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Sarasota, Florida, criminal defense blog

Drug court delivers justice, compassion and opportunity

Drug court started in Miami-Dade County in 1989. Today it is a growing trend in the criminal justice system. If you’re facing non-violent criminal charges due to substance abuse disorder or a drug-related crime, you may be eligible for drug court.

Successful participation in the program may help you avoid jail time and may keep the felony or misdemeanor charge off your record. It’s estimated that in 2019, more than 150,000 people in the criminal justice system will receive treatment through participation in drug court.

What situations lead to aggravated DUI charges in Florida?

Any criminal charges related to impaired driving in Florida can derail your educational plans and cause major hiccups in your professional development as you deal with court and the criminal consequences.

However, there are certain circumstances in which individuals will face increased penalties for impaired driving charges. Florida refers to impaired driving as driving under the influence (DUI). Under the Florida criminal code, any driver who appears visibly impaired or who performs a chemical breath test that indicates a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher could find themselves facing DUI charges.

When can self-defense claims help you in Florida?

Many people who find themselves accused of violent criminal offenses in Florida are not guilty of any crime. The legal code is clear in the fact that those who seek to protect themselves, their family or other people nearby from threats of harm, do not violate the law, in most cases.

Confusion about self-defense rights in Florida can lead people to make bad choices when defending themselves or dealing with law enforcement after an altercation. The more you know about your right to defend yourself, the more prepared you will be if the situation ever arises and you find yourself talking to police afterward.

Wal-Mart extorting those it suspects of shoplifting

You’ve been there hundreds of times, it’s just another trip to Wal-Mart. You pick up what you need and check out at a self-service register. Suddenly, an intimidating security officer steps in front of you and accuses you of not paying for everything. You’re only allowed to leave the store after pleading your innocence at length.

Think that’s the end of your worries? Think again. Wal-Mart may now send you a civil demand from an attorney for expenses they believe they’re owed—even without a criminal conviction. It’s something that could happen to anyone.

Do all ex-cons in Florida have voting rights?

Florida voters made a choice in November 2018 that affected more than 1 million other Floridians. They voted to approve Amendment 4, which gave Floridians with felony convictions the right to vote. This did not apply to felons with murder or sexual offense convictions. But the amendment did include felons who had convictions for other offenses, such as drugs, fraud or assault.

If you have finished serving your time in prison, you may be excited to vote in the next presidential election. But have you heard of Senate Bill (SB) 7066? The governor of Florida signed it into law shortly after Amendment 4 and changed the rules about felon voting rights. This bill may have taken away your right in Florida.

How college students face consequences for drugs in Florida

Drug use of any kind used to be something that people didn't talk about or approve of. However, drug use has become increasingly acceptable in American pop culture. From television shows glamorizing people cooking methamphetamine to the legalization of marijuana in states across the country, attitudes about recreational drug use have changed.

The laws, on the other hand, have not changed nearly as quickly. While states may take a more lenient approach toward certain drugs these days, the federal government has the same harsh stance it has had since the beginning of the war on drugs. Unfortunately for young people paying more attention to culture than to rules, the idea that drug use is less serious than it once was could lead them to make mistakes during their college years that could negatively impact their educational prospects.

Why is the “Stand Your Ground” law so controversial?

An argument at a gas station escalated, and in a matter of moments a shove to the ground lead to a bullet in the chest. Sound like an overreaction? Well, that’s what Florida law aims to find out.

In late August, Michael Drejka was none too pleased with Markeis McGlockton occupying a handicapped parking spot outside a convenience store in Clearwater, Florida. McGlockton had with him his wife and two small children. Drejka shared his displeasure with McGlockton’s parking. Later, McGlockton left the store and pushed Drejka to the ground. McGlockton took a few steps back, but Drejka pulled his gun and fired a bullet right into McGlockton’s chest.

How a guilty plea may impact your career as a general contractor

Not just anyone can make a career working as a general contractor in Florida. Receiving your certification in Florida as a general contractor requires both experience and education, as well as the ability to pass a background test and secure insurance. Skilled contractors working in specialized fields often have an even higher standard to meet.

It can take years to put yourself in a position to work as a general contractor in Florida, and it may only take a single mistake to end your career or at least your certification.

When a traffic confrontation leads to a criminal charge

Getting stuck in traffic can be an incredibly stressful experience, particularly if the flow of traffic is much slower than the speed limit and you are already running late for work, or an important appointment or meeting. The stress of not having control over the speed at which you travel can lead people to lash out.

Road rage is a well-known phenomenon in which drivers focus their anger on one other driver and potentially confront them after following them through traffic. Road rage cases have sometimes resulted in violent physical altercations or even fatalities.

Ignition interlock devices can cause distracted driving

Many states, including Florida, require certain people convicted of a DUI to use ignition interlock devices in their cars. These devices make drivers test their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) with a breath test before being able to start the vehicle. While many view ignition interlock devices as a great solution to drunk driving, some say they cause unforeseen problems.

When an ignition interlock device is installed, the car cannot be turned on without a breath test. As the car drives down the road, the device will beep at random times, requiring another test. If the driver ignores the test, the device will shut the car off.

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