April 28, 2016

If a Suspect in Florida Throws Evidence Away, it Becomes Abandoned Property and Fair Game for Police

It is pretty clear in Florida that a police officer cannot search a suspect for drugs or other evidence of illegal activity without a proper legal basis such as consent, probable cause or a valid arrest. A police officer might be able to do a quick pat down of a suspect if there is some evidence of criminal activity and that leads more evidence which can lead to a more thorough search. However, there has to be some specific information indicating criminal activity before a search can commence, unless the suspect agrees to a search. That applies to a person's body and clothes as well as his/her possessions. it does not apply to property that has been abandoned under the law.

As an example, in a trafficking in cocaine case near Jacksonville, Florida, the suspect was stopped by police while driving. After it became clear the police officer was investigating the suspect for a drug related crime, the suspect threw a small bag out of the car window. The police officer probably did not have a legal basis to search the vehicle or the suspect at that point, but he walked around the car and retrieved the bag which contained cocaine. The suspect was arrested for trafficking in cocaine. The criminal defense lawyer filed a motion to suppress the bag of cocaine arguing that the police officer did not have probable cause to search the vehicle or the bag that came from the vehicle. The court disagreed. Once the suspect threw the bag away from the vehicle, under Florida law, that bag became abandoned, and the police have a right to search abandoned property.

This comes up in other situations as well. One common scenario occurs when the police believe a suspect is growing marijuana or otherwise manufacturing drugs in his/her home. The police will often go through a person's trash outside to see if they can find discarded items that are commonly used to manufacture drugs. As long as the property is trash and the police do not have to enter a person's property to retrieve it, this is normally considered abandoned property that police can search and seize without a search warrant. Of course, the police cannot go into your house or garage or otherwise trespass on to your property to take your trash, but if you leave a trashcan out on the curb for pickup, that is something the police can likely go through.

April 25, 2016

Police in Florida Interrogating a Suspect Have to Alert Suspect That His/Her Attorney is Present

Most people in Florida are aware of the fact that when the police take someone into custody, that person has a right to remain silent and not talk to the police and have a right to an attorney before or during any discussion with police. The police are required to notify a suspect of these rights before taking any statement from a suspect in custody. However, there are times when the police are investigating a crime and ask a suspect to come to the police station and voluntarily speak to the police. If the suspect agrees, that suspect is likely not considered to be in custody, and the police do not have to read the suspect his/her rights about remaining silent and having an attorney. Many suspects do voluntarily speak to police and give incriminating statements without ever hearing their Miranda rights because they were not technically in custody. However, an incriminating statement made to the police is equally detrimental, whether the suspect was previously arrested or met with the police voluntarily and without being in custody.

A situation sometimes arises when a suspect is speaking with the police and his/her lawyer shows up or calls the police department to try and talk to the suspect/client or stop the questioning altogether. Do the police have to alert the suspect that his/her lawyer is outside or calling on the phone wanting to speak wit the suspect? Does it matter if the suspect never exercised his/her right to remain silent and request an attorney?

On legal shows on TV, you often see a police officer interrogating a suspect and then his/her lawyer barges into the room to stop the questioning. It does not work that way in real life. No lawyer is getting back to the interrogation room without one or more police officers letting the lawyer get back there. More likely, and how it seems to work in Jacksonville, Florida, the lawyer calls the police department or walks into the reception area and is told he/she cannot have access to the client, and the questioning continues.

That is no longer legal. A recent murder case south of Jacksonville, Florida decided by the Florida Supreme Court dealt with a murder suspect who voluntarily came to the police station to speak with the police. In the meantime, his parents hired a criminal defense lawyer who was told the suspect was giving a statement to police so he immediately went to the police station. The attorney asked to see his client, but he was denied. The suspect was not told that a criminal defense lawyer had been hired and was present at the police station. Shortly thereafter, the suspect confessed to the murder.

The criminal defense attorney filed a motion to suppress the confession arguing that the defendant was denied his due process rights since the police did not tell him his new lawyer was outside and requesting to speak with him. The motion was denied, but the issue made its way to the Florida Supreme Court. That Court held that the police have to tell the suspect that his/her criminal defense lawyer is present and wants to speak with the client. Then, the suspect has a right to stop the interrogation and consult with his/her criminal defense attorney. If the police fail to do this, the statement will be suppressed.

