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A Massachusetts Uber driver has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman who had used the ride-sharing service app to request a ride.

Authorities have reported that the 46-year-old man was arraigned Wednesday in Cambridge District Court. The Boston man pleaded not guilty to charges including rape and kidnapping.

Investigators believe the driver picked the woman up in Boston on Dec. 6. She had apparently summoned an Uber driver to take her to her Cambridge home.

14656314348_f3aa8acb78_zUber customers use a smartphone application to arrange and pay for rides with drivers that are in the surrounding area.

The woman told police that the driver told her he would need a cash payment, so he took her to an ATM.

Authorities claim he then drove her to a secluded location and sexually assaulted her.

Uber released a statement saying that they are working closely with law enforcement to assist in the investigation.

Sex crimes allegations are very serious crimes that will have a devastating impact on your future if you were to be convicted. Your career, your family, your freedom and your reputation could all be ruined and suffer permanent damage just from the mere accusation that any wrongdoing took place. Because of this, you must obtain legal protection against the prosecution.

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The State Attorney’s Office has made the decision to charge a Marion County juvenile as an adult for a robbery that happened last month.

According to jail records, at 12:01 a.m. on a Friday night, on his 18th birthday, a teen was charged with robbery with a firearm, possession of a firearm by a delinquent and carrying a concealed firearm.

6444319887_9045628534_zThe teen and another 16-year-old juvenile were taken into custody Nov. 17 after they were accused of robbing a man in Silver Springs Shores the day before.

The alleged victim told sheriff’s deputies he was approached by two people, each armed with a handgun, when one of them took his cell phone, ear buds and wallet.

His description of the two teens lead to their arrest.

The 18-year-old’s court date is scheduled for Jan. 13.

When it comes to juvenile crimes, it is up to the court to decide whether the juvenile case is transferred to adult criminal court. The court considers many factors when making its choice, including the nature of the crime and the juvenile’s previous delinquent history. If the case is transferred to adult court, the juvenile will be subject to the law in the same manner as an adult.

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A Clearwater doctor has been accused of writing fraudulent prescriptions in order to obtain the controlled substances for herself, according to police.

The 50-year-old doctor was arrested Monday at a pain management clinic in Clearwater. She has been charged with  two counts of obtaining or attempting to obtain controlled substances by fraud.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office claims they began investigating the woman last month after detectives received a tip that the woman was allegedly writing prescriptions for oxycodone using patients’ names and filling them for herself.

5116635021_77b9367552_mDetectives believe the Tampa Bay area doctor filled those prescriptions at several pharmacies around Pinellas County. Investigators allege that they have surveillance video that displays the woman picking up one of those prescriptions for oxycodone.

The woman was arrested and booked into the Pinellas County Jail without further incident. She was released later in the day after posting $10,000 bail.

The investigation is ongoing, according to police.

Many people that find themselves facing charges of prescription fraud are actually upstanding individuals that had a brief lapse in judgment, became addicted to a prescription after receiving medical treatment or are just being falsely accused. As this case shows, even health professionals like doctors and pharmacists can be slapped with charges of prescription fraud. If you or a loved one has been charged with a prescription drug crime, it is absolutely vital to speak with a Pinellas County Criminal Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton immediately.

Doctors, just like unlicensed individuals, can be arrested for prescription fraud. It is illegal for a doctor to write a false prescription, just as it is illegal for anyone else to forge a prescription.

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A Gainesville man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly cyberstalking a Union County woman.

The woman claims the man promised he would ride a bicycle 35 miles to rest on the porch of her mother’s home.

5713099960_944e3d525d_oThe 37-year-old man allegedly swapped several emails in June with the woman that had a sexual undertone. The woman apparently asked the man to stop communicating with her. In October, the woman claims the man sent a text message to her that said he wanted to ride his bicycle to her mother’s home to rest, according to a booking report filed by a Gainesville Police Department officer.

The woman told police she believes the man made the trip from his Southwest Williston Road address to her home in Union County, so she called the sheriff’s office there. According to reports, a Union County Sheriff’s deputy asked the man to have no contact with the woman.

Police said the man subsequently sent 18 emails to the woman that placed her in distress and led her to change the locks on her home.

