Articles Posted in Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer

marijuana-300x200The Florida Senate is using a contentious new bill to reinforce claims against a possible constitutional amendment aimed at allowing individuals to use marijuana recreationally. Opponents, as well as Senate lawyers, have suggested that the state’s Supreme Court should prevent the amendment as it would create a conflict with federal laws regarding the illegal use of marijuana.

The Supreme Court plays a pivotal role in deciding if potential constitutional amendments are presented to voters, reviewing summaries of ballots and titles to decide if the proposals follow legal requirements, such as not being deceptive.

The recreational-marijuana proposal, which may appear on the ballot in 2022 does not conflict with federal laws nor the United States Constitution according to attorneys that support the bill. Under Florida statute, the bill will decriminalize the selling and possession of marijuana under the restricted scope of the bill.

ashkan-forouzani-ignxm3E1Rg4-unsplash-200x300As N95 masks appear to remain in short supply, a major supplier of the masks for those working in the healthcare industry has begun taking steps to counteract the rise of companies looking to sell the masks at a significant markup. The N95 mask supplier intends to file several lawsuits in Florida to tackle the issue of fake vendors.

One of the many lawsuits has already been filed in federal district court against a company that allegedly claimed it had access to the masks being supplied by the major company. What’s more, the fraudulent claims were accompanied by the company attempting to sell the masks at a massive markup above the list price.

As last month’s protective mask inventory in Florida fell to concerningly low levels, the Florida Emergency Management Division attempted to sign $500+ million in no-bid purchase orders with dozens of mask vendors, several of which had not received approval to sell N95 masks.

miguel-andrade-R3f2emOt1bU-unsplash-300x300Two people are finding themselves in legal trouble after they allegedly used a black rifle to steal nearly $220 in cash from a pair of popular fast food restaurants in Miami Gardens and North Miami-Dade. The robberies occurred as the two were in the drive-thru.

Both people are being charged with a Hobbs Act Robbery in Miami federal court and using a weapon in support of a violent crime. One of the two had already been charged with possessing a weapon as a criminal. In 2015, he was found guilty of burglary with assault, grand theft, and possession of burglary devices.

The pedestrian theft pair for a fairly small sum was upgraded to federal court by prosecutors who deemed the alleged crime as theft under the Hobbs Act. This is a theft that affects interstate trade. By principle, theft from a chain store, or any company that delivers or receives products or services across state lines, may be a Hobbs Act robbery.

prison-553836_1920-300x200The Florida lawsuit over felon voting rights is shaping up to be much, much larger than originally thought once it goes to trial. What was once a case involving seventeen felons will now extend to more than 400,000 felons across the state of Florida who were expected to have their right to vote under Amendment 4 restored. A federal judge recently ruled that whatever decision is made at the end of the trial will apply to all felons in Florida.

The landmark amendment passed by voters in 2018 extended the right to vote to almost all felons who served all prison terms but a bill later passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Ron DeSantis mandated felons must pay back all court-ordered payments, penalties and restitution to victims prior to registering. As a result of this, thousands of felons remain unable to vote due to these obligations.

To read more, visit https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article241854741.html.

gavel-3577255_1920-300x165While most of the attention on the federal coronavirus relief bill has been placed on the money taxpayers will be receiving, it is also addressing the way courtrooms operate in the age of COVID-19. The bill has provided the power and resources to federal judges to hold most hearings by telephone or video.

At all initial meetings, preliminary and custody hearings, arraignments and releases of indictments, video or telephone conferencing is permitted. The technology is allowed for preliminary trial, probation and supervised revocation of release hearings. Furthermore, this technology will be used for plea-change and sentencing hearings for misdemeanors. However, these criminal trials can only use these tools if a judge determines that the proceedings cannot be postponed indefinitely without significant damage to the interests of justice and should the defendant consent.

Video and telephone technology will also be allowed for cases involving juveniles except for disputed transfer hearings (when a judge determines if a child should be charged as an adult or a juvenile), trials and adjudication.

https://www.floridacriminaldefenselawyerblog.com/files/2020/03/CO_2020.03.23_Web_Banner_COVID19_1440X960_image-1-2-300x200.jpgIt was perhaps only a matter of time. The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced it is pursuing legal action in federal court against a fraudulent website allegedly taking part in a wire fraud scheme that aims to benefit from the uncertainty and widespread fear associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The action follows the DOJ decision to place illegal conduct associated with COVID-19 as a major priority to detect, investigate, and prosecute.

By paying a shipping charge of $4.95 using their credit card information, the fraudulent website was claiming to provide consumers access to World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine kits. However, such kits do not exist nor are they being distributed by the WHO.

The United States filed the expected suit recently to shut down the website right away while the website and its operators are being investigated. In doing so, the government uses a federal provision that requires federal courts to impose injunctions to prevent potential victims of fraudulent schemes from being affected.

SoL-300x200A bill intended to abolish the statute of limitations on sexual harassment against minors recently made its past the Florida Legislature on its way to being evaluated by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Also known as “Donna’s Law” and named after a survivor of alleged sexual assault by a former high school teacher in the early 1970s when she was 15, CS/HB 199 was received with unanimous approval in the Florida House and Senate.

Under the state’s existing law, a victim of sexual assault who is age sixteen or older is required to report the assault within a 72 hour period following in the incident. If the victim does not report it within 21 hours, they will run into a statute of limitations deemed restrictive. It took the woman who inspired the bill several decades to come forward but because of the statute of limitations, she was not allowed to seek justice.

hands-2906458_1920-300x200After passing the Florida Senate recently with unanimous votes, the bill aimed at making changes to guardianship law inches closer to becoming law. The bill was introduced after a guardian in Central Florida attempted to place do not resuscitate (DNR) orders on clients without having received their permission. It will now be evaluated by the House.

Known as HB 709 and SB 994, the bill will make restrictions on what guardians can and cannot do while also adding greater supervision to cases where elderly and vulnerable patients are being cared for by guardians.

Should the guardianship bill receive the necessary votes in the House, it will then be evaluated by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. During summer 2020, the governor requested a probe into Florida’s guardianship program following the criminal investigation into the guardian making the DNR orders.

kuanish-reymbaev-4uAmz2HyPKc-unsplash-300x200A six-year-old was recently arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery for an alleged tantrum at school after kicking and punching school employees. Since the incident, Florida lawmakers have added an amendment to a bill requiring law enforcement departments to have policies on what steps to take when it comes to arresting children below the age of ten.

The amendment, as well as its corresponding bill, made it through Florida House with unanimous approval. The school safety bill would permit law enforcement to look into and potentially press charges against individuals that report tips that end being false via Florida’s app known as FortifyFL. Furthermore, the bill elaborates on how school superintendents may have their salary withheld if their school district does not properly comply with safety laws implemented after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.

To read more, visit https://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2020/03/04/florida-house-passes-school-safety-bill-after-adding-requirements-for-arresting-kids/.

samuel-freeman-2YGUWSXjiEQ-unsplash-300x240The Florida Senate recently gave its stamp of approval to the Second Look Act, a measure that could result in 4,000+ juveniles that are currently incarcerated eligible to have their sentence evaluated. These reviews may end up with the juvenile(s) being released.

Also known as Senate Bill 1308, the Second Look Act would allow individuals convicted of crimes to apply for a sentencing review, provided the conviction happened before they were 25 years of age. Furthermore, those who were sentenced to life sentences for committing murder or conspiracy to kill will not be eligible.

The Second Look Act still has to clear a hurdle in the Senate Appropriations Committee before it will receive a chamber vote and be sent to the House. According to the source Washington Examiner article, the bill is likely to face resistance.

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