This is now the proper procedure whether the suspect is in custody after an arrest or came to meet with the police voluntarily. It is also the proper procedure whether or not the suspect himself requests a criminal defense lawyer prior to finding out a criminal defense attorney has been hired for him/her and is present.

April 22, 2016

Florida Injunctions Against Domestic Violence Do Little To Prevent Violence

A recent story out of Seminole County, Florida has made headlines spotlighting the ineffectiveness of injunctions for protection against domestic violence in cases where the respondent has no regard for human life. Henry Brown killed his wife, two children, and himself in a domestic dispute after a judge issued an injunction for protection against him. The injunction specifically ordered that Brown turn over his firearms to law enforcement. He used those same firearms to murder his family and to take his own life. SLG Parnter John Gihon spoke to News 13 Orlando about violations of injunctions. You can read the story here.

The question is what could have been done to prevent this senseless and brutal act? Unfortunately, injunctions are usually not the answer. Any person who violates an injunction for protection against domestic violence in Florida is guilty of a first degree misdemeanor. The maximum penalty for a first degree misdemeanor is one year in jail. Very rarely will anybody with little or no record receive a length jail sentence. But the real problem is that a person who is so filled with rage that they are willing to kill children and themselves are not going to be deterred by an injunction and threat of up to 1 year in jail.

But what about the guns? What if law enforcement proactively went and retrieved Henry Brown's guns after the injunction was set in place. Unfortunately, the sad and unfulfilling answer is that this just simply is not practical and has very little correlation to potential violence. First, a determined person will find other firearms or other means to achieve his or her sinister desires. Second, countless injunctions are issued everyday throughout the State with varying degrees of conduct underlying each case. Law enforcement doesn't have the manpower to determine whether the respondent has firearms, determine how many firearms respondents have, and enforce them turning over those firearms. The same argument could be made for DUIs or other crimes. If a person's license is suspended for DUI, should law enforcement monitor that person 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to ensure that they don't drive? Regardless, if that person drives while impaired and kills an innocent victim, people will question why that person was able to drive in the first place. It just simply isn't practical to proactively enforce each provision of an injunction.

So how are violations of injunctions enforced? The sad truth is that it is often the victim reporting the violation to law enforcement that will enact a violation of injunction investigation. Often times, like in the case of Henry Brown, it is too late by then and the damage has been done.

Are Injunctions useless? No. Absolutely not. In cases where the respondent has something to lose that they are afraid of losing, like their liberty, their children, their job, or their money, an injunction can provide a victim of domestic violence with relief from badgering, verbal abuse, insults, potential for physical confrontation and other forms of violence. In the vase majority of cases, both sides want to stay away from each other. The injunction sets the terms of their separation.

There is a dark side to injunctions as well. It takes almost no evidence to obtain an injunction. Judges often want to issue the injunction as quickly as possible and many times will put pressure on the respondent to concede to the injunction. Injunctions are used as weapons in divorce proceedings and child custody battles. Unwitting people often concede to injunctions because they don't want to go near the petitioner, but they don't realize that they are giving up certain rights.

The moral of the story is that injunctions can be effective tools to protect true victims of domestic violence when the respondent has something that he or she doesn't want to lose. However, injunctions can also be misused and will have no effect on a person so enraged that they are willing to kill and to die to satisfy that rage.

You can read more about Violation of Injunctions in Florida here.

April 21, 2016

House of Representatives Panel Voted to Pass a New Email Privacy Bill

As technology advances with computers and cell phones and newer forms of communication, old laws and cases do not always properly address how our privacy rights might be affected, and how the government can look at or seize our data in criminal cases. We have written previous articles about when and how the police can obtain data on cell phones before and after an arrest. In many cases, the state has broad authority to access this information because search and seizure case law does not properly characterize the data and the methods used to acquire the data.

Emails are another form of data that are often the coveted by police officers looking to investigate criminal activity quickly and without the checks and balances found in search and seizure law. However, the House of Representatives recently took steps to pass a law that would protect old emails. An old law that people probably are not aware of allowed the government to look at old, private emails if they are more than six months old with only a subpoena, which does not involve much, if any, judicial oversight. It's hard to believe that the government practically had free reign to look at any of your old emails as long as a relatively short period of time has passed. This was an obsolete law that was written before emailing and texting became common forms of communication. However, this new law would require the government to get a warrant signed by a judge to see any emails, text messages, electronic photographs and instant messages no matter how old they are. The arbitrary six month waiting period to avoid the warrant requirement would be eliminated.

