Recent Florida Supreme Court Decisions Reverse Past Rulings that Impact Criminal Protections

Recent Florida Supreme Court Decisions Reverse Past Rulings that Impact Criminal Protections

Recent decisions made by the Florida Supreme Court reverse previous court rulings and show a trend toward rescinding criminal protections. With a conservative majority, the court has shown a propensity to ignore stare decisis—a legal doctrine used by courts to follow past case decisions when ruling on similar cases. The current court majority has determined that past justices “got it wrong” with some previous rulings. These recent decisions impact many of the protections afforded to

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Florida Felon Voting Rights in 2020: Can Felons Vote in Florida?

Florida Felon Voting Rights in 2020: Can Felons Vote in Florida?

In 2020, many former felons in Florida will have the opportunity to cast their votes. That’s thanks to the passing of Amendment 4 in 2018, which restored voting rights to 1.6 million Floridians who served time for felony convictions. However, that right for former felons to have their voices heard at the ballot box might not be absolute. The Florida Legislature passed a law in 2019 that requires former felons to pay all outstanding court

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2019 Florida Criminal Justice Reform: What You Need to Know About the Law

2019 Florida Criminal Justice Reform: What You Need to Know About the Law

In June 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a comprehensive criminal justice bill into law. Officially becoming law on October 1, 2019, the law reforms many Florida Statutes dealing with the State’s criminal justice system. We’ll discuss many of the criminal justice changes impacted by the law below. If you’re curious about how the criminal justice reforms could potentially impact a criminal charge you’re involved in, we’ll be happy to provide a free consultation. Give us

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What You Need to Know About Texting and Driving in Florida and Your Rights

What You Need to Know About Texting and Driving in Florida and Your Rights

This year, Florida joins 45 states in making texting while driving a primary traffic offense. Now, police can pull you over if they see a phone in your hand while driving. Before this new legislation goes into effect on July 1, 2019, texting and driving was considered a secondary offense where drivers could be cited when pulled over for another offense. The legislation aims at reducing the rate of distracted driving in the State. Distracted

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Police Can’t Force You to Unlock Your Smartphone Using Fingerprint or Face

Police Can't Force You to Unlock Your Smartphone Using Fingerprint or Face

According to Magistrate Judge Kandis Westmore of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California, police cannot force a suspect to unlock their phone through facial recognition, a fingerprint or an iris scan. Forcing a suspect to do so would violate their rights against self-incrimination as protected by the Fifth Amendment. This decision overrules previous circuit court rulings in California that biometric features were considered testimonies since suspects weren’t verbally giving up their

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Amendment 4: Floridians have Opportunity to Restore Voting Rights to Felons this November

Amendment 4: Floridians have Opportunity to Restore Voting Rights to Felons this November

As Florida voters go to the polls this November, nearly 1.5 million Floridians with felony convictions will not be given that opportunity to have their voices heard. That could all change if 60 percent of Florida voters approve Amendment 4—the Voting Restoration Amendment. The Felon Voting Law That Amendment 4 Would Change  The Florida Constitution says that a convicted felon cannot vote until their civil rights have been restored. This voting right restriction impacts 10

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Understand Boating Laws & Boating Under the Influence in Florida

Understand Boating Laws & Boating Under the Influence in Florida

For many boaters throughout the country, the wrap up of summer fun means one last boating adventure before fall and winter arrive. While summer is the height of boating season in Florida as well, we’re fortunate to enjoy weather that allows boating throughout most of the year. Northeast Florida offers miles and miles of waterways. All enjoyed by 59,256 boaters who registered their recreational vessels in Duval, Nassau, St. Johns and Clay counties according to

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How to Avoid Self-Incrimination

How to Avoid Self-Incrimination

As a Jacksonville police officer takes you into custody, he informs you that: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.” As you’re put into the back of the police car, it’s imperative you understand and heed those words. Especially the first

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The Medical Marijuana Battle isn’t Over—It’s Just Begun

The Medical Marijuana Battle isn’t Over—It’s Just Begun

Your right to legally use medical marijuana in Florida took a giant leap forward on January 3, 2017. That’s when amendment 2–Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative—went into effect. On November 8, 2016, 71% of Florida voters said yes to legalize medical marijuana for individuals with specific debilitating diseases or comparable debilitating conditions as determined by a licensed state physician. While the amendment win is big news for marijuana-use advocates, celebration might be premature. The actual

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Knowing Your Rights When Stopped by Any Authoritative Agency

Today’s news is filled with negative and, sometimes, downright violent interactions between the public and Police or other Government Authorities. I understand that nervous sinking feeling you get in your stomach when you see the blue lights from a police vehicle in your rearview mirror. In that moment, a series of thoughts probably run through your head: “Was I speeding?” “Do I have a broken taillight?” “Is my license tag expired?” Then, you might start

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