Umansky Law Firm Stands Up for Client’s Rights In Recent News 6 Interview
At The Umansky Law Firm, defending the rights of our clients is priority number one. As criminal defense attorneys, it is our duty to stand up for the rights of those who are wronged by the criminal justice system. In a recent sit-down interview with reporter Erik Sandoval from WKMG-TV News 6 Orlando, Umansky Law Firm attorney LeRoy Costner outlined a recent case where his client’s civil rights were critically infringed upon.
A Deeply Troubling Infringement of Basic Civil Rights in Lake County, FL
In March 2019, a client of the Umansky Law firm was twice arrested in a span of two weeks, both times for nonviolent drug possession. Our client was first arrested for possession of marijuana less than 20 grams. Fourteen days later, our client was arrested again, this time for possession of hash oil, marijuana less than 20 grams, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Our client sought the services of the Umansky Law Firm for both cases starting on March 14th, 2019. Attorney LeRoy Costner immediately took action and got both court dates pushed back, allowing us some time to review the charges further and work on the best way to resolve both cases.
On April 12th, an officer from the Groveland Police Department showed up at our client’s residence with startling news: the officer had an arrest warrant with our client’s name on it for missing a court date.
Our client never missed a court date.
Upon hearing the news of the alleged warrant, Costner attempted to speak with the Groveland Police Officer who supposedly had the warrant. The officer was reluctant to give further details as to the validity of the warrant and abruptly disconnected the call.
In his interview with WKMG, Attorney Costner explained, “I called the officer to ask about the warrant. The officer refused to tell me who issued the warrant, what the allegations were, if it was a new case or something to do with one of his existing cases. The officer then told me I was obstructing his investigation and if I didn’t have my client turn himself into that officer he would have me arrested.”
To seek further clarification, Mr. Costner visited a nearby Lake County Sheriff’s Office substation, and the deputies at the substation confirmed the warrant. The deputies advised our client to turn himself in at the jail, which our client did at the behest of Mr. Costner. After being booked around midnight, our client was given a first appearance that morning, a first appearance which was nearly denied by jail staff. After convincing the jail staff that it was required by law to appear before a judge within 24 hours, a fact they disputed with us, it still took over an hour to finally get his client in court.
Costner was then told the delay was because jail staff couldn’t find anyone to transport his client from the jail.
Just one problem: our client was “literally down the hallway,” from the courtroom, according to Mr. Costner. “If I had not forced the issue, my client would still be sitting in jail without bond.”
If a defendant bonds out on the new charges before the bond on the first case is revoked, then the standard procedure is the prosecutor will file a motion requesting that the bond be revoked. The rules do allow the Judge to revoke the bond on their own without a motion from the prosecutor, but most Judges will not do this. The warrant that was served on our client suggested the prosecutor asked the Judge to issue the warrant.
The prosecutor in the courtroom that morning would go on to advise that no one from their office had petitioned the court to issue a warrant.
“Everything about how the warrant was issued, the hostility of the officer, and the fact that the jail was refusing to follow the law, is deeply troubling,” Mr. Costner continued.
“While I have not had this level of obstruction before, it does speak to a pattern of civil rights infringements I have seen in Lake County.”
Make Sure Your Rights Are Protected
At the Umansky Law Firm, our proven criminal defense experience has resulted in recognition from the media and those in our community. We don’t do it for the publicity; we do it because we believe in justice and serving our clients to the best of our ability. Our proven experience and talented team brings over 100 years of combined experience and will fight for your best interests in court.
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