As much of a no brainer as this new law seems to be, keep in mind that this proposed law still needs to be voted on by the full House of Representatives and then move through the normal channels from there. So, while it seems like an obvious law to fix a blatant violation of the constitutional right to privacy, depending on this House of Representatives to do anything helpful is a shaky proposition. Hopefully, this will be an exception, and it will become the law quickly. In the meantime, the government can still read any of your emails and text messages whenever they want and without a warrant as long as they are more than six months old.

April 18, 2016

Florida Defendant Properly Charged with Driving With a Suspended License on Gas Powered Bicycle

In Florida, most people are aware that if your driver's license becomes suspended for any reason, it is a crime to drive a vehicle. It is usually a misdemeanor crime that is not treated too harshly in court. However, multiple driving with a suspended license arrests and convictions can prolong the length of the suspension which can lead to more driving with a suspended license arrests and more suspensions, and so on. Also, if you get a few driving with a suspended license convictions, you can be charged with a felony for the next one, and people often get jail time or even prison time for these charges in felony court.

In a driving with a suspended license case just south of Jacksonville, Florida, a defendant was arrested while riding a gas powered bicycle after his driver's license had been suspended. The criminal defense lawyer filed a motion to dismiss the charge. One can only be convicted of driving with a suspended license if he/she is operating a "motor vehicle". The criminal defense attorney properly established that, under Florida law, a "motor vehicle" excludes vehicles moved solely by human power and also motorized bicycles and wheelchairs.

The prosecutor disagreed arguing that this gas powered bicycle is different from a motorized bicycle under Florida law. A separate Florida statute defines a "motorized bicycle" as one that has an "electric helper motor" that cannot travel more than 20 miles per hour. The police officer said the defendant was traveling in excess of 30 miles per hour.

The court sided with the state and allowed the state to prosecute the defendant for riding a gas powered motorcycle while having a suspended license. Obviously, the law was intended to deal with people driving regular motor vehicles. However, due to expansions of the law, the state can charge a person with driving with a suspended driver's license for driving other kinds of motorized vehicles.

April 15, 2016

Florida Murder Defendant Cannot Use Stand Your Ground Law When He Sought Out Conflict With Victim

The Stand Your Ground law in Florida is a much publicized area of Florida criminal law that addresses when a defendant can gain immunity for using force and causing death or serious injury in self defense. It is not available to every defendant who is charged with a serious violent crime, but it can be a very helpful tool when a defendant is eligible to assert the Stand Your Ground law in Florida.

A recent murder case south of Jacksonville, Florida illustrates a situation where a defendant was not allowed to assert the Stand Your Ground law. As an initial matter, a defendant charged with a violent crime can only use the Stand Your Ground law in Florida if he/she was facing an imminent threat of death or serious injury which prompted him/her to use force. "Imminent" under Florida law is understood to mean something that is about to happen, not something that is expected to, or might, happen some time in the future. In this case, the defendant and his co-worker had a conflict at work. The victim told the defendant that after work, when he sees the defendant, he is going to stab him. Thereafter, the defendant armed himself with a knife and confronted the victim. The two got into a fight, and the defendant stabbed the victim, killing him.

The criminal defense lawyer for the defendant argued that the defendant stabbed the victim in self defense as he was legitimately scared that the victim would stab him, as he said he would earlier in the day.

The court rejected the Stand Your Ground motion. The court found that the threat from the victim was not "imminent" because it was supposed to take place at a later time. Additionally, the court found that the defendant's use of force against the victim was not reasonable. In order to assert the Stand Your Ground immunity, the defendant must show that the force he used was reasonable in light of the threat he faced. In this case, when the defendant sought out the victim, there was no indication that the victim had a knife. The two fought for a short period of time, and then the defendant stabbed the victim. Stabbing someone is not usually going to be a reasonable use of force when two people are fighting and there is no evidence the other person is armed.

Therefore, because the threat from the victim was not imminent, the defendant initiated the violence and the defendant used excessive force, his Stand Your Ground motion was properly denied.

