Florida Criminal Law Terms

If you have recently been arrested in Florida, you will likely have many questions about your criminal case and the terms used in the Florida criminal justice process. I recently  found a very informative list of criminal law terms posted by the State Attorney’s Office for the 7th Judicial Circuit in Florida. This very lengthy list of terms may help you better understand your criminal case and the words used in Florida criminal law. You can see the list of terms here: http://www.sao7.com/vocabulary.htm

If you have other questions about your criminal case, please feel free to call my office at (407) 415-9626 and we can set up a time to talk. You can also email me your criminal law questions at Jeremiah@JeremiahDAllen.com. My office is in Orlando, Florida and I often handle cases in Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Polk Counties. 

 

6 Questions to ask before you hire a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are charged with a crime in the State of Florida, it is important that you select the right criminal defense attorney to represent you and defend your rights. In order to help you select the right lawyer, I have compiled a list of questions that are important to ask before you hire a criminal defense lawyer.

1. How much of your practice is devoted to criminal defense?
2. Will you be the only attorney working on my case or will other less experienced attorneys be working on the case?
3. How will I reach you if I have a question about my case. Will I have access to your cell phone?
4. Do you require an additional fee if the case goes to trial? Do you require an additional fee if a motion to suppress the evidence needs to be filed in the case?
5. How much experience do you have handling this type of criminal case?
6. How many jury trials have you done in your career? These are just a few important questions to ask before you hire a criminal defense lawyer. At the Law Office of Jeremiah D. Allen, I offer a free consultation so you can ask questions about your case and how it will be handled. I would be happy to speak with you and answer all of your criminal law questions. You can email me at Jeremiah@Jeremiahdallen.com or call me at (407)415-9626. My office is in Orlando and I handle cases across the State of Florida.

What is Community Control in the State of Florida?

If you have been convicted or plead to a felony charge in the State of Florida the Judge has the option of placing you into a program called Community Control. Community Control is a form of house arrest in which a person lives in their home and is subject to very close supervision by a probation office. Often a Judge will place someone on Community Control after they have failed to complete regular probation. The Florida Department of Corrections describes Community Control as “a form of intensive supervised house arrest in the community, including surveillance on weekends and holidays, administered by officers with limited caseloads”.

In my opinion, judges and prosecutors should allow more individuals to be placed on Community Control rather than over crowd our expensive prison system. Community Control allows people to be around their family and remain in their home. Additionally, the cost to the taxpayer is lower than sending someone off to live in state prison.

Here is link to the Florida Statute that governs probation and community control-http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0900-0999/0948/0948ContentsIndex.html&StatuteYear=2012&Title=-%3E2012-%3EChapter%20948

Do you have more question about Community Control?

If you or your family member have questions about Community Control or Probation please feel free to call me at (407) 415-9626. I am a former State Prosecutor and my office is Orlando, Florida. You can also email the question that you have at Jeremiah@Jeremiahdallen.com 

Is the Possession of Marijuana in Florida Considered Drug Trafficking?

possession of marijuana in floridaDrug trafficking is one of the most serious crimes a person can face in the state of Florida. You may be surprised to hear that in certain circumstances, possession of marijuana in Florida can be considered drug trafficking.

Trafficking cannabis or marijuana is a criminal charge, which carries the following minimum mandatory sentences:

·       3 years prison if convicted of trafficking more than 25 lbs. or 300 plants

·       7 year sentence for trafficking between 2,000 lbs.- 10,000 lbs.

·       15 year minimum mandatory prison sentence for trafficking an amount over 10,000 lbs.

The Jury Instructions for Trafficking in Marijuana require the State of Florida to prove that a person did one of the following:

·       Sold marijuana

·       Purchased marijuana

·       Manufactured marijuana

·       Delivered marijuana

·       Brought marijuana into Florida

·       Possessed marijuana

Additionally, the prosecution representing the government must prove that the substance was in fact marijuana. Lastly, they must prove that the marijuana either weighed more than 25 pounds or constituted 300 or more marijuana plants.

People often think they cannot be found guilty of trafficking if they were only in possession of marijuana in Florida.  However, Florida law says that if you possess a drug in large quantities (in the case of marijuana more than 25 lbs. or 300 plants) you can be charged under Florida’s trafficking statute. Additionally, it is important to know that Florida law defines “cannabis” to mean all parts of the plant of the genus cannabis, whether growing or not. Therefore, a person in possession of a relatively small number of marijuana plants could face a very serious criminal charge from the State of Florida.

If you are charged with trafficking marijuana in Florida, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney will help to ensure that your rights are not violated. This process will often involve reviewing how the marijuana that was seized and looking at the details of the case to ensure that your Constitutional rights have not been violated in any way, through an improper search or other means.

If you have questions about your Marijuana case, please feel free to call me at (407) 415-9626.

Photo courtesy of Torben Bjørn Hansen on Flickr.

 

Tampa DUI Lawyer: Protect Yourself From Florida DUI Scandals

tampa police

Tampa Police Badge, photo courtesy of scoutnurse

Most people have seen the headlines on the news in the last few months about the Tampa DUI scandal. For those who haven’t- it’s shaping up to look like some lawyers involved in the high-profile Bubba the Love Sponge vs. Todd “MJ” Schnitt defamation case, set up their opposition for a DUI arrest.

State Prosecutors dropped charges for this DUI two weeks ago, according to an article in the Tampa Bay Times.

Now the Tampa police sergeant involved in the controversy, Sgt. Ray Fernandez, and another officer, Timothy McGinnis, are at the center of the FBI investigation. With two Tampa police officers in question,   there might be an impact to current DUI cases involving the two.

The article noted that the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office said last week that it is informing Tampa DUI lawyers and local defense attorneys about Fernandez and McGinnis’s involvement in the dropped DUI case.

“”We’re doing this in an abundance of caution to make sure everyone’s aware of what’s transpired with these two officers,” said Mark Cox, spokesman for the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office. Both can still be called as witnesses, and prosecutors do not think the information will be “relevant or admissible under most circumstances.””

It’s clear with this recent development that DUI cases are not always fair. In fact- some Tampa DUI lawyers may be able to discredit the officers’ other DUI charges. According to the article:

“Tampa police Chief Jane Castor has assembled a team to review each of McGinnis’ and Fernandez’s cases, and the department will work with prosecutors as those cases go through the court system.”

If you would like to speak to a Florida DUI lawyer, to learn more about the action you can take in your Florida DUI case, please feel free to give me a call at (407) 415-9626 or email me at Jeremiah@JeremiahDAllen.com.