fell from our client’s area as he exited the car. He was searched an a controlled substance was found on him without a prescription on scene. After being charged with the two felonies, Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained.
Outcome: Our firm did a significant amount of pre-filing work with the assigned Felony filing lawyer. The State agreed to reduce the charges to a misdemeanor paraphernalia charge. Once the case was moved to county court, our firm negotiated a deal whereby our client entered diversion and the case was totally dismissed.
Trafficking in Heroin over 4 grams
Facts: The Defendant was contacted for a sale of heroin. He was the driver of the car. A confidential informant was attempting to set up our client. Upon arriving at the sale location, our client delivered what was found to be over 4 grams of herion. Our client was charged with Trafficking Heroin and facing a minimum mandatory prison sentence of at least 3 years. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained. Our firm filed a motion to re-weigh the heroin to determine the exact weight as it was our belief that the weight would come in under the statutory amount for a Trafficking Charge. The lab came back with a weight under 4 grams.
Outcome: The State agreed to reduce the charges to an Attempted Sale of Heroin and our client was placed on probation with no felony conviction at all.
Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Paraphernalia and Driving Under Suspension
Facts: The defendant was stopped because the officer ran his tag and it came back suspended for child support. He was arrested for Driving Under Suspension with his work truck on site. His vehicle was searched and a brown container was found under the driver floorboard with paraphernalia in it for smoking marijuana. Additionally, Xanax was found in a cigarette packaging in his center console. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained to represent the Defendant. We immediately began work at the pre-filing stage. Our firm secured a written sworn statement from a witness in New York who had a valid prescription for what was found in our client’s truck. Additionally, she provided testimony that she placed it there in that packaging and had forgotten to tell our client about it. Additionally, we provided proof to the State Attorney that an employee of our client was recently fired and he smoked marijuana and that box was his. He rode in this work truck all the time and our client was not aware it was there. As a final issue, our firm provided the Filing lawyer with proof that the suspension from child support was a mistake. Our client actually had a credit.
Outcome: After providing all of this evidence to the State, the Office of the State Attorney entered a formal “No File” on the matter. They declined to prosecute.
Possession of Heroin and Possession of Cocaine
Facts: The Defendant was stopped for a tag light issue. Upon being stopped the officer noticed he was acting nervous. After issuing the citation the nervousness continued. Thus, the officer asked for consent to search. Upon giving consent to search, heroin and cocaine were found either on our client or near the vehicle. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained before a filing decision was made.
Outcome: After negotiations with the Filing lawyer took place regarding issues surrounding the detention and search of our client, the State agreed to enter a “No File”. The prosecution of our client was declined. Our firm then instituted the expungement application process to begin the process of destroying any record of this matter for our client.
3 Counts of Sale of Cocaine within 1,000 feet of a church, Conspiracy to sell Cocaine, 3 counts of Possession of Cocaine, Sale of Cocaine
Facts: The Special Investigations Unit organized a plan to arrest our client for allegedly selling cocaine. Officers employed a confidential informat and undercover officer which were used in four different controlled buys of cocaine. the Defendant was videotaped, audio recorded, and seen by both the confidential informant and undercover officers involved, selling socaine on four occassions. A search warrant was conducted on the Defendants home and he was subsequently arrested and charged with nine criminal charges. These charges ranged from low level possession of cocaine, to 1st degree felonies with minimum mandatory prison sentences. The Defendant was facing a maximum of 140 YEARS in prison and 9.4 years at a minimum.
With our specialized knowledge in prosecutions of these types of cases, the attorneys of Meltzer & Bell, P.A. fought this case tooth and nail until the month before trial. We searched through almost 1,000 pages of discovery, over 15 various videos, and numerous depositions of every witness involved.
With the initial offer to resolve the case at 25 years in prision, the Defendant rejected that and any offers conveyed. The Defendant had full faith in the lawyers of the firm and rightfully so. We were able to expose the lies, deception and shady tactics of the police agency. Additionally, the attorneys were able to expose who the confidential informant truly was, attack his credibility and break down the state’s case.
