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Category Archives: Florida Criminal Statutes

Florida Charges For Leaving The Scene Of An Accident

Florida Charges For Leaving The Scene Of An Accident

JUPITER — A Jupiter Farms woman was being held without bail Thursday after she was accused of punching the 77-year-old driver of a truck into which she allegedly plowed her car. The man said the car’s driver, later identified as Skurnik, got out of her car, walked over to his truck and began to punch him on the left side of his face, according to the arrest report. Skurnik also either bit or scratched his left arm, he said. After the attack, Skurnik drove away. One of two witnesses told police “the blue car accelerated and crashed into the left side of the pickup.” The second witness said she saw the blue car “pull forward in a deliberate attempt to ram the pickup.” A North Palm Beach officer spotted Skurnik… […]

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Animal Laws Protecting Endangered Species

Animal Laws Protecting Endangered Species

Authorities in Pinellas County announced Tuesday the surrender of the woman shown in photographs taking a joyride on a manatee, classified as an endangered species in Florida. Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez, 52, of St. Petersburg, turned herself in shortly after 4 p.m., Pinellas County Sheriff’s officials said. Deputies had met with Gutierrez at her home and questioned her. She admitted to riding the manatee and claimed she was new to the area and did not realize it was against the law to touch or harass manatees, investigators said. Deputies explained the law regarding manatees and the possible penalties for violating such laws and said charges would be forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office for prosecution. However, the nature of the crime this was not an arrestable offense because it did… […]

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DUI 1st Offense in Florida

DUI 1st Offense in Florida

In the state of Florida when arrested for a first offense DUI charge the arresting officer will confiscate the driver’s license and issue the driver what is referred to as a “Notice of Suspension”. This notice will act as the driver’s license for the next 10 days. Important: A person who has been arrested on a first offense DUI charge in Florida only has 10 days from the date of arrest in which to request a hearing with the FLHSMV if they wish to avoid having their driving privileges automatically suspended for the next 6 months. If you hope to have a successful outcome at your hearing it is very important that you contact one of Florida DUI lawyers today to have our lawyers schedule your hearing and represent you… […]

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Petty Theft , Grand Theft and Shoplifting Charges in Florida

Petty Theft , Grand Theft and Shoplifting Charges in Florida

A person commits “theft” is he or she “knowingly obtains or uses the property…of another with the intent to, either temporarily or permanently: deprive the person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property, OR appropriates the property to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to use of the property. “Shoplifting” goes by many names. Depending on the laws in your state, it may be called “petty theft” or “petty larceny,” “fourth degree” theft, or maybe even “shoplifting.” Practically everyone’s heard the term and knows pretty much what it means. Most people may not realize, however, just how serious the crime is. The classic example of shoplifting or petty theft is when someone takes something from a store… […]

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Misdemeanor Crimes, Felony Crimes and Their Differences

Misdemeanor Crimes, Felony Crimes and Their Differences

Florida laws are clear cut and the penalties for breaking the law are strict. A misdemeanor is any “lesser” criminal act in some common law legal systems. Misdemeanors are generally punished less severely than felonies, but theoretically more so than administrative infractions (also known as minor, petty or summary offenses) and regulatory offenses. Many misdemeanors are punished with monetary fines. Misdemeanors can include: Petty theft Battery Marijuana possession Domestic violence Disorderly conduct Driving on a suspended license Driving under the influence Traffic offenses Shoplifting Vandalism Unlike aggravated assault or aggravated battery, which are considered felonies, simple assault and battery and those crimes that fall under Florida domestic violence laws are considered misdemeanors in Florida. Along with numerous other misdemeanor offenses, these crimes carry penalties of up to one year in… […]

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Florida Drunk Driving Laws, Statistics, Penalties and DUI Attorney

Florida Drunk Driving Laws, Statistics, Penalties and DUI Attorney

Can a person be guilty of drunk driving if he only had one drink? The crime of drunk driving is generally defined in two ways: (1) having a blood alcohol content above the limit set by law, or (2) driving under the influence of alcohol. To find a person guilty under the first definition, a jury must be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeded a certain amount. In most states the legal limit is .08 (or 8 percent). Therefore, if it is proven that the person’s BAC at the time of the incident was .08 or greater, he or she can be convicted of drunk driving, regardless of how much alcohol was actually consumed (source). In contrast, the second definition does not refer… […]

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Your Legal Rights: Remain Silent and Have An Attorney Present

Your Legal Rights: Remain Silent and Have An Attorney Present

Investigatory and Accusatory Police Procedure The U.S. Constitution, the Federal Rules and the federal court system’s interpretations of both provide guidance and procedural canons that law enforcement must follow. Failure to follow such procedure may result in the suppression of evidence or the release of an arrested suspect. Substantive due process requires police to make criminal defendants aware of their rights prior to the defendant making any statements if the government intends to use those statements as evidence against the defendant. For example, law enforcement must ensure that the defendant understands the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present, as the Fifth and Sixth Amendments respectively provide. The defendant must knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waive those rights in order for the government to use any… […]

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Division in the Stand Your Ground Law Forum in Fort Lauderdale

Division in the Stand Your Ground Law Forum in Fort Lauderdale

Senator Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale,invited members of the public to an open forum Wednesday to discuss their opinions and issues over the Stand Your Ground Law. The Stand Your Ground Law justifies a person in using deadly force when there is a reasonable belief of imminent threat. It is the main point of defense for shooter Zimmerman in the case of Trayvon Martin’s death on Feb. 23 – a case rivaling the media attention of Casey Anthony. The forum was a direct response to Gov. Rick Scott’s hesitance to form the task force he promised after the shooting. Division in the Crowd Over 100 members of the general public attended the forum in Fort Lauderdale highlighting a clear division in the public opinion over the law and whether it should… […]

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Is Animal Cruelty a Misdemeanor or a Felony?

Is Animal Cruelty a Misdemeanor or a Felony?

Animal cruelty is a charge that umbrellas several different definitions of crimes within the state of Florida. Animal cruelty charges can include animal neglect, felony or misdemeanor animal cruelty, and even animal fighting. All of these charges are extremely serious and can cost you prison time and expensive fines upon conviction. Animal Cruelty in Florida The three types of animal cruelty charges are animal neglect, felony and misdemeanor animal cruelty, and animal fighting. Animal Neglect – animal neglect is considered to be the unlawful deprivation of necessities like food, water, or shelter. Animals must be provided with a reasonable amount of exercise and a change of air if they are confined according to Florida law. This kind of neglect can be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum… […]

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What is Criminal Mischief in the State of Florida?

What is criminal mischief? Criminal mischief is a fairly vague charge. If you have been arrested and accused of criminal mischief, you may need a criminal defense lawyer to explain exactly what the outcome of this charge might be. Your sentence will depend on the amount of damage caused by the criminal mischief you are accused of. According to Florida Statutes, criminal mischief is defined as a crime committed when the defendant knowingly, willfully, and maliciously causes damage to any property belonging to someone else. A defendant can even be charged with criminal mischief on terms of negligence, as in the defendant failed to realize he or she was causing damage. Graffiti and vandalism are common criminal mischief crimes. Criminal Mischief in the State of Florida According to Florida Statutes,… […]

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