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Orlando Sex Offense Law Blog

Can I plead no contest to a criminal charge?

The criminal justice system in the U.S. is far more complex and complicated than most people realize. For instance, did you know that a person accused of a crime doesn't have to plead either guilty or not guilty to the charges? A number of different pleas can be entered, including a plea of no contest.

No contest pleas are not uncommon, including in cases where a person is accused of prostitution or solicitation. However, there are some critical elements of pleading no contest that you should understand should you find yourself in a position to enter a plea.

3 parties that can face penalties for forged prescriptions

Prescription drug abuse is one of the nation's most pervasive health issues. Millions of people struggle with or have struggled with abusing prescription drugs, from painkillers to tranquilizers; there is no shortage of demand when it comes to these powerful medications.

Those who are addicted to these medications often rely on illegal ways of procuring a supply. However, they are not the only ones who can face serious drug charges and penalties when these controlled substances are obtained unlawfully. 

Why sexual misconduct often leads to several charges

When you read stories about someone facing criminal accusations related to sexual misconduct, chances are that person is not just looking at a single offense. In most cases, a single incident can lead to numerous charges and multiple counts, compounding the penalties that can be handed down.

This can happen for a few reasons we will explore below.

One failed motion doesn't have to spell defeat in sex abuse cases

Comedian Bill Cosby has seen his reputation as one of the country's most beloved personalities destroyed in the months following numerous allegations that he sexually assaulted several women. However, it is the story of one alleged victim that matters most in the eyes of the law, as it is the only one recent enough to have resulted in criminal prosecution.

Considering all that is on the line in this case, it is no surprise that it is being closely followed and scrutinized by people all over the country. It is also no surprise that Cosby's legal team is being aggressive in their challenges of the prosecution's case. Most recently, it has targeted the apparent violation of Cosby's right to confront his accuser.

The massive reach of drug trafficking investigations

We have often discussed the fact that hundreds of thousands of individuals are incarcerated every year due to drug-related convictions. In many cases, the individuals in jail are believed to be part of larger operations and networks manufacturing and distributing drugs. In an effort to get to those at the center of these alleged rings, police and prosecutors will often go to great lengths to capture, question and convict anyone believed to be associated with drug trafficking and sales.

For years, in fact, the federal government has been trying to build a case against Fed Ex, the international delivery company. Recently, however, their efforts proved to be unsuccessful and the criminal charges against Fed Ex were dropped.

Is sex addiction a defense to sex crimes?

Getting on the computer to browse the internet or social media sites is something most of us do every single day, and for many of us, we do this for hours at a time. However, this behavior can become cause for concern if someone is struggling with impulse control and/or an apparent addiction to sex.

However, sex addiction has long been a controversial diagnosis. While some people support claims that an addiction to sex is every bit as legitimate as an addiction to things like drugs, others say that it is just a phrase used to try and justify misconduct or criminal behaviors. This often raises the question of whether sex addiction can be used as a legal defense for someone facing charges like making, possessing or distributing child pornography.

'Sexting epidemic' putting young people's futures at risk

Imagine yourself in middle school or high school. Remember the mistakes you made, the hefty weight of peer pressure and the relationships you were navigating for the first time. Now imagine the decisions you made back then weren't left in the past: they were defining you today.

This is all just putting into context the serious struggles young people face these days when it comes to sharing messages. Instead of three-way calls and notes passed during class, teens now have their own cellphones, anonymous messaging apps and access to numerous social media sites. And these devices and services are making it easier for teens to engage in criminal sexual activity, whether they recognize that or not.

Report: marijuana legalization does not increase use among teens

If you have been arrested for a drug offense or know someone who has, there is a very real possibility that the illicit drug involved was marijuana. Despite growing acceptance of marijuana use, laws that decriminalize possession and the potential reclassification of marijuana as a Schedule II drug, it remains an illegal drug on the federal level and in states like Florida.

However, recent reports from Colorado, where marijuana has been legalized, could lead to even more support for decriminalization. According to statistics gathered from 2014 and 2015, the rate of marijuana use among teens in states where it has been legalized has not skyrocketed, as expected. It has actually stayed the same.

Third parties can be named in sexual assault lawsuits

Did you know that you could be held accountable for the unlawful actions of another person? This can happen if there are claims that you allowed or failed to prevent circumstances that made it possible for another person to commit an offense. 

For instance, recently it was reported that an American Airlines passenger allegedly molested a 13-year-old girl traveling by herself. Not only was the man sitting next to her charged with abusive sexual conduct stemming from the incident, but the airline is also facing charges for failing to adequately protect the girl.

What to know about civil asset forfeiture laws in Florida

If you are accused of a drug crime including drug sales or trafficking, you should know that law enforcement agents can confiscate anything they believe was involved in or resulted from the crime. This means you can have your car, money and other assets seized by the authorities. This is civil asset forfeiture, and it is a common, yet controversial, practice all across the U.S.

Law enforcement agencies can keep a percentage of seized assets, which financially incentivizes policing. Not surprisingly, residents in Florida and in other states across the country have fought back, seeking reforms and changes to the practice. These efforts have been successful in this state, which will have some of the most "robust protections" for residents, according to a state Sen. Jeff Brandes.

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