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Miami Criminal Defense Law Blog

Definitions related to domestic violence offenses

If you are like many people in Florida, you have likely heard or read reports about someone being arrested for and charged with domestic violence. However, you may not really understand what this type of charge might entail. Understanding this is important as the definitions related to these types of offenses may be broader than what you would have suspected on your own.

According to the Florida Statutes, domestic violence does not have to include only spouses as some people might believe. In fact, two people who have never been married and may never even have lived together before may be involved in these types of charges if they have a child together. One of the parents might still be at risk of being accused of domestic violence in this situation. Similarly, people who are not related by blood or marriage but who have lived in the same household together as part of a family may be involved in these charges. 

Drugs found in snack boxes lead to arrest of Florida men

Two men from Zephyrhills, Florida, a father and son, are in jail after authorities in Ohio reportedly discovered four pounds of cocaine in their rented pickup during a search following a traffic stop. They allegedly found the drugs inside packaging for Lunchables brand snack foods. The 21-year-old driver and the passenger, his 41-year-old father, now face first-degree felony charges of possession and trafficking in cocaine. The charges carry potential penalties of $40,000 in fines and up to 22 years in prison for each man if convicted. 

Law enforcement officers observed the pickup making unsafe lane changes and speeding while traveling down the Ohio Turnpike. Because of the dangerous manner in which the driver was operating the vehicle, authorities pulled him over. The pickup was a rental with Florida registration.

What are the signs of domestic abuse?

While most people think it’s easy to recognize an abusive relationship, for some people this is not the case. It can be tough to recognize common signs while abuse is ongoing, especially if the person has been subjected to poor treatment for a long time. WebMD explains some of the common signs so you can recognize abuse and seek help as soon as possible.

Isolation

Drug trafficking charges lead to 60-day sentence for Florida man

Fairly or not, rock concerts have a reputation as a hotbed of illegal drug activity, and this reputation may cause law enforcement to crack down excessively hard on suspected drug use at these events. Authorities in Licking County, Ohio, arrested four people on drug charges at a Gathering of the Juggalo concert in July of last year, one of whom was a Florida man charged with two counts of aggravated drug trafficking. In November, the man pleaded guilty to the fourth-degree felony charges, and a judge recently sentenced him to jail time and community control, also known as probation. 

The man apologized before the court when given the opportunity, calling himself a fool for engaging in stupid actions in the name of fun. A pre-sentencing investigation discovered a number of substances in the man's system, including ketamine, cocaine and hashish. The defense attorney claimed that the man uses medical marijuana as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, producing a number of documents to that effect, and argued that that is why tests detected THC in his system.

Theft in excess of $1 million prompts extradition of Florida man

In 2007, someone stole $1.2 million worth of Nikon camera equipment out of the back of a cargo vehicle in Spencer County, Kentucky. Over ten years later, authorities in Florida have turned over a man residing there for extradition after fingerprints taken at the scene allegedly matched his fingerprints in a nationwide database. It is not entirely clear why it took over a decade to find a fingerprint match within the database.

The man is currently 45 years old, making him approximately 35 years old at the time that the theft took place. Kentucky does not have a statute of limitations on felonies. Authorities in Kentucky have charged him with the unlawful taking of over $1 million. They have not specified whether the charge is a felony, but often the value of the goods allegedly stolen factors into whether law enforcement considers the charge a felony or a misdemeanor, with felony charges more likely the greater the amount stolen.  

What is money laundering?

As we’ve seen in the news recently, many pollical officials have been charged and sent to jail for money laundering. But what exactly is money laundering?

When laundering money, criminals are disguising money from an illegal source (like drug money) to make it seem like it came from a legal source (like business revenue). They hide the money because if it was detected that it had come from an illegal source, the money could be seized by officials and in turn, connect those individuals back to illegal activity.

Alternative sentences to prison

When a judge convicts you of a crime, that does not always mean that you are headed straight to jail or prison to serve your sentence. There are alternative sentences to incarceration, depending on your situation.

Drug crimes are not uncommon, so do not fear that you are alone in your circumstance. There were over 1.5 million arrests for drug violations in the United States in 2016. If you are facing conviction of a drug crime, these are the alternatives to serving prison or jail time.

Florida's medical marijuana program

During 2018, Florida residents who met the qualifications were able to receive certifications to buy and use marijuana for medicinal purposes. The Tampa Bay Times indicates that a report issued by the Physician Certification Pattern Review Panel shows that 1,070 doctors statewide provided certifications to more than 136,000 patients between January and September of this year. Post-traumatic stress disorder was the condition for which over 41,000 of those certifications were received. More than 17,000 patients with cancer were certified to use medical marijuana.

Some people are concerned about the number of patients with PTSD who have been allowed to use pot for medical reasons, citing a fear that the system might be being abused. However, according to the Florida Department of Health, PTSD is one of the named conditions that may qualify a patient to use medical pot

Factors reviewed for protective orders

If you have been accused of domestic violence by your spouse or significant other in Florida and you believe that person might be seeking legal action against you, it will be important for you to learn about the process involved in their attempts to get a restraining order or otherwise keep you away from them or your children.

As explained by the Florida Statutes, the courts may issue what they call a protective order after reviewing an application made by an alleged victim of domestic violence or abuse. There are multiple factors that will be taken into consideration before such an application is approved and an official order is enacted. One of these factors is whether or not you have damaged any of your partner's personal property. This might even include damage that happens after an item is thrown in anger. Injury or death to a pet may be a consideration here.

Drugged driving hard to prove

If you are like many residents in Florida, you might frequently hear other people talk very disparagingly about drunk or drugged drivers. The comments are often based on stereotypes that assume such people are so intoxicated or high that they can barely function. The reality of the matter is that a person might be charged with a driving under the influence offense even when they are quite functional. Many responsible people find themselves in this situation.

As reported by ABC Action News, proving that a driver was legally intoxicated is often done by using objective test data that measures the person's blood alcohol content. Even if a driver's BAC is over the legal limit, there are still factors that may preclude a conviction in the case.

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Quesada Law Firm
1200 Brickell Ave
Suite 1950
Miami, FL 33131

Phone: 305-330-1833
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