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Orlando Sex Offense Law Blog

Florida passes medical marijuana measure

The presidency wasn't the only thing on the line on Nov. 8 in the state of Florida. We also had a vote for legalizing medical marijuana, an initiative that passed with a resounding 71 percent of the ballots cast in favor of the measure. The measure will give the state control over dispensaries and marijuana will still be illegal to grow for personal use. How possession of medical marijuana will work and other complexities and details about the law are still being determined.

Florida is now one of 28 states that have legalized marijuana in some form (may it be for recreational use or medical use). This growing trend marks a serious shift in cultural thought about this substance. However, federal guidelines still hold firm that marijuana is an illegal substance. 

FBI's hacking powers expanded

The FBI's job is to find and arrest people who break federal laws. But there are some civil liberties advocates who say the bureau is getting dangerously close to violating Americans' rights -- and sometimes crossing the line in its efforts to track down people suspected of downloading and distributing child pornography.

The FBI and other law enforcement and intelligence agencies recently received an expansion of their powers to hack into private citizens' computers, according to news reports. Judges can now issue search warrants that give the FBI authority to hack into computers anywhere in the nation. Judges were previously restricted to issuing warrants for investigations in their jurisdictions.

Discussing sexual assault and its many penalties

Sexual assault charges, by their very nature, are inflammatory and upsetting. When people hear about such charges in the news, they are likely to feel a wave of anger and grief on behalf of the victim. This is normal and understandable. Sexual assault charges are very serious, and cases that involve sexual assault need to be properly handled and fully investigated.

Given the emotional nature of these charges, it can be difficult to remember that the person accused of the crime is innocent until proven guilty. Sexual assault charges are brought against someone when they are accused of performing unwanted or offensive sexual advances and touching. The consequences for such crimes, if they are proven true, are very serious.

Drug distribution cases are not always open and shut

Drug distribution and drug sales may seem like simple charges that are easy to prove. However, this is a false statement. There are many mitigating factors that can come into play when someone is accused of selling or distributing drugs, and for the accused it is vital for them to fight back against these charges given the very serious consequences these charges carry.

The first thing to know about drug distribution and drug sales charges is that the prosecutor in the case has to prove that the accused "knowingly" participated in activities that would distribute or traffic the drugs. This would mean that the accused would have to know that the drugs were coming into the state of Florida from outside, or that they were being brought here for the clear purpose of them being sold and distributed. 

The rights granted to you by a Miranda warning

You have many rights as someone who is accused of a crime. It is easy to forget this, because the way criminal charges are handled in the media, there is a heavy implication of guilt and plenty of anger aimed towards the defendant -- even though he or she is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.

Some of your most important rights, though, are your Miranda rights. Anyone who is accused of a crime must be read the Miranda warning before they are arrested. You probably already know it by heart:

New drug emerges in Florida

One of the cliches about drugs and the war on drugs is the fear that the media and lawmakers generate when they discuss certain drugs. While there is certainly an abusive and seedy element to drugs, the way drugs are depicted makes it seem as though the world will end if we continue to let these drugs exist and be used by people.

In nearly every way, drugs certainly aren't helpful or beneficial. However, people who use them or sell them don't deserve to suffer excessive punishment because of a societal perception that was grown over time by fear. Our source article today is an example of this cliche. 

Some things to consider about drugged driving

Drugged driving is a topic that doesn't get as much publicity as drunk driving. DUIs are more common and they "grab the headlines" more so than drugged driving cases. This can lead to some misconceptions about drugged driving cases.

First, let's talk about drunk driving cases. When someone is charged with a DUI offense, there are usually pieces of evidence that can establish their intoxication. Blood tests and breath tests are the most notable of these types of evidence. The reason these tests are reliable and effective is because alcohol isn't in the blood stream for very long. Thus, when alcohol is detected in your blood, it is reliable evidence. It shows that you recently consumed alcohol as opposed to consuming it weeks ago and having it turn up in the test.

Don't hesitate to consult with a criminal defense attorney

Sex crimes are some of the most serious criminal offenses in our justice system.The people who are accused of these crimes stand to lose a lot. Their livelihoods and, indeed, their futures are on the line. Alleging such crimes against someone is also a very serious matter, and given the perverse and outrageous nature of such an alleged act, it is no surprise that sex crimes are treated so seriously.

What we as a society can't underestimate or mitigate in these cases though is the need for the circumstances and evidence in the case to be correct. Sex crimes involve a wide array of potential offenses -- from prostitution and solicitation, to child pornography, to rape and sexual assault -- and no matter what the circumstances are, they need to be thoroughly investigated and vetted.

Life in prison a possibility for man charged with drug crime

A man from Florida is facing life in prison after pleading guilty to drug distribution charges related to 121 pounds of heroin and cocaine earlier this year. Another person was also charged in the case on conspiracy charges. A court date has yet to be announced for the man accused of drug distribution charges. While his maximum is life in prison, the mandatory minimum of his crimes is 10 years in jail.

There is a lot to parse through in this story. First and foremost, while the heroin epidemic in this country is a very serious matter, the punishment and treatment of people accused of possessing and distributing heroin also needs to be handled seriously and appropriately. Throwing massive penalties and jail time at offenders makes it more difficult for them to reincorporate into society after they pay their debt to society.

Reform for sex offender registration is slow

Registering as a sex offender isn't just embarrassing and punishing, it also leaves the individual with little room to make improvements to his or her life. This isn't a topic that many people like to discuss because the matter of sexually-based crimes are inherently unsavory and tough to talk about. It is easier in many people's minds to just label people who are convicted of sex crimes as horrible and then never consider them again.

But the fact of the matter is that people who are convicted of sexually-based crimes are still people. They still have to live in the world and participate in society. Ostracizing them to the point that they feel unwelcome and unable to improve their situation only makes things worse for everyone. Such a state makes the convicted individual feel helpless and it can make them turn to criminal acts again.

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