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Orlando Criminal Defense Law Blog

What are the criminal consequences for leaving the dog in the car?

While there are animal lovers of all stripes, it goes without saying that the pets most likely to be found in homes across the Sunshine State are dogs. Indeed, many of us are guilty of going to great lengths and expending great sums in order to ensure our four-legged friends are as happy and healthy as possible.

Given this universal love for all things canine, most people are immediately outraged when they read newspaper headlines outlining how law enforcement officials were called to free a dog trapped in a hot car and left wondering what sort of criminal charges, if any, the dog's owner could potentially face.

Florida's new civil asset forfeiture law could be a game-changer


A police procedure that has generated considerable criticism among not just criminal defense advocates, but the general public is civil asset forfeiture. Indeed, a recent survey conducted by the Drug Policy Alliance determined that as many as 84 percent of registered voters here in Florida had serious concerns about the practice.

For those somewhat unfamiliar with this term, civil asset forfeiture is a policy whereby law enforcement agencies are legally permitted to seize personal property and/or cash that they merely believe is somehow connected to criminal activity. 

Retail theft can encompass more than just shoplifting

When we hear the term retail theft, we automatically envision people attempting to leave a store with something for which they did not pay, perhaps concealing a single item under their coat or brazenly walking out with a full shopping cart.

While this is an accurate depiction, it fails to account for the various other forms that retail theft can take under Florida law. For example, the applicable statute not only expressly prohibits the "taking possession of or carrying away of merchandise, property …" but also the alteration or removal of labels, universal product codes, or price tags. 

Do You Support Orlando's Move to Decriminalize Marijuana?

big_bud - Copy.jpgA number of cities across the United States are adopting new ways to deal with marijuana possession and now Orlando is the latest to considering decriminalizing the drug. This past week, The Orlando City Council proposed a new ordinance that could change possession of up to 20 grams into a city code violation.

Can I refuse to take a chemical test? - II

Last time, our blog began examining what the law here in Florida has to say concerning those scenarios in which a person has been placed under arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence and the arresting officer indicates that they want to take a chemical test of their breath, urine or blood.

Specifically, we discussed how the state's implied consent laws essentially dictate that by accepting a driver's license, you've already agreed in advance to submit to chemical testing in connection with a DUI arrest.

Can I refuse to take a chemical test?

In the unfortunate event you are placed under arrest by a police officer or state trooper who has probable cause to believe that you were driving under the influence of alcohol -- likely gained through a battery of field sobriety tests -- you might imagine that the incident is essentially over and the next stop is jail. Accordingly, you may decide to say or do very little until you've had a chance to speak with an attorney.

While your instincts are good, the reality is that the matter isn't actually over, as the arresting officer might indicate that they want to take a chemical test of your breath, blood or urine.

New measure aims to tackle backlog of sexual assault kits

Back in January, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement released the results of a rather shocking survey, which determined that there were 13,435 untested sexual assault kits across the state.

In light of the reality that these kits contain valuable DNA evidence that could not only identify potential suspects, but also establish the innocence of those wrongfully sent to prison, state lawmakers vowed to take the necessary actions.

Helping teens facing possession charges through difficult times

One of the inescapable realities of parenthood is that there will come a time when your child makes a mistake that seems completely out of character and which catches you completely off guard. For example, maybe they broke their curfew, earned a poor grade in one of their classes or were issued a speeding ticket.

These are all relatively trivial missteps, but there are times when these lapses in judgment can be decidedly more serious. Indeed, what if your child is arrested and charged with possession of illegal narcotics?

How does Florida law treat driving under the influence of drugs

As we've made clear on our blog, the state of Florida takes driving under the influence of alcohol very seriously, as even first-time offenders face time behind bars, license revocation and steep fines.  

It's important to understand, however, that these tough impaired driving penalties don't just apply to those who consume too many glasses of wine, mugs of beer or specialty cocktails. Indeed, those unable to drive safely after consuming drugs can also find themselves in trouble with the law.

Law enforcement will be out in full force over spring break

Over the next few weeks, college students across the nation will be given some much-needed time away from the rigors of their coursework courtesy of the spring break holiday. While many of these young people will head home to spend time with family or opt to relax on campus, still others will be traveling to warmer climes.

Indeed, thousands of these spring breakers will be heading here to Florida to lounge on the sandy beaches, visit popular tourist destinations and, of course, partake of our state's active nightlife.

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