Articles Posted in Florida Law

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After a tough day at the office or an exhausting work week, you may decide to head to the bar for some drinks and unwinding. Speaking of drinks, altercations are common. This means there may be criminal charges involved depending on what happens during the fight, resulting in charges like disorderly conduct, disorderly intoxication, or aggravated battery, for example.

Disorderly conduct is a way of saying the peace has been breached. When you are out in public, you’re expected to behave in a way considered decent. Because bars are public places, becoming involved in a bar fight means it is possible to be charged with disorderly conduct for disturbing the peace. This second-degree misdemeanor charge may result in fines and a jail sentence.

When an individual consumes an excessive amount of alcohol and becomes belligerent to those around them, it may result in disorderly intoxication. Bar owners and law enforcement officers have the authority to ask a person to leave if they believe a situation may escalate. Should the situation turn physical and an injury occurs, a second-degree misdemeanor may be charged.

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Our cell phones contain a lot of personal information, from credit card numbers to our bank info, photographs, text messages, call logs, and more. Should all of this information fall into the hands of the wrong person, it may be used against an individual.

A part of the Miranda rights states a suspect has the right to remain silent. But what about smartphones? Can your phone “speak on your behalf”? Are law enforcement officers allowed to force you to turn over your phone and online records?

The simple answer to this is no, a police officer cannot simply seize your phone. Since your phone belongs to you, a warrant is required for an officer to seize it or look at it. The same thing applies for access to phone records from your wireless provider.

textDrive-2-300x200Next week, several new laws will go into effect in Florida. Among these new laws is the expansion of the state’s texting while driving law. Motorists will be prohibited from using their wireless mobile devices while they are driving through designated school crossings, a school zone, or a construction/work zone. This means drivers are not allowed to even hold their phone or mobile device while driving through these zones.

In addition to the expansion of the texting while driving law, two additional laws are worth mentioning. SB 1080 is aimed at the issue of hazing in universities. Individuals who plan hazing acts or solicit others to participate in hazing may be charged with a third-degree felony if the hazing ends in permanent injury. The bill would also grant immunity to individuals who call security on campus or 911 to request medical assistance due to a hazing incident.

SB 96 would upgrade killing or causing great bodily harm to police, fire or search-and-rescue dogs or police horses from a third-degree to a second-degree felony. The bill would also increase the maximum jail sentence from five to fifteen years.

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