The man allegedly confessed to writing the emails from his Gainesville apartment. He was arrested on a charge of cyberstalking and later booked into the Alachua County jail.

Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet or any other forms of electronic communication to harass or threaten other people. Virtual stalking can take the form of verbal abuse, sexual harassment and even repeatedly requesting a private meeting or chat. Cyberstalking in Florida is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by 12 months in the county jail and a $1,000 fine for each alleged act.

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A Hillsborough County teacher resigned Wednesday after he was arrested on child pornography charges.

The 68-year-old resigned from his position with the school district following his arrest,  according to a Hillsborough County School District spokeswoman.

Tampa police claim they started the investigation against the man after an iPod with “questionable” images surfaced. School security was unable to track down who the iPod belonged to.

4604386886_9c95cfb77a_zOfficers were called to the scene and obtained a search warrant for the device, then allegedly discovered several hundred images of young boys on the iPod.

The iPod was eventually tracked to the man’s IP address, according to detectives. His home was searched on Wednesday morning.

Police said the man admitted that the iPod belonged to him. He arrested and is facing seven counts of child pornography.

The man had been with the district since 1980, and for the last four years worked as a peer evaluator, giving teachers tips on what they could do better. He was not in direct contact with students while in that position.

The investigation is ongoing, according to police.

People tend to think that that their activities on the internet or on their cell phones, tablets, iPads and iPods are private. However, when authorities believe children are at risk, they respond immediately and usually quite aggressively. In fact, police frequently conduct undercover operations aimed at identifying child sexual predators.

Charges like child pornography can have a severe impact on a person’s life and career. In many cases, people can face disciplinary action at work before criminal proceedings have even been completed. If convicted, penalties are severe and may include jail or prison time, fines, registration as a sex offender, probation and more.

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A Port St. Lucie homeless man was allegedly caught on surveillance video stealing a chainsaw and stuffing it down his pants, according to police reports.

The accused apparently stopped in Treasure Coast Lawn Equipment in the 1800 block of Southwest Bayshore Boulevard on Oct. 28 and asked for $1 worth of change, according to a police report.

He is accused of picking up a Stihl chainsaw valued at more than $600 and leaving, riding away on a bicycle.

5052137375_a067469218_zSurveillance video allegedly shows him stuffing the saw down his shorts and covering it with his shirt. The saw was not running at the time, according to police.

Employees chased the man, later identified as a 28-year-old homeless man. He apparently hid the saw in a wooded lot along Southwest Molloy Street before getting away from police.

The saw was eventually recovered, but police were unable to locate the man.

Police eventually caught up with the accused who allegedly told them he stole the saw and put it in the woods. He was arrested on a grand theft charge.

In the state of Florida, stealing property between $300 and $20,000 in value is classified as grand theft in the third degree. This offense is punishable by up to five years in prison and a steep fine of up to $5,000. Due to the fact that the chainsaw is valued at more than $600, the man was arrested for grand theft.

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Our criminal defense lawyers at Whittel & Melton are very pleased to announce that, according to Governor Rick Scott, Florida is on a path to a 44-year crime low.

The actual number of crimes across the Sunshine State is showing that crime rate is steadily on the decline.

8258120342_5be09894b2_zThe Florida Department of Law Enforcement has released its numbers for the first half of 2014, which shows there were more than 8,000 fewer crimes committed in the first six months of this year than in that same time period in 2013.

However, while the number of non-violent crimes is down, including robbery, burglary and stalking, the number of murders, forcible sex offenses, aggravated assaults and domestic violence are all on the rise.

In Central Florida, most of the counties are in line with the overall report, seeing a drop in criminal activity across the board.

The biggest decline occurred in Flagler County, with crime dropping nearly 11 percent. Sumter County actually saw the biggest rise in crime, with an increase of 2.4 percent.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is urging all party-goers to recognize that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving this Halloween. As with all other holiday weekends, Halloween can bring about an increase in parties and celebrations in Florida and across the United States. Sadly, this also means that there will be an increase in drunk driving related injuries and deaths. Because of this, law enforcement officials are expected to be out in full force on Halloween night all across the state of Florida.

