Articles Posted in Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer

jay-rembert-LcAaVZXDTkI-unsplash-216x300After a shooting at high school in 2018, a Florida statute that requires judges to prohibit those considered dangerous from possessing firearms has been used more than 3,000 times since its implementation. Yet, around the state, the law is applied unevenly.

Dubbed the “red flag” gun law, its advocates believe that prior to its existence, it was often challenging to remove firearms from individuals that may have made threats or were having mental issues. With the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, investigators allegedly did not respond to reports that the shooter was in danger of carrying out a massacre at the school. Even if investigators had responded, it is possible that the shooter would have been allowed to keep his weapons because, advocates argue, he did not have a record of felonies or compulsory, long-term psychiatric obligations.

Those that oppose the reg flag measure believe the law is a violation of the right to bear arms as well as the right against the property being seized unlawfully.

woman-865022_1280-300x200A bill that’s currently going through the Florida Legislature is taking aim at displays of public nudity. Known as HB 675, the bill would upgrade certain types of indecent exposure into felonies, allowing law enforcement officers to arrest individuals without requiring a warrant and without the officer(s) having witnessed the indecent exposure themselves.

Supporters of HB 675 believe the bill goes a long way in dealing with individuals that are repeat offenders while those that are against it believe it could affect homeless individuals or people dealing with a mental illness.

Currently, acts of public nudity are largely deemed a misdemeanor under Florida law and require officers to obtain a warrant before they can arrest a person unless the officer(s) were witness to the crime. The misdemeanor may become a felony if the offender commits an act of “lewd” indecent exposure in front of a minor.

sofia-sforza-AEP4lyBafBs-unsplash-300x200Hundreds of thousands of photos are shared online via social media. Some of these photos may contain firearms, as children and teenagers pose with these weapons which may be illegal. Despite the risks and dangers, there isn’t much that can be done in pursuing legal action against due to insufficient evidence that could lead to an arrest.

This may soon change after the introduction of SB 656, which received unanimous approval by the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this week. The bill would allow law enforcement officers to arrest juveniles that may be possessing firearms illegally and sharing them in videos or photos via social media. Officers would be able to arrest without the need for a warrant provided there is probable cause that the individual has possessed the weapons illegally.

Florida law does not allow anyone below the age of 18 to possess a firearm unless they are doing shooting or hunting with an adult.

dog-705820_1280-300x169For many, pets are another member of the family. Aside from Florida’s animal cruelty laws, there isn’t much for pets that may be part of a domestic violence situation. This may soon change with a Florida bill filed in the House and Senate.

With SB 1082/HB 241, family pets would allow victims of domestic violence to have temporary custody of their pets. The bill addresses a common situation where perpetrators often threaten to cause harm to the pet as a way to psychologically control the victim. Although court-issued restraining orders are vital in providing protection for people that are facing domestic violence, Florida law does not currently specify that family animals are protected when these orders are issued.

According to a report by the Senate about a fifth of murders in Florida are the product of domestic violence. Close to 40% of battered women reported that they did not leave an abusive situation because they were concerned about the safety of their pets. The measure allows a court to grant temporary care and possession of the animal to a petitioner in a domestic violence injunction.

k-u-4YvtTQ9XAVc-unsplash-300x198Last week, the Florida House unanimously approved a bill that would allow the expansion of the law compensating individuals that have been wrongfully imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. As it currently stands, prisoners that have been imprisoned unjustly receive about $50,000 each year they were in prison. However, this does not mean that individuals that were formerly convicted of an unrelated violent crime are allowed to make a claim.

Should the bill clear all the hurdles to become law, it would affect that is exonerated after the first of July. The WTOP article tells the story of a one-time death row inmate who is supporting the bill even though he cannot take advantage of its benefits. The man sat on death row for a pair of years before being released following a unanimous decision in 2009 by the state Supreme Court after it was found there was insufficient evidence to convict him of a South Florida murder in 1994.

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gunman-300x205In 2018, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida made the news after more than fifteen people lost their lives and several were injured when a nineteen-year-old gunman opened fire using a semi-automatic rifle. Years later, efforts are ongoing to make schools safer environments for students and faculty.

The mother of one of the victims of the Parkland shooting is pursuing efforts with the Florida Legislature to pass Alyssa’s Law, named after her daughter. The law would equip all school buildings with a panic alarm. This alarm could be triggered in the event of a school lockdown or a mass shooting using something like a phone app or having them mounted in offices and classrooms. Regardless of where it is or how it is triggered, all panic alarms would be linked to law enforcement.

A potential advantage of having a mobile-triggered alarm is everyone in the school would receive an immediate notification, significantly improving response times by allowing students and faculty to either flee or find shelter.

cbd-4474903_1280-300x199CBD-infused product sales have seen massive popularity as people take advantage of their purported benefits. As sales skyrocket, Florida regulators are seeking to crack down on the multitude of products marketers say can help with things like insomnia, anxiety, and arthritis. For the most part, these products have not had much government oversight.

This year, Florida implemented new rules aimed at establishing a regulatory structure for hemp, along with CBD products often found at gas stations, grocery stores, or flea markets. Inspectors have spread across the state to ensure that retailers comply with the new regulations that tackle concerns such as pesticides, how items are labeled, and inspection of products sold or produced in the state. Those that are not compliant will have a minimum of thirty days to make changes in order to comply with Florida’s new laws.

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fireworks-2-300x200Did you know that a lot of the fireworks displays you may have seen during the recent New Year’s celebrations aren’t all that legal? Unless these displays are being done by professionals, they are violating the law. However, this may change if a law makes it through all of the hurdles in the Florida Legislature.

Known as HB65, the bill would allow people throughout Florida to legally shoot off fireworks on the following holidays: Independence Day, Memorial Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. Currently, fireworks are only allowed to be set off provided there is a permit or if it’s for agricultural purposes. Though fireworks are sold legally in Florida, those buying them must sign paperwork indicating they are familiar with the state’s fireworks laws.

Should HB65 become law, buyers would need to be at least eighteen years of age. Local governments would also be able to ban fireworks if they feel it necessary.

neonbrand-AOJGuIJkoBc-unsplash-300x200Among the various changes and laws affecting Florida next week, the minimum wage will be seeing a bump. Florida is among the eight states that will automatically increase these rates on New Year’s Day, which is calculated by taking into account the annual cost of living calculations.

Per the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (FDEO), which calculates the annual adjustments, the increase will result in an increase of 1.12 percent, which is roughly a dime, or about $8.56 an hour beginning next year, up from the existing $8.46 hourly.

Tipped employees have a current rate of $5.44 hourly which will change slightly to $5.54 an hour, according to the FDEO.

daniel-ramos-suUs21vrCXc-unsplash-200x300The pressure may be mounting for Florida lawmakers to tackle the issue of vaping among teenagers. One Florida Senate member will be championing efforts to deal with the soaring use of electronic cigarettes when the 2020 legislative session kicks on the 14th of next month even as he receives pushback from state leaders. Among his goals he is considering, the minimum legal age for vaping would be raised to 21 and retailers would face stricter penalties for selling vaping products or e-cigarettes to minors.

The emphasis comes in the midst of a national outcry about what some health officials find a youth epidemic as the vaping phenomenon affects middle and high schools as well as college campuses. It also comes amid injuries and deaths in Florida and across the country due to vaping-related lung injuries.

Currently, under Florida law, a person must be at least eighteen years or older to legally use an e-cigarette or a vaping product, just like if they were to use tobacco products.

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