April 12, 2016

Landlords Can No Longer Ban Tenants Based Solely on a Prior Criminal Record

As criminal defense lawyers in Jacksonville, Florida, we receive many calls from people who had a criminal case in their past and are suffering the effects of it many years later. They are finding it difficult to get a job or to get into school or even to rent an apartment. For these people, we can help by sealing or expunging their prior criminal charge, if they are eligible. However, the rules for sealing or expunging a criminal charge in Florida are fairly strict, and many people are not eligible. if you have a criminal record and want to know if you are eligible to have a prior criminal case sealed or expunged, feel free to call us with questions.

It is one thing to have to disclose a prior criminal record on an employment application (most people expect that), but a criminal record often comes up when someone is trying to rent a house or apartment. Prospective tenants do get rejected based on criminal records, even if the prior criminal charge was minor and/or occurred many years ago. The federal government says this practice violates the law. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued a statement indicating that is is illegal for landlords to reject a tenant applicant based solely on an arrest record or prior conviction(s). This practice violates fair housing laws when a landlord does not consider how serous the prior crime(s) is and whether the applicant will have a negative impact on other tenants. Obviously, people with minor criminal records and people who have not had any trouble with the law in many years are less likely to be a problem to other tenants. Those individuals should have their applications for housing properly considered just like anyone else without a criminal record. To deny the application for anyone with a criminal record violates fair housing laws.

April 9, 2016

Florida Department of Corrections Officer Convicted for Allowing Prison Fight

On television shows, it is not uncommon to see prison guards helping inmates do things they should not do. Hopefully, this is something that happens more on TV than in real life. However, there are cases where prison and jail guards help inmates smuggle drugs and other contraband into the prison and facilitate fights between inmates. There was also a well publicized case from New York a year or two ago where a prison guard helped some dangerous inmates escape a maximum security prison.

In a case near Jacksonville, Florida, a prison guard was charged with culpable negligence, official misconduct and accessory after the fact for enabling an inmate to attack another inmate. In this case, the corrections officer allowed one of the more dangerous inmates to leave his cell without handcuffs, enter the cell of the victim and close the cell door. The attacker then stabbed the victim. The officer then mopped up the blood in the victim's cell. The problem for the corrections officer is that another inmate observed the entire incident including the officer allowing the attacker to move freely through opened doors in the prison. The other problem is that the inmate witness was on the phone describing the incident as it occurred, and all such calls from the prison are recorded.

The prosecution admitted the evidence of the recorded phone call describing the officer's actions and the attack during the trial. The criminal defense lawyer argued that the recorded phone call was inadmissible hearsay and should not be admitted during the trial. The court disagreed and held that the recorded phone call fell under an exception to the hearsay rule which involves people describing observed events as they occur. The law finds that unplanned statements describing an event that are made as the event is occurring are typically reliable. Additionally, the recorded phone call was not "testimonial" as it was spontaneous and not a statement given for use later at trial. Therefore, the recorded phone call was admissible to essentially seal the conviction of this corrections officer.

April 6, 2016

Can a Passenger of a Vehicle Leave the Scene of a Traffic Stop in Florida?

In Florida, the police have a right to stop a person driving a vehicle if the driver commits a traffic violation and detain that driver for a relatively short period of time to write a traffic citation. If during that time the police officer develops reasonable suspicion that the driver is committing a crime, the police officer can detain the driver temporarily while the police officer investigates the criminal activity. This is how many driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) cases start. However, the right to detain a driver is limited. Once the traffic ticket is written, if there is no reason to further detain the driver, the driver is free to leave. If the police officer does not develops reasonable suspicion of criminal activity independent of the traffic violation, he/she must let the driver leave.

Does this same concept apply to a passenger in the vehicle in Florida? Passengers can obviously be stopped for traffic violations by virtue of being in the vehicle. But, is the passenger free to leave once the vehicle is stopped? In a recent possession of cocaine and tampering with evidence case just south of Jacksonville, Florida, a driver was stopped for having an improper tag and not wearing his seat belt. The passenger immediately exited the vehicle and tried to leave the scene. The police officer told him to get back in the vehicle. The police officer then saw a bag of cocaine in the passenger side of the vehicle, and the passenger was arrested for possession of cocaine.

