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Fort Myers Florida Criminal Defense Law Blog

What are your options in the criminal defense process?

Florida is one of the most populous states in America, which means that each year thousands of people go through the state's criminal justice system. Some people are quick to equate an arrest to a conviction, but it is important to remember that all criminal defendants have the right to present a defense, including in front of a jury of their peers if they so wish. If one has been arrested and finds themselves in this position, what are the options in the criminal defense process?

Well, for starters, the first step is to evaluate the case and the evidence. What will the prosecution use to attempt to secure a conviction? If the evidence appears to be overwhelming, it may be a good idea to begin exploring plea negotiation options. But, if the evidence is scant or unconvincing, it may be time to start to put together a trial strategy.

Defending yourself against marijuana charges

Florida residents are not likely to benefit any time soon from the leniency toward marijuana that some other states, and even whole countries are beginning to show. Despite these steps toward legalization of marijuana use and possession that are popping up in certain parts of the country in recent years, Florida is not showing any signs of taking part. As a result, Florida residents who are arrested for marijuana-related charges will still need to take the time to start carefully planning a defense strategy.

Fortunately, there may be a variety of options available to those who are facing marijuana drug crime charges. The most useful option gets its roots from one of the founding documents of our country: the Constitution.

The right approach after a personal injury accident

We all know that car accidents are one of the most common causes of injuries for Florida residents and people throughout the country. Every year, thousands of these accidents leave people with completely changed lives, facing medical care for weeks or months or even suffering injuries so severe that full recovery is not expected. But, there are other ways that Florida residents can suffer injuries as well.

Truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice and even accidents caused by defective consumer products are all ways in which residents might suffer a life-altering injury. When such an injury occurs, the victim may quickly be facing mounting healthcare costs, even if they have health insurance.

Don't let police convince you to consent to field sobriety tests

It's the image many Florida residents have when it comes to DUI traffic stops -- someone on the side of the road trying to walk a straight line, standing on one leg or following a flashlight held by a police officer. Movies and television also make you believe that you must participate in these tests.

The truth is that you don't have to be that person on the side of the road. Legally, you don't have to participate, but that won't stop a police officer who suspects you of drunk driving from trying to convince you otherwise.

Do not let a DUI ruin your life

In Florida and elsewhere, driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious crime. If you find yourself charged with DUI, the penalties associated with a conviction have the potential to negatively affect your work and home life. You do not have to let a DUI ruin your life; you may be able to fight it.

What do Florida laws say about DUI? What are the penalties? How can I fight such a charge? All great questions with fairly simple answers.

High schooler arrested for bringing a weapon to school

Our readers in Florida know that this is a very tense time in our country when it comes to guns and weapons, particularly in regards to people who possess these items on or near school grounds. But, there is a balance that must be determined, between the right of individuals to protect themselves and the rights of others to be free from the threat these weapons can present when they are in the wrong hands. It appears that both sides of the issue were at play in a recent incident in Fort Myers, but the ultimate result was that a 16-year-old girl was arrested.

A recent report noted that the young girl is alleged to have brought a stun gun to her high school, Dunbar High School in Fort Myers. It is unclear how school teachers or administrators found out that the young girl was in possession of the stun gun on school grounds, but when they did find out they reportedly searched her backpack and found the item. In referring to the arrest report from this incident, it appears that the young girl told the school administrators that she had the stun gun with her at school because, at the time she walks home from school at the end of the day, it is dark outside and she was afraid for her safety.

When can I appeal the verdict in my criminal trial?

After sitting through hours or days of testimony, refuting the evidence and presenting your defense, you may have felt confident as you waited for the verdict. In any criminal matter, there is a lot on the line, whether this is your first offense, or you already have a record.

If a Florida judge or jury found you guilty of a crime, you may have been shocked. Perhaps you felt that the evidence against you was not strong enough to land you a conviction, or you thought of something else you could tell the judge that might turn the verdict in your direction. Your first impulse may be to seek an appeal. However, do you understand what the appeals process is and how it works in your case?

What can you do about drug crime allegations?

For decades, public policy officials have been focused on the "epidemic" of illegal drug use in America. In fact, in recent years, the focus has been on opiates, which are particularly addictive substances. As a result of this focus, law enforcement officials are also focused on illegal drugs, from possession to distribution; they will attempt to track down and prosecute these crimes vigorously.

So, what can you do if you are facing drug crime allegations in Florida? Well, for starters, think about the potential severity of the sentence if you are convicted. In Florida, the consequences for a drug crime conviction can be life-altering. You may be sentenced to years of probation supervision or, even worse, time in prison. As a result, any Florida resident who is facing drug crime allegations will likely benefit from exploring all of the available criminal defense options.

An overview of marijuana laws in Florida

Most criminal laws are determined on a state-by-state basis in America. Drug crime laws, in particular, can be very state-specific. For instance, some West Coast states, like California and Washington, have legalized marijuana possession and use, to a certain extent. However, in other states, such as Florida, possession of marijuana for anything other than medically-prescribed uses remains illegal.

Other than the exception for medical purposes, the marijuana laws in Florida are fairly straightforward. Marijuana possession laws, for example, increase in severity incrementally based on how much marijuana a person possesses. Individuals who are alleged to be in possession of 20 or less grams of marijuana will face a first-degree misdemeanor charge. Such a charge comes with a potential maximum sentence of one year in jail. However, as with most other misdemeanor charges, a conviction on this type of marijuana charge is more likely to bring about a sentence to a term of probation supervision.

Did you experience a violation of your rights at a DUI stop?

A drunk driving charge in Florida can bring various consequences that can negatively impact your life. From time behind bars to expensive fines, the penalties are significant. It is prudent, no matter your criminal history, to present a strong defense against DUI charges of any kind.

One of the aspects of a strong defense is to understand if you experienced a violation of your personal rights during your traffic stop. If the police did not follow procedure or there were other issues with the treatment you received, it could undermine the case against you. It is beneficial to learn more about reasonable suspicion and appropriate grounds for a traffic stop.

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