Outcome: At the end of the day, our client walked away without taking any plea, spending any additional time in jail or prison and without felony convictions for these charges on his record. After fighting to the end, gearing up for trial and never backing down, the state prosecutor was forced to drop charges.
Trafficking in Phenethylamines and Possession of Marijuana More than 20 Grams
Facts: This trafficking charge comes with a 3 year minimum/mandatory prison sentence if convicted.
Outcome: After trafficking charges were filed by the State of Florida, Mr. Shafran humanized his client to the prosecutor and showed how he was not a drug dealer like the police made him out to be. Mr. Shafran was able to negotiate a much better deal than the statutory minimums, which included a reduction in charges, probation, and not a day in prison.
Possession of Marijuana More than 20 Grams
Facts: Client is a student at a local University studying to better themselves. One night, multiple police units showed up to the student’s off campus apartment. After entering the residence, a search found more than 10 ounces of marijuana.
Outcome: After numerous discussions with the filing attorneys and trial attorneys who represented the State of Florida, Mr. Shafran was able to secure a dismissal of the charges upon completion of a Pre-Trial Intervention Program. This means that the client will not have a felony conviction, not be placed on probation and not have to lose their license for a period of time.
Felony Possession of Marijuana
Facts: Our client was arrested for Felony Possession of Marijuana and at his first appearance, the matter was referred to drug court.
Outcome: Subsequently, Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained. After reviewing the facts of the case, the matter was more appropriate for misdemeanor charges. The charges were down filed and ultimately our firm and the state entered an agreement for the charges to be dropped entirely.
Possession of Cocaine, Possession of MDMA
Facts: The Defendant was staying at the Breakers Hotel when the cleaning crew noticed signs of drug use and/or possession in a room. After investigation by the security guard, an officer was “invited” into the room by way of “interviewing” witnesses. A large amount of cocaine and drugs were found and our client was stopped in the hallway after acting nervous. More cocaine and MDMA were found on our client.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was immediately retained. We prepared a massive pre filing packet to the felony intake unit inclusive of case law and reasoning why the matter should not move forward. After lengthy discussions with the initial prosecutor and the line Assistant State Attorney, all felony charges were dropped.
Driving Under the Influence
Facts: The Defendant was stopped for speeding going 61mph in a 45 mph zone at approximately 9:30 a.m. by Officer Ramage of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. Upon the officer activating his lights, the Defendant stopped his vehicle in the travel lane of Cypress Creek Boulevard. The officer then had to repeatedly chirp his siren in order to have the Defendant move his vehicle to the turn lane. The Defendant then hit the curb as moved his vehicle into the turn lane. Upon making contact with the Defendant, the officer noticed the Defendant to have the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the vehicle or his facial area, blood shot eyes and slurred speech. The Defendant was asked to exit his vehicle and participate in roadside sobriety exercises. Upon exiting, the Defendant appeared to be unsteady on his feet and leaned against the back of his vehicle while awaiting instruction for the officer. The Defendant then engaged in three roadside sobriety exercises and failed to perform them to the officer’s satisfaction. The Defendant was arrested for DUI and refused to submit to the breath test.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. took the deposition of Officer Ramage during the discovery process of the case. The Deposition revealed that the officer’s observations and findings during his investigation were inaccurate and actually significantly differed from what he had written under oath in his reports. The Deposition reflected that the Defendant may have been impaired by alcohol and that the officer’s observations were somewhat exaggerated. Additionally, the firm secured a witness for trial who was prepared to testify that she was with the Defendant from the time he returned to her home after work until he woke up in the morning just before the traffic stop. The witness was prepared to testify that the Defendant never consumed alcohol, but was covered in it due to his occupation as a bartender and, then at the time of the traffic stop, the Defendant was actually on his way to his mother’s home to change and shower so he could return to work his second double shift in a row starting at 10:15 that morning. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. announced ready for trial and all DUI charges were dropped.