The criminal defense lawyer filed a motion to suppress the evidence of the cocaine because the passenger was improperly detained when the police officer did not allow him to leave. Since the passenger did not violate a traffic law and there was no evidence he was involved in any criminal activity, he should have been free to leave. The court disagreed. Essentially, the court looked at the case from an officer safety perspective. The court weighed the passenger's right to be free from an unreasonable search and seizure with the concern for the safety of an officer. The court found that the officer safety issue prevailed. The court noted that a passenger fleeing or exiting a traffic stop could cause a risk of harm to a police officer who would have a difficult time focusing on multiple people doing different things. Due to the inherent risk in this scenario, the officer is allowed to detain the driver and any and all passengers in a vehicle during a traffic stop while legitimately writing the ticket and/or investigating criminal activity. Once the time for those activities is finished, everyone should be free to leave.

It is important to note that this decision was from a district outside of Jacksonville, Florida. The law in other districts in Florida is contrary to this decision. Therefore, it is not clear how this issue would be decided for a case occurring in Jacksonville. It may have to be something ultimately determined by the Florida Supreme Court.

March 31, 2016

United States Supreme Court Limits Government's Ability to Freeze Assets of Defendants Upon Arrest

A practice of the government, normally the federal government but sometimes state and local law enforcement as well, many people may not be aware of is the freezing of a defendant's assets before he/she has ever been convicted of a crime. For instance, a law enforcement agency might contact the financial institution of a suspect and have his/her accounts frozen in conjunction with an arrest. Of course, we all know the Constitution provides that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, at the arrest stage, everyone is innocent under the law. However, the government is still allowed to freeze a person's assets based on a presumption of guilt rather than the Constitutionally mandated presumption of innocence.

More concerning is the fact that law enforcement may not just seize bank accounts or assets that they believe are directly linked to the crime. They often will seize any and all accounts and assets of a defendant without regard to whether they can prove those assets are related to, or proceeds of, a qualifying crime.

This practice obviously has several very significant and negative ramifications for a defendant. If the defendant cannot access his/her assets, he/she may not be able to pay bills, operate a business if business accounts are frozen, hire a criminal defense lawyer to develop a proper defense to the criminal charges or raise the money necessary to bond out of jail. Of course, the government is not going to care about these problems even though, again, the Constitution tells us we are dealing with an innocent person at that stage in the process.

The United States Supreme Court recently decided a case (Luis v. United States) not far from Jacksonville, Florida that dealt with this issue. The defendant was arrested for Medicare fraud, which normally involves allegations that a doctor and/or medical practice bills Medicare for services and items that were not necessary or never provided. At the time of the arrest, the government knew that almost all of the funds received from the alleged fraud had been spent. However, the government had a judge sign an order freezing an account of the defendant's with $2 million in it although that money was not connected to the alleged fraud. The defendant objected arguing that she needed the money to hire a proper criminal defense attorney.

The Supreme Court ruled that freezing the defendant's account with money not directly tied to the alleged crime violated her Sixth Amendment rights. The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution affords defendants charged with a crime, among other things, the right to an attorney. The Supreme Court ruled that freezing a defendant's assets which would have been used to pay for a criminal defense lawyer violates the Sixth Amendment right to secure a criminal defense attorney.

It is important to note that the Court did not rule that the government can never freeze a defendant's assets upon arrest if the defendant needs those assets to hire a criminal defense lawyer. The ruling was limited to assets and funds that are not directly related to the alleged crime. If the government can establish probable cause that assets are directly related to criminal activity, the government can freeze those assets even if it renders a defendant destitute and the defendant no longer has the ability to hire a criminal defense attorney.

An example would be a fraud case where the proceeds from the fraud were deposited directly into the defendant's only bank account. In that case, the government would likely be able to freeze that account even if it is the only source of money for the defendant to retain a criminal defense lawyer.

March 18, 2016

United States Supreme Court Finds Florida's Death Penatly Procedure Unconstitutional, Not the Death Penalty Itself

People in Florida may have seen news stories recently regarding Florida's death penalty and a decision by the United States Supreme Court calling it into question. As an initial matter, Florida has the death penalty as an option for certain crimes. The recent United States Supreme Court case (Hurst v. Florida, 136 S. Ct. 616 (2016)) did not find the Florida death penalty unconstitutional, but it did find the death penalty "scheme" unconstitutional.

