Articles Tagged with criminal defense

Florida lawmakers decided in favor of a measure that would wipe clean criminal records of those who are arrested, but later found “not guilty.” That would include some high-profile individuals such as Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman. However, the act is really intended to help those lesser-known individuals who are arrested on charges they beat or were later dropped. Supporters of the bill say it would allow these individuals to apply for jobs or rent apartments without having to worry that their online mugshot or a dropped criminal charges wcriminal defenseill surface in a background check.

The bill sailed through the state legislature, and is on its way to the governor’s desk.

Rep. Scott Plakon (R-Longwood) was quoted by the Orlando Sentinel as saying the fact that these charges plague people whose guilt was never proven in the eyes of the law is “tragic.”  Continue reading

It seemed after years of incessant and arbitrary crackdowns by federal agents on marijuana operations in legal purgatory by way of incongruous state and federal laws, there was finally a reprieve with the “Cole memo.” marijuana

In 2013, the Obama administration issued a new policy, by way of Deputy Attorney General James Cole’s memo, that essentially promised to back off businesses that were abiding well-regulated state marijuana system laws. With that, the marijuana industry saw a boom, with the anticipation of topping $25 billion by 2020. A total of 28 states – including now Florida – have some form of legalized medicinal marijuana, while eight states allow it for recreational use.

But now, it seems, the Trump administration may throw a wrench in that cog. Marijuana still remains illegal under federal law, and absent action from Congress, that’s unlikely to change. It seemed initially after Trump’s unexpected win he would maintain the status quo, at least with regard to federal marijuana policy. But status quo has never really been his thing.  Continue reading

Minimum mandatory sentences in Florida may be on their way out. That’s if the conclusions of the Florida Senate Criminal Justice Committee are taken to heart by the rest of the state legislature. prison

Lawmakers concluded after close examination of tough-on-crime-era policies that not only are minimum mandatory sentences ineffective, they are costing taxpayers enormous amounts of money – often for very little return. On top of that, the cost to communities, families and individuals, who are serving decades behind bars for non-violent offenses, is astronomical.

Take for example the 25-year prison term of one inmate at a correctional facility in Homestead. In 2002, she was arrested for selling 35 pills. She got $300 out of the deal. She was arrested and later convicted for drug trafficking. Minimum mandatory sentencing guidelines meant the judge had no discretion: She would have to serve 25 years. Housing her in prison costs taxpayers more than $18,000 annually. By the time her sentence is over and she is released in 2023, it will have cost taxpayers nearly $452,000.  Continue reading