Articles Posted in Constitutional Rights

The United States Supreme Court recently issued an opinion in Denezpi v. United States that further expanded a government’s ability to prosecute individuals multiple times for the same conduct.  

Generally, the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the government from retrying an individual who has already been prosecuted for that same conduct.  This is commonly referred to as the “Double Jeopardy” clause, which states, “[n]o person shall…be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”  This clause, among other things, prevents the federal government from retrying an individual who has been found not guilty of an offense.  But it’s application is much more far reaching.

In Denezpi v. United States, the Supreme Court considered an interesting issue involving whether the federal government’s prosecution of an offense committed on tribal lands under tribal law precluded its prosecution of a federal offense under federal law under the Double Jeopardy clause. Mr. Denezpi committed a sexual assault on tribal land.  His particular tribe took advantage of a longstanding court system called CFR courts where federal prosecutors exercise federal authority in prosecuting violations of tribal law.  Most Indian tribes have established their own court system, but some tribes, mainly due to a lack of resources, still utilize CFR courts.  


A recent court decision, Wilson v. State, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D715a (Fla. 2d DCA 2018), resulted in the reversal of a conviction and the suppression of a confession in a case involving illegal and outrageous police conduct.  This opinion is a scathing indictment on the tactics used by law enforcement in an unlawful effort to obtain a confession.  After Wilson’s criminal defense attorney filed a motion to suppress his statements, which was denied by the trial judge, Wilson was convicted at trial based on little more than his own confession.  Wilson appealed to the Second District of Florida.  Let’s see how this played out…

What did the officers do?

Law enforcement had information that Wilson was involved in an armed robbery of a pizza joint.  They believed that he was the getaway driver.  So, they asked to meet up with him at a local park.  Wilson agreed.  At the park, Wilson agreed to ride with the officers down to the station to discuss the robbery.  Wilson was placed in an interview room, but he was told that he could leave whenever he wanted and that they would drive him back to the park.  However, once in the interview room, things quickly turned.


A motion to suppress is an important arrow in the quiver of any criminal defense attorney.  It is a weapon to defend the true meaning of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.  It is a powerful tool that protects all Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement officers.  Anytime a law enforcement officer detains you, searches you or your property, or seizes you or your property, there is a question whether that detention, search and/or seizure was lawful and reasonable.  Your criminal lawyer would file a motion to suppress and the burden would be on the State to prove the police action was lawful and reasonable.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Contact Information