Recent Questions

When Can the Police Strip Search You in Florida?

People get arrested for many different types of crimes–some serious and some not-so-serious.  If you happen to have been arrested for one of those not-so-serious sorts of crimes—trespassing, for example–are the police allowed to strip search you after they…

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In RICO Prosecutions, Why is the Distinction Between a “Person” and an “Enterprise” Important?

“RICO” stands for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.  In order to establish that someone has violated this law, a prosecutor must prove the following five things:
1.  The existence of an enterprise;
2.  The enterprise…

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When Can the Police Frisk an Automobile Passenger for Weapons?

In the case of Arizona v. Johnson, the United States Supreme Court addressed the following question:
Whether a police officer may lawfully frisk a passenger in a vehicle stopped for a minor traffic infraction when the officer has…

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When Does a Registered Sex Offender Not Have to Obey the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act?

In 2006, Congress enacted the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (“SORNA”).  That law makes it a federal crime for anyone (1) who is required to register under SORNA (2) who travels to another state or country (3) to…

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How Long Do the Police Have to Wait Before They Can Question Someone Who is in Custody and Who Has Asked to Have a Lawyer Present?

In the case of Edwards v. Arizona, the United States Supreme Court ruled that when the police question someone who is in custody and that person expresses a desire to deal with the police only through a lawyer, the police have to stop questioning that person unless he or she voluntarily initiates further communication with the police. But how long do the police have to wait before they are allowed to try to question the person again? This article looks at the case of Maryland v. Shatzer which answers that question.

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What is the 2010 Crack-Cocaine Amendment?

          On August 3, 2010, President Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 which reduces sentences for crack-cocaine crimes. The previously existing 100-to-1 sentencing ratio was reduced to 18-to-1.  Also, 28 grams of crack cocaine now carries a …

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When is a Car Passenger Not Guilty of Conspiracy to Commit a Drug Crime?

          In order to convict someone of conspiracy, a federal prosecutor has to prove:
          1.  That there was an agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime;
          2.  A defendant had knowledge of the agreement;…

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What Constitutes “Using” a Gun and Why Does It Matter?

Federal law states that anyone who uses a firearm in connection with a crime of violence or a drug-trafficking crime is subject to enhanced punishment. But what exactly does the word “uses” mean? Although the statute itself does not define this word, the United States Supreme Court has discussed its meaning in at least three different cases. This article examines those cases.

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When is a Confession Not Admissible in Federal Court?

Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 5 states in part that “[a] person making an arrest within the United States must take the defendant without unnecessary delay before a magistrate judge, . . ., unless a statute provides otherwise.”

But what happens if the police violate this rule and the arrested person confesses to committing a crime after he is arrested but before he is taken before a judge? This article examines a U.S. Supreme Court case which addresses this question.

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When Are the Police Allowed to Search Your Home Without a Warrant?

In a recent case called Michigan v. Fisher, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a police officer may enter a home without a search warrant to render emergency assistance to an injured occupant or to protect an occupant from imminent injury. This article examines the Fisher case.

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About Ron Chapman

Ron Chapman

Ron Chapman practices criminal defense in both State and Federal Courts within the State of Florida. For the past 19 years, Mr. Chapman has been representing people who have been accused of committing various types of crimes such as DUI, domestic battery, economic crimes, animal abuse, traffic crimes, murder, manslaughter, crimes against children, sex crimes, crimes against the elderly, appeals, and violations of probation. more »