In Florida, not all statements are admissible into evidence. The presence of admissibility rules is not a clear win or loss for the typical criminal defendant — both the prosecution and the criminal defendant must navigate the complexities of the rules of evidence and take steps to ensure that evidence favorable to their case is admitted, and take steps to ensure that evidence unfavorable to their case is deemed inadmissible. To a degree, the evidence “game” could be considered the critical phase in determining each side’s eventual success at trial.
Extensive research indicates that the suite of field sobriety tests (FSTs) administered by law enforcement officers at traffic stops are inherently unreliable, even when administered in accordance with the standards required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
A DUI conviction is not necessarily the end of the world, but it could mean the end of certain employment opportunities, professional licensure or eligibility for enrollment in an academic program. The following discusses some of the lesser-known impacts of a DUI conviction, followed by the best way to avoid unnecessary adversity should you find yourself facing a DUI charge in Bradenton.
The Florida Sentencing Guidelines set minimum and maximum sentences for various criminal offenses. In Florida, as in many other states, however, sentencing depends on a hybrid system that involves the objective sentencing guidelines, the discretion of a judge, and a criminal punishment scoresheet that can have an enhancing or mitigatory effect on the sentence.
Florida law exposes those who intentionally write “bad checks” — in other words, checks that are issued with the understanding that the account does not have sufficient funds to be cashed by said check — to potential criminal liability, with penalties that vary depending on the circumstances of the case.
If you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime in Florida, there are a number of defenses that may be available to you (depending on what crimes you have been charged with) — for example, if you have been charged with simple drug possession, then you could potentially avoid criminal liability by showing that the arresting officer did not establish reasonable suspicion before stopping you, or by showing that the arresting officer did not establish probable cause before conducting a search of your person (or vehicle).
If you’ve been charged — or if you reasonably believe that you may soon be charged — with a crime, and you were intoxicated during the commission of the crime, then you may be able to assert an intoxication defense (depending on the circumstances of the intoxication) to prevent conviction.
In Florida, battery is defined as actual and intentional contact with another person without permission (which may or may not cause bodily harm). Standard battery qualifies as a first-degree misdemeanor, and conviction may result in up to a year in jail time (or probation for up to a year).
Florida law generally provides just two options for judges in sentencing those convicted of a crime: fine or incarceration. Fortunately, the law also allows for several alternative sentencing options, including probation as a viable choice for those who are eligible. Probation is not actually a “punishment” per se, but rather, it allows an offender the opportunity to complete certain tasks in lieu of a harsher punishment. Accordingly, probation is not without restrictions, conditions and limitations – which must be closely followed or additional penalties could ensue.
In Florida, a charge of theft can be difficult for criminal defendants to understand, particularly in edge cases where the circumstances surrounding the purported theft are atypical. Quite often, defendants are confused as to how theft applies to situations in which an item is not so much stolen as it is accidentally possessed. To better understand the point at which mere accidental possession transforms into theft, it will be beneficial to examine the foundational Florida law concerning theft — let’s take a quick look.