The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees, among other things, a criminal defendant the right to have a trial by jury. The problem with the Florida death penalty procedure is that the Florida statute allows a judge to make certain findings that a defendant is eligible for the death penalty. The Supreme Court held that the Sixth Amendment requires a jury to make those findings rather than a judge. A recommendation by the jury to the judge who ultimately makes the death penalty findings is not sufficient to satisfy the Sixth Amendment right to a trial by jury. The Court ruled that a jury, not a judge, must make each finding that is necessary to impose the death penalty in a Florida criminal case.

So, what that decision does is invalidate the process by which Florida imposes the death penalty. As stated, it does not mean Florida cannot impose the death penalty; it just means that Florida needs to get its death penalty procedure in line with the Constitution by relying on the jury rather than the judge. In the meantime, the Florida legislature has passed new laws that presumably bring the Florida death penalty procedure in conformity with the Constitution.

More importantly for some defendants, what does this mean for defendants in pending cases where the state is seeking the death penalty in Florida but there was no legal death penalty procedure at the time? In two pending murder cases near Jacksonville, Florida, the state filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty although the Florida death penalty scheme had been ruled unconstitutional at the time. In each case, the criminal defense lawyer objected to the notice arguing that there was no current death penalty procedure in Florida so the state could not pursue it at that time. The criminal defense attorneys argued that it is also unconstitutional to apply the new death penalty laws to people who committed the crimes before they were passed. This is called an ex post facto violation.

This issue was recently decided by a Florida appellate court in a district outside of Jacksonville. The court held that the state attorney's office has the sole discretion to seek the death penalty in criminal cases where it is allowed. It is not up to the court. Also, the court held that applying a new death penalty procedure that was enacted after the crimes were committed and charged would not be an ex post facto violation because this law change is a procedural change which does not implicate ex post facto legal principles. Therefore, defendants with pending cases could be subject to the death penalty in Florida.

It is important to note that this decision comes from a Florida appellate court. Other appellate courts, including the first district where Jacksonville is located, might disagree. Ultimately, this decision may have to be resolved by the Florida Supreme Court.

March 14, 2016

it is Illegal in Florida to Audio Record Someone Without Consent and Disclose the Recording

States have different laws dealing with whether you can record a person's oral communications and disclose it to the police or use it as evidence in court. Some states allow such a recording as long as just one party to the discussion agrees, even if the consenting party is also the party recording the conversation. In Florida, it is illegal to record an oral communication unless the people communicating know of the recording and consent. Therefore, in Florida, you cannot secretly record a private conversation with another person and then disclose it or use it in court.

There are exceptions to this rule. As discussed, consent is one of them. It is not uncommon to have a phone conversation with a business and be told that they are recording the conversation. In that case, the recording is legal, and the conversation could be used later in court. The rule about recording private communications would seem to be more important these days as just about every cell phone now can also be used as a recording device. People need to be aware that the things they say could be recorded and later used against them. Of course, this Florida law is supposed to offer some protection by requiring someone who wants to record a conversation to notify the other person and get the proper consent.

However, not all oral communications are subject to this legal protection. Under Florida law, an "oral communication" is considered a communication that is made with the expectation that it would remain private and not be recorded or heard publicly. In other words, if you are having a conversation on a crowded bus, it can be recorded without your knowledge and consent because it is obviously not a private conversation. On the other hand, if you are having a conversation with another person in your home or office, without other people around, it would likely be considered private and could not be recorded without your consent.

In a recent grand theft case near Jacksonville, Florida, the defendant was accused of employee theft for stealing money from the cash register. The supervisor confronted the employee in the store, and the employee admitted to stealing from the company. No one else was a party to this conversation, but it was recorded by a camera and recording device that was kept in the area by the employer. The police obtained a copy of the recording which showed the confession by the defendant and sought to use it against the defendant at his grand theft trial.

The criminal defense lawyer filed a motion to suppress the video of the statement arguing that it was an illegal recording because the defendant did not consent to it. The court disagreed and allowed the video. Since the conversation happened at work and in a room where the defendant knew cameras were recording, the defendant did not have an expectation that the conversation was private. It was difficult for the criminal defense attorney to argue that the defendant thought he was having a private discussion when he had it in a room he knew had cameras. Therefore, the law preventing recording of oral communications did not help the defendant in this case.