Driving Under the Influence
Facts: The Defendant was stopped for speeding at about 1:45 a.m. The officer noticed a very strong odor of alcohol and the defendant admitted he had been drinking beer. He admitted he was at a party. He was requested to perform roadside exercises and performed poorly. After being taken to the jail he gave a breath sample of a .01 and .009. After he was read his Miranda warnings he admitted that he had taken a Xanax pill (a controlled substance under Florida Law) just prior to drinking.
Outcome: The Firm was retained to represent our client on Thursday. By Friday, the firm had already filed our notice of appearance, investigated the case and sent a letter to the supervisor of county court responsible for making the filing decision on the matter. After providing information to the filing attorney with the State, including issues regarding the detention for a DUI investigation, the State of Florida declined to file any criminal charges against our client. DUI CHARGES DROPPED!
Driving Under the Influence Causing or Contributing to Damage to Person or Property
Facts: The Defendant was operating his vehicle when he crashed into a sign. He then drove some distance away from the scene and was stopped. The officer noticed obvious signs of impairment including an odor of alcohol, slurred speech and many indicators of impairment during the roadsides. The Defendant was arrested for DUI and transported to the breath facility. He was asked to submit to a breath sample. He seemed confused and unable to comprehend the requests after many back and forth questions. He eventually refused to submit to the test. Our firm was hired to handle the matter.
Outcome: Our client DID NOT qualify for the first time offender program because of the accident. However, after using many strategic moves, our firm was able to convince the State Attorney to dismiss the DUI charges. Our client’s charges were reduced to reckless driving and he was not convicted of anything! DUI DISMISSED!
Driving Under the Influence
Facts: The Defendant was straddling lanes and then activating both turn signals but not making those turns. The officer stopped the Defendant after she went through a gate without acknowledging the officer’s lights. The driver had slurred speech, a flushed face, watery and glassy eyes and a pungent odor of alcohol coming from her. She said she was drinking at Blue Martini. She was asked to step out of the car and at one point almost fell over into the officer. She refused to perform roadsides and then was arrested. While at the jail she was asked to submit to a breath test which she consented to. However, she was unable to give a valid sample, giving volume not met samples registering over a .14 and .15. The State initially would not offer a first time offender program to the Defendant due to a prior issue out of State.
Outcome: The Firm zealously negotiated on behalf of the Defendant and ultimately the State Attorney’s Office, after reviewing the facts of the case, agreed to dismiss the charges for Driving Under the Influence. The Defendant pled guilty to reckless driving and was NOT CONVICTED of any criminal activity!
Driving Under the Influence
Facts: The Defendant was observed running a steady red light. After being stopped, the officer observed the Defendant to be smoking a cigarette. He had to be told to put it out and then admitted that he knew he ran the red light. The officer noticed that his eyes were glassy and bloodshot and he had a strong odor of an unknown alcoholic beverage coming from him. He admitted to coming from a bar and drinking two beers and a shot. After performing poorly on roadsides the officer attempted to take him into custody. He began to resist the arrest and finally agreed to be handcuffed. When back at the jail, the defendant refused to get out of the police cruiser. He continued to talk and give repetitive statements. He was asked to submit to a breath and would not listen to any instructions by the officer. He refused a breath test after being told his license would be suspended for one year. He then stated to the breath test operator that he “doesn’t play”. There were numerous times during the contact with the arresting officer that the defendant said “please don’t do this to me” and “I live right here”. The defendant eventually also refused to sign the summons leading to an additional criminal charge.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. ultimately spoke to the State Attorney about agreeing to dismiss the DUI charges. The Defendant did not technically qualify for that dismissal due to the second criminal violation of refusing to sign a summons. The State Attorney, after numerous negotiations, agreed to dismiss the charges for Driving Under the Influence.
