Tag Archives: Polk County

Florida’s Second District Court of Appeals Rules Red Light Camera Tickets are Legal!

Today Florida's 2nd District Court of Appeals (DCA) ruled that municipalities can contract with 3rd party vendors to sort through images and issue violations for red light violations. This ruling covers Polk, Pasco, Hillsborough Pinellas, Manatee, and other co... Read more

Canadian teen arrested for Polk “SWATting” incident for alleged fake calls to law enforcement.

A Canadian juvenile was arrested in the recent Polk County "swatting" case.  "SWATting" is when an individual attempts to lure the SWAT time to respond to a location for a fake threat of some type. Polk County deputies allege the teen anonymously placed ho... Read more

Another Christmas Prostitution sting in Polk County results in 61 arrests.

Sheriff Grady Judd will hold a press conference today to announce the results of the latest Polk Prostitution sting from last week.  The sting was part of a  undercover operation targeting individuals who respond to online advertisements on Backpage.com. ... Read more

Bartow high school teacher arrested for possession of cannabis and paraphernalia.

Over the weekend, a Bartow high school teacher was arrested for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia (a grinder).  WFLA channel 8 is reporting that Polk County Sheriff deputies allegedly went to the teacher's house in response to a tip that the teacher w... Read more

What advantages are there to hiring a local Polk criminal lawyer over an Orlando or Tampa lawyer?

Thursday is Pre-Trial Conference in Polk County misdemeanor and criminal traffic court.  What happens at a Polk County Pre-Trial Conference (PTC) court date?   These are usually scheduling court dates.  Some cases are set for jury trial.   Other cases h... Read more

Polk criminal lawyer Thomas Grajek attends Florida Bar seminar on cross-examination for trial.

Yesterday, I attended a seminar by Roger Dodd on cross-examination sponsored by the Florida Bar.  Why was I spending a Saturday at a seminar? Because Roger Dodd is one of the leading experts on cross-examination in the country.  When you get a chance to lear... Read more

Polk County prostitution sting operation “When Will You Learn” results in 98 arrests!

Once again, Grady Judd and the Polk County Sheriff's Office conducted another prostitution sting.  This four day operation was called "When Will You Learn" by the sheriff.  Almost 100 people were arrested.  The suspected "johns" arrested for solicitation of... Read more

Florida speed limits to be raised? Gov. Scott just needs to sign the bill.

Could the speed limit on some of Florida's highways be raised in the near future?  That is a very real possibility now as the Florida House narrowly passed the bill to raise the limit by only 2 votes.  If the bill is passed it does not mean that speed limits... Read more

Three Florida Men Arrested for Promoting Obscenity at Polk County Nightclub

Where is the line when promoting live obscene shows in a bar? Three Florida men were arrested for promoting obscenity at a Polk County nightclub. The arrests were made because law enforcement described the bar’s activities as a “violent public nuisance.... Read more

Female teacher arrested for allegedly having sex with her student. Teacher was booked into the Polk County Jail on counts of

Yesterday, a female Polk County teacher was arrested for allegedly having sex with her 17 year old student.  The teacher, Jennifer Fichter, is an English teacher at Central Florida Aerospace Academy. The arrest allegedly stemmed from text messages the tee... Read more

Former Polk Judicial Assistant sentenced Polk County jail for grand theft and falsifying time worked records.

Today, former judicial Assistant Alisha Rupp was sentenced to the charges she pled to last week.  Judge Perry of Orlando sentenced Rupp to 300 days in the Polk County Jail, followed by 185 days house arrest, and 2 years probation.  The judge also adjudicated... Read more

Alleged Polk County “road rage” incident captured on cell phone video at Winter Haven McDonald’s Drive-thru

Last week a video went viral of a woman videotaping an alleged "road rage" in Florida that went viral.  Today, Polk County had it's own alleged road rage incident.  This too was captured on a cell phone video and is sure to make the rounds on news stations a... Read more

Polk County Judicial Assistant Alisha Rupp pleads “No Contest” to some of her pending criminal charges.

An update on my blog post regarding 10th Judicial Circuit Judge Harlan and her Judicial Assistant (JA) Alisha Rupp's criminal case.  Yesterday, I posted that Ms. Rupp's defense attorney was requesting a continuance of her trial set for next week.  In Polk Co... Read more

State Attorney drops criminal charges against Polk County Judge Harlan for retiring from the bench.

Another sad day for the judiciary.  Judge Beth Harlan retired from the Polk County Circuit Court bench in an agreement with State Attorney Jerry Hill.  This offer was made prior to Judge Harlan being charged with a criminal offense, but she rejected the offe... Read more

Polk County DUI lawyer Thomas C. Grajek attends national DUI seminar focusing on forensic evidence.

