Meltzer & Bell P.A. Wins the 2017 Law Firm 500 Award

Law Firm 500 is organization that celebrates the fastest growing law firms in the United States. The year 2017 marks the second annual Law Firm 500 Conference and Gala, where Law Firm 500 celebrated the fastest growing law firms in the country.

The law firms were evaluated and ranked in order based on gross revenues covering the span of three years. Moreover, the selection committee looked at each candidate’s tax returns from a set year and compared with the returns from three years later.

The candidates were evaluated on: finances, the number of offices, the number of employees, and full financial growth, showing the success of their business over time.

Law Firm 500 acknowledges that to achieve these impressive numbers, a firm must be innovative in their business and marketing models, incorporating technological advances and strategic vision. The attorneys and firms on this list, which can be viewed here, have shown unwavering commitment and tenacity in the legal profession.

The 2017 Law Firm 500 Awards was presented at the Second Annual Conference Awards & Gala from October 19, 2017 – October 21, 2017 at the Waldorf Astoria in Boca Raton, Florida, featuring Keynote Speaker Daymond John.

Meltzer & Bell is proud to receive such an amazing honor and will continue to strive for growth and advancement in the services that we provide and in contributing to effectiveness in the legal community.

FHP Releases Sketch of Suspected Hit and Run Driver

West Palm Beach Hit and Run Attorney

WFLX-TV reported on October 13 that the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) released a sketch of a person who could have been involved in a fatal hit and run crash in Boca Raton on Labor Day weekend. The FHP told WFLX that a Chrysler 200 changed lanes and struck a motorcycle driven, causing its 36-year-old driver to lose control and crash.

According to the Palm Beach Post, the Chrysler’s driver stopped after the crash but left when paramedics arrived. One witness who spoke to the driver of the Chrysler provided a description to the FHP.

“We don’t know why he stayed and then why he left,” FHP spokesman Seargant Mark Wysocky told the Post. “Maybe he heard people talking that the person’s condition was getting worse and maybe he just decided to leave. … There’s so many reasons that people leave the scene, and unfortunately hit-and-runs continue to increase.”

WFLX reported that the driver of the Chrysler 200 was wearing a dark, long-sleeved shirt with bright colored shorts. Anybody with information about the crash or the driver is urged to contact the FHP at (954) 308-5929 or Palm Beach Crime Stoppers at (800) 458-TIPS (8477).

West Palm Beach Hit and Run Attorney

Florida Statute § 316.062 establishes that any driver involved in a crash resulting in injury to or death of any person or damage to any vehicle or other property which is driven or attended by any person must give the following information to any person injured in such crash or to the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle or other property damaged in the crash and any police officer at the scene of the crash or who is investigating the crash:

  • his or her name;
  • his or her address; and
  • the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving.

Upon request and if available, the driver should also exhibit his or her license or permit to drive. The driver must also render to any person injured in the crash reasonable assistance, including the carrying, or the making of arrangements for the carrying, of such person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary, or if such carrying is requested by the injured person.

Under Florida Statute § 316.027, any person who fails to fulfill the requirements of Florida Statute § 316.062 following an accident resulting in injury to a person other than serious bodily injury commits a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. If an alleged offender leaves the scene of a crash resulting in serious bodily injury, hit and run is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. When an accident results in the death of any person, leaving the scene is a first-degree felony punishable by a minimum of four years up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

One of the most common defenses against hit and run charges in Florida is an alleged offender’s lack of knowledge. The Supreme Court of Florida held in State v. Dorsett, 158 So. 3d 557 (Fla. 2015) that “the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver had actual knowledge of the crash, an essential element of the crime of leaving the scene of a crash.”

If you believe that you might be under investigation or you were already arrested for an alleged hit and run offense anywhere in Palm Beach County, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Contact [[$firm]] to have our experienced West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers review your case and answer all of your legal questions.

Teen Suspected in Carjacking Charged as Adult

West Palm Beach Carjacking Defense Lawyer

The Palm Beach Post reported on September 29 that the West Palm Beach Police Department said a 17-year-old was being charged as an adult in a reported September 4 carjacking near Good Samaritan Medical Center. The teenager was transferred to the Palm Beach County Jail on September 27 following his September 5 arrest on allegations of armed carjacking, aggravated assault, and resisting arrest.

City police told the Post that the teenager stole a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta at gunpoint on the night of September 4 before leading police on a chase that exceeded speeds of 100 mph. A 31-year-old man told police investigators that the teenager was accompanied by a man in his 40s who climbed into the passenger seat, but the Post said the arrest report neither identified the teenager’s accomplice nor whether that person had been arrested.

The car chase ended in the area of Seventh Street and Division Avenue, according to the Post. The teenager and his accomplice got out of the vehicle and ran, but police K-9 and helicopter units canvassed the area and found the teenager hiding in the backyard of a home. The Post reported that the Volkswagen positively identified the teenager as the carjacker.

According to the post, the 17-year-old is among more than a dozen Palm Beach County juveniles to be transferred to the adult court system in the past year after being charged with carjacking.

West Palm Beach Carjacking Defense Lawyer

Minors may have their criminal cases transferred from the juvenile justice system to the adult court in the following circumstances:

  • Grand jury indictment for felony criminal offense punishable by death or life imprisonment;
  • Discretionary waiver asking juvenile court to hold hearing to determine whether child should be transferred for criminal prosecution;
  • Direct file of criminal charges in the circuit court’s criminal division whenever, in the state attorney’s “judgment and discretion,” the public interest requires it; or
  • Statutory exclusion (under Florida Statute § 985.556, any child convicted and sentenced as an adult is thereafter handled in every respect as an adult for any subsequent violation of state law).

In a 2014 report, the international non-governmental human rights organization Human Rights Watch said 98 percent of all children who ended up in the adult court system did so as the result of Florida’s direct file statute. The review found that more than 12,000 children were moved from the juvenile to adult court system in the preceding five years—more than half of whom were charged with non-violent crimes.

In 2017, State Senators Bobby Powell and Darryl Ervin Rouson co-introduced Senate Bill 192 (SB 192), which sought to limit the discretionary power prosecutors wield in charging juveniles as adults in Florida. The bills ultimately died in Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice.

The juvenile justice system is a much more preferable venue for alleged offenders because it often focuses more on rehabilitation than punishment for juvenile charges. If you or your child has been arrested for any kind of criminal offense in Palm Beach County, you will want to immediately seek the help of the experienced Palm Beach criminal defense attorneys at [[$firm]].