Driving Under the Influence, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Paraphernalia
Facts: The Defendant was seen coming out of a 7-11 at a high speed. The car went through a stop sign and began accelerating. The officer pulled behind the car while it went well over the 30 mph speed limit The vehicle maintained a low speed an made a right where it was stopped. The officer noticed signs of impairment and observed a marijuana pipe behind the driver with .2 grams of marijuana residue. The officers pulled the Defendant out of the car where he was asked to perform roadsides. After agreeing to perform roadsides, our client moved back towards his car to call his wife to let her know where he was. Our client could be seen on video talking and explaining why he was moving towards his car. At that point, the officers pulled out their guns and aimed them at our client.
Outcome: Our client did not qualify for the first time offender program due to the marijuana and drug charges. However, our firm prepared a 3 page pre-filing letter and was able to convince the State of Florida that the DUI charges should be dropped in addition to the marijuana charges. Statutorily, the resin did not qualify for the possession charge. Thus, the client’s charges were reduced and the DUI was dismissed.
Driving Under the Influence (Violation of Probation)
Facts: The Defendant was placed on probation and subsequently arrested on new criminal charges in a distant county. She was taken into custody and held no bond in that county. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was hired to handle the violation of probation.
Outcome: After immediately getting it on the judge’s docket, the Firm was able to convince the State Attorney to agree to dismiss the warrant, dismiss the affidavit and terminate her probation. The Defendant was immediately released from the distant county within 24 hours of hiring our Firm.
Driving Under the Influence (Violation of Probation)
Facts: The Defendant was placed on probation for DUI receiving a license suspension for the conviction. While on probation he purchased a scooter. Our client was stopped on two separate occasions for infractions and was cited for Driving Under Suspension from the DUI conviction and for driving a vehicle that was not registered. Because of the new criminal allegations, the Probation Officer filed a warrant to have our client taken into custody.
Outcome: Meltzer & Bell, P.A. immediately retrieved evidence and case law which established that the scooter was in fact a motorized bicycle under Florida law and did not need a registration nor a license to be operated. Thus, the State of Florida not only dropped all the criminal charges, but also agreed to recall the warrant for the violation of probation dismiss the affidavit for violation as well. All charges dropped and warrant recalled!
DUI Crash and Leaving the Scene of an Accident and Driving Under the Influence (Third Offense)
Facts: Our client was charged in two separate cases with their 4th and 5th arrests for DUI. Once case involved a crash which resulted in allegations that our client fled the scene after the accident. The other case involved serious allegations of intoxication.
Outcome: From the time we were retained to handle the case, we were able to ensure that the second case did NOT include charges being increased in severity to felonies. After the filing decisions were made, Mr. Shafran was able to negotiate a favorable sentence for our client which included probation and house arrest, avoiding any actual jail and/or prison time. Avoiding physical jail/prison time was the most important aspect of the case for the client.
DUI Related Offense (Fifth Offense)
Facts: Our client was charged with his 4th DUI (one was reduced to a reckless in the past) after being stopped for swerving all over the road in front of a police officer. After performing poorly on the roadsides, he was arrested and taken to jail where he refused a breath test. Subsequently he was booked on a felony DUI offense. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was retained. The first step was to make sure to speak to the State Attorney in the Felony DUI unit to discuss mitigation. After lengthy negotiations, our firm worked out a resolution that included no jail, rather, house arrest. The initial offer was 9 months in county jail for the crime. However, our firm provided the State with documents related to our client’s children and family which helped negotiate a more fair resolution.
Outcome: No Jail on a 4th Felony DUI
4th DUI Crash and Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Facts: After drinking by the pool, our client was involved in an accident in her neighborhood with another vehicle. She walked away from the crash and went to sleep on her couch in her apartment. The victim of the crash saw this and called the cops. The officers ultimately arrested our client for DUI crash and Leaving the scene. This was her 4th arrest. She was charged with Felony DUI. Our firm, after being retained, immediately contacted the Felony DUI unit at the office of the State Attorney. After lengthy negotiations, the charges were reduced to a misdemeanor and a deal was worked out combining treatment and house arrest. Our client did not serve time in jail and did not become a convicted felon
Outcome: Felony DUI charges reduced and no jail time for our client