Where can you go to get a lousy hot dog served by big time drug dealers? Well, according to the Orlando Sentinel, Hot Dog City used to be the place. Now, however, the owners and those connected to them have been arrested and face a number of charges from drug trafficking to money laundering. [Read more…]
In several raids on Wednesday, officials arrested 13 people and uncovered 5 separate grow houses in the Loxahatchee area. These growing operations were all in residential homes and some were operated in the presence of children.
Thirteen arrests related to the grow houses means thirteen players in the drug trade are now out of the loop. Although this article in the Sun Sentinel doesn’t specify, there is a good chance these plants were supplying the area with a good chunk of recreational marijuana use. [Read more…]
In Deltona this past week, an elderly couple got into it over how to load the dishwasher. Now, the 82-year old male suspect sits behind bars charged with battery by strangulation.
Although this article from CFNews13 doesn’t make it clear if the couple was living together, the fact that a protection order is in place leads me to suspect they may have been. You see, domestic violence applies to much more than just married couples. [Read more…]
A few months back a couple reported a fire at their cabin off of Empire Church Road in Groveland, FL. Soon after the fire was extinguished, the fire marshal was called out because there was suspicion about the cause of the blaze. Now, husband and wife are charged with both causing the fire and then trying to defraud the insurance company.
According to this article from the Orlando Sentinel, Detective Arnie Amoros with the state fire marshal says that arsons often increase during times of economic hardship. He compares them to a criminal, personal “bail out.” Unfortunately for Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Britton, they won’t be reaping any rewards from this bail out. [Read more…]
Florida domestic violence workers are noticing a frightening trend that they have seen before. In times of economic hardship, incidences of domestic violence climb. Shelters are seeing a definite increase from last year, and last year’s numbers were also a jump from 2007.
When people are laid off and money is tight, frustrations in the home tend to rise greatly. As this article from the Tallahassee Democrat points out men who have been laid off are also home more, which can increase the incidences of violence.
Domestic violence, under Florida law, doesn’t just occur between a husband and wife. Roommates, former spouses, and people who share a child can all be parties to domestic violence offenses. These pairings can go through serious stress when the bills can’t get paid and when the budget is tight, tempers are short. [Read more…]
Via the Taxgirl, Florida state Legislator Darryl Rouson has proposed a 5% tax on drug paraphernalia. The purpose of the tax would be to contribute the proceeds to help fund Florida drug addition and treatment programs.
This is certainly an interesting idea that is widely impractical.
Generally a criminal charge of possession of drug paraphernalia depends on the context of it’s use. You can be charged with possession of paraphenelia if the prosecution thinks it can make a case that what otherwise might be a common household item was being used to consume, use, package or prepare drugs. If a pile of drugs is found next to a scale and baggies, then a case can be argued that they are drug related items.
But in the context of a legal purchase, that distinction doesn’t make any sense. Does that mean Ziploc bags must have a 5% surcharge? A 2 liter soda bottle? Duct tape? The list of items that could be considered paraphernalia is huge, facinating, and strange.
I look forward to seeing how such legislation could be passed or implemented. More than likely, this idea will be buried before it gets very far along in the process.
If you are facing a criminal charge or drug possession, or drug paraphernalia in Florida, please contact us for a case evaluation on the charges you face. The initial legal consultation is absolutely free.
Jails are big expenses to the taxpayers, and Sarasota County has been working hard for creative and efficient solutions to put off building another jail.
Programs have included efforts to speed up the criminal justice court process, reducing the time required for defendants to be behind bars, to efforts to treat people with addiction problems at secure, but less expensive drug and alcohol treatment facilities, such as First Step.
Pre-trial screening programs that run 24 hours a day, and Friday sweeps to process and clear out minor misdemeanor offenders or minor probation violations before the weekend, and weeks before cases are ultimately resolved are also showing real benefits.
Jail is a significant expense to a community. The need for 24 hour guards, not to mention maintenance, food, laundry, and basic needs for the inmates can be huge. But besides the cost savings to the community, these program have a significant side-effect of actually being fairer and more humane to people caught up in the Florida criminal justice system.
No one wants to compromise the security of the community, but these moves try to strike a balance between efficiency and justice.
If you are charged and arrested for a crime in Florida, please contact our FL criminal defense lawyers. Statewide coverage, free defense consultations.
Florida is retaining it’s title as the state with the highest mortgage fraud rates in the nation. But as the real estate market’s downward death spiral continues, the nature of the fraud continues to evolve to match the criminal opportunities available.
When the market was strong, mortgage fraud cases revolved around fraudulent applications for loans that applicants had no intention (or means) to pay off, intending to flip the properties in a then-hot real estate market.
But the nature of mortgage fraud cases today is about ripping off innocent and desperate homeowners looking to find a way out of crippling payments that they can’t afford. The criminals target people who are soon to be forclosed upon, and offer them help in working out payments or refinacing. But what they actually do is have you sign over your home, and use the controlling interest to borrow against any remaining equity you have, and walk away.
Part of the problem, law enforcement officials suggest, has been Florida’s minimal licensing requirements for anyone who calls themselves a licensed mortgage broker. But in desperate times, it is easier to take advantage of desperate people. And finding potential victims has never been easier.
And prosecutors are overwhelmed with these cases. And since some of them initially can be classified as civil disagreements, criminal prosecution isn’t always the top priority for district attorneys who are already swamped.
Most people agree that something must be done to reign in these criminal practices, but for now, the best advice is for everyone to be exceedingly careful about who you do business with regarding your real estate financial problems.
If you are accused of mortgage fraud, fraud, or any criminal charge in Florida, please contact us for a defense consultation. We can help you defend your rights in court. Our case evaluation is free to anyone accused of a crime in Florida.
Cash siezed in Florida criminal arrests is subject to forfeiture and can be legally used by police and law enforcement agencies. In Lee County alone, the county sherrif’s office confiscated more than half a million dollars in the last year. Much of the money collected was from Florida drug arrests.
The result of this windfall is more police training funding, and new systems for printing traffic citations from police patrol vehicles.
In addition, at least 15% of all seized cash from criminal arrests must go to Florida charities, as required by law. Much of that will go to drug abuse counseling and treatment centers, and other organizations hard hit by reduced budgets. This can be a significant boost to charitable funding in a down economy.
Statewide criminal cash confiscation statistics were not available, but it is highly likely that the totals run into the tens of millions of dollars, with Miami-Dade and Broward counties leading the way.
If you’ve been arrested on any criminal charge in Florida, such as drug possession, contact us for a case evaluation on the charges you are facing. We can provide you with an analysis of your legal options, and help you determine what the likely outcome of fighting the case or pleading guilty would be. We will also explain exactly what we can do to help, and what it will cost you to retain our services. The consultatin is free with no further obligation if you decide not to hire us.
Please call today to get the help and advice you need on any Florida criminal charge.