In order to insure that my clients receive the most aggressive defense to their DUI case, I recently attended a DUI seminar put on by the National College for DUI Defense in association with the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.  This seminar focuse... Read more

Polk County DUI Lawyer to attend National College of DUI Defense seminar

This week the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) in cooperation with the Texas Criminal  Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA) will be holding their annual DUI seminar "Mastering Scientific Evidence". This is a three day seminar that will cover all phases ... Read more

In Florida, Domestic Violence Charges Cannot Be Sealed or Expunged

Anyone with domestic violence charges on record may not have his or her criminal record expunged or sealed in Florida. In Florida, the working definition of domestic violence refers to any criminal offense that causes physical injury to, or the death of, a fa... Read more

Justin Bieber’s Florida DUI arrest in the news again

Justin Bieber's attorney, Roy Black, has filed a motion to block the release of the jail video after his arrest for DUI and drag racing.  Various newspaper organizations have been making Public Record Requests for the video.  The video in Bieber's case would... Read more

Former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent sentenced for DUI Manslaughter conviction

Former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent was found guilty of DUI Manslaughter and was quickly sentenced.  That is because in Texas, the jury determines the sentence.  He was facing up to 20 years in prison.  The jury sentenced him to 10 years in probation, but there... Read more

Lakeland Police Cheif Womack resigns

LPD Chief Lisa Womack resigned today.  Womack's resignation is effective May 1.  The chief's resignation comes only two (2) days after a "no confidence" vote by employees of the Lakeland Police Department.  This comes after a scandal filled year at LPD incl... Read more

National College of DUI Defense

Recently, I became a proud member of the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD).  This organization is dedicated to educating our members about the latest issues in DUI cases.  This insures you get the best defense of your DUI case.   [caption id=... Read more

DUI with 0.19 blow goes to jury trial in Winter Haven

I recently tried a DUI case where my client was alleged to have a breath alcohol level of 0.192 and 0.192. The legal limit in Florida is only 0.08 so that is almost 2 1/2 times the legal limit.  To learn the jury's verdict click here: http://www.flcrimedef... Read more

Polk Sheriff arrests men in Saddle Creek for lewd solicitation

The Polk County Sheriff's Officer arrested five (5) men for solicitation for a lewd act at Saddle Creek Park yesterday.  This was another lewd/prostitution sting.  These men will likely be charged with solicitation for prostitution which carries a $5,000.00 ... Read more

Lakeland Police Officer arrested for serious armed sexual battery charges, faces life in prison.

Lakeland Police Officer Julio Pagan was arrested Thursday and charged with armed sexual battery by a law enforcement officer and armed aggravated stalking.  Officer Pagan was formerly with the Bartow Police Department.  Officer Pagan was booked into the Polk... Read more

Lakeland dance teacher arrested for lewd exhibition and indecent exposure

Today, the Polk County Sheriff's Office arrested a high school color guard choreographer and dance instructor charges of felony Lewd or lascivious exhibition and misdemeanor indecent exposure charges. The Plant City school teacher allegedly committed these ... Read more

Lakeland DUI cases to be dismissed in Polk County

As a follow up to yesterday's News Channel 8's story on LPD, The Ledger is reporting that "The letter also said Hill will no longer accept testimony from Sgt. Raymond Lloyd and Officer David Edds.  In addition, nearly 40 pending DUI cases will be dismissed." ... Read more

Rules of sequestration, does it apply to alleged victim’s family?

The George Zimmerman case may be over soon.  The prosecution has rested their case, so now the defense may present evidence if they wish. Normally in a criminal trial, the attorneys will invoke the "Rule of Sequestration" that prevents witnesses from being... Read more

Florida rules on expert witness testimony change July 1. Polk County will now use “Daubert” test for expert witnesses.

The Florida legislature has adopted a new standard for the admission of expert witness testimony in Florida criminal and civil cases.  In the past, Florida courts have used the Frye standard which allowed an expert to testify if the expert opinion was based o... Read more

Article in the Ledger gives a thorough review of problems at Lakeland Police Department

The Lakeland Ledger did a very thorough investigation into the on-going problems at the Lakeland Police Department.  These issues include my DUI case regarding how DUI reports are completed in criminal cases, bra-shaking searches conducted by patrol officers,... Read more

Opening statements in criminal cases and purpose for defending a citizen in court

George Zimmerman's trial began this week.  Many people and "experts" on TV have endless opinions on this case.  I use the term "expert" because many never try cases or are just on TV to create controversy or be critical just to be critical. Most people ga... Read more