If you plan on drinking this Halloween, make sure to designate a sober driver before hitting the town. Consuming even just “a few” drinks could still place you over the legal limit. You do not want to place innocent trick-or-treaters and other roadway users in danger. Avoid drinking and driving entirely. Police will be ready to pounce if they believe they spot a drunk or buzzed driver, so save yourself the terrifying ride to jail and the horrifying costumed mug shot as well.

11064883376_6771bd6c4a_zHalloween Drunk Driving Facts

  • Nearly half of all car crash fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver in 2012.
  • In 2012, 26 people were killed in car accidents involving drunk drivers on Halloween night.
  • In 2012, 10,322 people were killed in drunk driving crashes across the nation, accounting for a third of all traffic crash fatalities for the year.
  • Young drivers between the ages of 21 and 34 years old make up the largest group of drunk drivers involved in fatal collisions.
  • In 2012, 18 percent of all drivers under the age of 21 involved in fatal crashes were impaired.

The best way to make sure your Halloween is happy and safe is to be smart and stay sober if you plan on driving. Just one drink can be one too many – buzzed driving is still drunk driving. If you plan on consuming any amount of alcohol, make sure you have a safe ride home lined up. Pre-program a cab company’s number into your phone or make plans with a designated driver.

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A South Florida man has been sentenced to nearly two years in federal prison for stealing thousands of dollars in state unemployment insurance.

A federal judge also ordered the 24-year-old Miami man to pay more than $60,000 in restitution last week.

Earlier this year, the man pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft and other charges.

2204277278_cbf43f4146_zAccording to court records, the man used computers at his home to access 188 fraudulent unemployment claims. He apparently was able to obtain payments on 23 of those claims for a total of $60,400.

The money was deposited into various bank accounts controlled by the man.

Bank cameras apparently recorded the man taking money out of those accounts.

Florida state law provides for strict rules and procedures when it comes to an individual’s ability to obtain unemployment benefits. What this also means is that state prosecutors are quick to jump the gun when they suspect someone is taking advantage of the system. Because prosecutors are prompt when it come to pressing criminal charges the outcomes can often result in  false allegations, improper charges and poorly run investigations.

If you are accused of unemployment fraud, a Miami-Dade County White Collar Criminal Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help mitigate the damage. If convicted of unemployment fraud, you may be subject to jail time and be required to repay benefits obtained under false pretenses. Our criminal lawyers can put our skills to work for you and aggressively fight to keep you out of jail or possibly keep you free of a criminal record at all.

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State Attorney Angela Corey announced Thursday afternoon that she is prosecuting a 13-year-old boy accused of second-degree murder of a homeless Jacksonville man as an adult.

This is the second time she’s charged a young juvenile with murder.

The 54-year-old homeless man was found dead in a shopping center parking lot on 103rd Street in June. Police said he was shot in the head.

A month later they arrested the then-12-year-old juvenile after a 16-year-old friend was charged in an armed robbery and motor vehicle theft and implicated him.

A grand jury indicted the boy Thursday in the homeless man’s death allowing the adult charges to be filed by the State Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors did not provide a motive for the killing and they did not discuss the case in detail or explain why they filed second-degree murder charges.

According to police, surveillance videos showed the youths at the scene. There was no apparent motive for the shooting, it was described as spontaneous.

Corey said her reasoning for trying the boy as an adult is because even if he was convicted of murder in juvenile court, he could be released in as few as 18 months, but he would have to be released in 36 months.

In the meantime the boy is being housed in the Duval County jail in a wing for juvenile defendants.

The juveniles are not housed with adult offenders even though they are in adult jail. There are 10-minute checks by corrections officers and a school inside the facility.

Juvenile crime is defined as any illegal act that is committed by an individual who is under the age of 18. In most cases, juvenile crimes are governed by a separate court system, with a separate set of rules from the adult court system. However, as this case shows, there are some cases where a minor will be charged as an adult. The main factor in deciding how the juvenile will be tried all boils down to the type of crime that has been committed. In recent years, there has been increased regularity of minors in Florida and across the country being tried and punished as adults due to the types of crimes that have been committed.

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