Bizarre Florida Crimes Become a Viral Internet Meme
Florida has long had the dubious distinction of being home to some of the most bizarre crime stories in the nation. Some of these involve minor offenses that are more amusing than dangerous. Others raise serious questions about community safety. But in either event, these defendants have the right to a fair trial, and access to jury pools that have not been tainted by news coverage of the alleged offenses. Unfortunately, a new internet meme is threatening this constitutional right.
If you have been charged with a crime, it is important to consult with an experienced Miami criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Your right to a fair trial could be impaired by statements made to law enforcement investigators or reporters, media coverage, or even the viral meme challenge described below. The experienced criminal defense attorney at Stroleny Law, P.A. fight hard to protect our clients from improper convictions and unfair pretrial media coverage. Call (305) 615-1285 today to arrange your free phone consultation.
The “Florida Man” Challenge
The International Business Times reports on how this meme works: a person does a Google search for a bizarre crime that occurred on his or her birthday. (This usually involves simply Googling the phrase “Florida man” followed by the month and day of birth.) The person then posts the crime headline that seems most bizarre or shocking. The “Florida Man Challenge” refers to the format that most of these headlines take: “Florida man,” followed by the bizarre crime he committed. The International Business Times also interviewed an Assistant State Attorney, who opined that there is an important legal reason why this game is possible. Florida law presents few barriers to the release of law enforcement investigations. Compared with other states, arrest records and court documents are relatively open to the public. While some cases are sealed, these tend to be the exception, and open information makes it easier for news outlets to report on bizarre local stories.
Though this may seem like another harmless internet sensation, the “Florida man” meme can carry devastating constitutional consequences for any Florida defendant. If pretrial publicity has presented a defendant in an unfair light, it may not be possible to get a pool of impartial jurors. If the coverage includes important legal conclusions – such as the defendant’s mental state, or whether drugs and alcohol were involved – this can prohibit a jury from deliberating a case based upon the evidence presented at trial. Both the state and federal Constitutions prohibit such convictions.
Protect Your Right to a Fair and Impartial Jury with the Advice of an Experienced Miami Criminal Defense Attorney
Any criminal conviction carries the potential for consequences that will follow you for years to come. This is why it is so important that these rights not be impaired by unfair media coverage, tainted jury pools, or other constitutional consequences from irresponsible reporting. The experienced criminal defense attorney at Stroleny Law, P.A. fight hard to protect our clients from improper convictions. We fight against unfair pretrial publicity and ensure that prospective jurors have not been tainted by media coverage of a case. Call (305) 615-1285 today to arrange your free phone consultation. You can also contact us through our online contact form.
Stroleny Law, P.A. handles a variety of criminal law cases, so call now if you have any questions.
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