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Miami Criminal Defense Law Blog

Could an app help report crime in Miami?

Not everyone feels safe in Miami. While its crime rate has declined in recent years, the optimistic statistics will not erase fears of all its residents. That may be why some citizens are ready to take crime reporting into their own hands.

Some Miami natives already patrol beaches, but the Miami Beach city council is considering using a phone application called Citizen so that anyone can report crimes they witness to others using the app—and notify the police department. Some favor this new method of crime tracking, but there are also those who think it could do more harm than good.

State and federal laws disagree on medical marijuana

Medical marijuana use is a topic of frequent discussion in Florida and throughout the United States. Many people believe the drug has shown promise in treating various medical issues, including chronic pain and seizures. However, there is a significant disconnect in state and federal laws relating to marijuana use in both medical and recreational applications. This legal conflict may create confusion about whether marijuana use is subject to prosecution.

CBS News reports that Florida recently legalized medical marijuana use. The legislation allowing medical marijuana passed in 2016 with over 70% of the vote. In early 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill making it legal to use smokable medical marijuana with a valid prescription. The CBS report indicates that it may take some time for residents to see the results of the new legislation and to have access to smokable medical marijuana.

Prosecution of pot cases growing harder

Around the country, several states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation that has legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes. In Florida, however, marijuana may still only be possessed or used legally if such possession or use is part of the state's medical marijuana program. However, Florida has recently enacted a law that makes it legal to possess and use hemp. This new law is having repercussions across the state when it comes to prosecuting people for crimes involving pot.

According to the Miami Herald, hemp comes from the same plant that marijuana does and the two products look like identical twins. Even when put under a microscope, it is impossible to tell them apart. The difference between hemp and marijuana is that the latter involves a sufficiently high amount of THC, the chemical that contributes to a high when consumed either by inhalation or through oral consumption.

Why is drug smuggling so common in Florida?

Florida is known for more than its sunshine and sandy beaches. The state is a hot spot for drug trafficking activity. Its popularity as a means of bringing drugs into the United States is expected to increase as it becomes riskier to use the U.S. southern border. An article by CBS12 News highlights some reasons for Florida’s popularity in the drug world.  

One reason for prolific drug trafficking involves physical access. Florida’s perimeter has a lot of coastline. This leaves the state open to boats transporting cocaine and other drugs. These boats can be hard to distinguish among normal traffic on the water.

Drug cartel leader asserts poor treatment in prison

People who live in Florida and are accused of crimes should always be able to trust that their rights will still be protected even while they are in jail or prison. This is an essential tenet of the laws and the entire criminal justice system in the United States. Unfortunately, it seems that defendants do not always receive the level of treatment or respect they deserve as human beings.

An example of this can be seen in the case of a man commonly known as El Chapo. The man has been pursued and identified as the leader of a major drug business based in Mexico since the early 1990s. According to a report from The New York Times, the man was convicted earlier this year on 10 different felony counts related to money laundering, drug offenses and murder. He has been in custody in the U.S. since 2017 after he was captured in Mexico and then extradited to the U.S.

Money laundering laws targeting illegal wildlife trade

Miami is a hotspot for illegal trafficking of endangered wildlife, a crime doing widespread damage to the world’s biodiversity as well as to economies and politics of some of the poorest parts of the world. Until recently, authorities have had a hard time putting a dent in this underground economy.

But money laundering and other racketeering crimes have recently received intense attention from the international community combating the illicit trade. The shift in strategy has begun to show results.

Prescription drug abuse and addiction

Most people in Florida have heard numerous headlines or reports referring to an opioid epidemic facing the United States today. More people have become aware of this problem over the last couple of years yet the problem is far from being solved. The issues related to drug abuse and addiction relate to individuals' physical health and mental health as well as public safety, crime and more.

The United States Department of Justice explains that it is illegal for a person to abuse a prescription drug. However, it is now known that developing an addiction to come drugs is easier to do that many may have ever thought. This includes not just opioids but stimulants like those used to treat ADHD in children and common anti-depressants like Xanax or Valium. Once a person is addicted to a drug, it can be difficult to separate the actions they take to feed their addiction from the addiction itself.

Is my spouse a narcissist?

Narcissistic behavior is very damaging within the confines of a romantic relationship. If your spouse displays these behaviors, it can be very difficult to reasonably engage in disputes and ensure that your emotional needs are met during your marriage. Psychology Today explains some of the common signs of narcissism within a relationship. 

Boundaries are routinely violated

Qualifying for drug offender probation

It is not uncommon for a person in Florida to find themselves accused of a criminal drug offense, especially with the prevalence of substance addiction in today's society that has been so fueled by the legal prescription drug industry. Unfortunately, even well-intentioned and honest people can end up in this situation but they should know that even being arrested for a drug crime does not always guarantee that they will be sent to prison or jail.

As explained by the Florida Statutes, the state's law does allow some defendants the ability to avoid incarceration and to instead participate in a drug court or a drug offender probation program. Probation can be sought by a person who has been accused of a non-violent felony drug offense, which means the charge would be for a crime in the third degree. Some drug offenses that may qualify include the sale, delivery or manufacture of a controlled substance or the possession with the intent to sell, delivery or manufacture.

3 arrested in connection with Florida theft ring

An alleged theft ring has reportedly been operating in Martin County, Florida, for at least a month. According to authorities, theft ring participants have been targeting boating equipment, such as outboard motors, and staging them for pickup. Due to tips of activity worthy of investigation, as well as the efforts of a K-9 law enforcement team, three men are now in jail in connection with at least one of the alleged incidents.

Each of the three men arrested now faces charges on multiple felony counts. Authorities continue to investigate the case but have not indicated whether they believe there are more individuals involved in the alleged theft ring. 

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

Phone: 305-330-1833
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