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Fort Lauderdale Criminal Law Blog

Aaron Carter accused of DUI and pot possession

Aaron Carter fans may be interested to learn that the Florida-born singer was accused of driving while under the influence and for being in possession of marijuana on July 15 in Georgia. According to the Habersham County sheriff's office, the 29-year-old was taken into custody at about 9 p.m. after someone made a report about a vehicle driving all over the road to authorities.

Carter said that he had stopped at an AutoZone to fix an alignment issue. He said authorities approached him while he was still inside the shop. After exiting, he claimed that he told authorities that he had marijuana in the vehicle. He reportedly refused to submit a breath, blood or urine test. Both the singer and his girlfriend, who was with him, were taken into custody and both were charged with drug-related offenses. Carter was also charged with driving under the influence while his girlfriend was charged with obstruction.

Stalking and domestic violence: Things to know

It doesn't matter who you are, a domestic violence charge has a way of turning your life upside down.

While there is no guarantee that a charge will lead to a conviction, this doesn't make your life any easier for the time being. You'll need to learn more about the charges, as well as the defense strategy you can use to your advantage.

Florida Gov. Scott signs tough fentanyl bill into law

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill into law that significantly stiffens the penalties for fentanyl possession in the state. Fentanyl is an extremely powerful synthetic opioid painkiller that can greatly ease the suffering of cancer patients and individuals recovering from major surgery, but it has also played a role in fueling a nationwide overdose epidemic that has claimed thousands of lives.

Under the new law, the penalty for possessing between four and 13 grams of fentanyl is considered a first-degree felony and carries a minimum custodial sentence of three years. Being convicted of possessing 14 or more grams of the drug will result in a prison sentence of at least 14 years under the legislation, and those caught with more than 28 grams of fentanyl face the prospect of 25 or more years behind bars.

Men taken into custody at pool party

Florida residents may be interested to learn about a case where three people were taken into custody during a pool party that took place at College Club Townhomes in Tallahassee. The officers belonged to a group called the Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving Squad that was there to ensure public safety during the event. During the party, officers noticed that three men were wearing suspicious clothing. A K-9 sniffed the outside of the Ford Explorer that they drove to the event.

The dog alerted officers to the odor of narcotics coming from the vehicle. A search of the vehicle found a variety of firearms, including an AK-47 and an AR-15 in addition to drugs, ski masks and gloves. Officers took the men into custody and booked them into Leon County Jail. They all face charges of possessing less than 20 grams of cannabis as well as possession of drug paraphernalia.

False positive drug test sends Florida man to jail

Both a K-9 unit and a field test performed by police in Oviedo indicated that cocaine was in the car of a man who worked as a handyman. Subsequent testing of the white powder taken from his car later showed it to be drywall dust as the man had insisted at the time of his arrest.

Police had stopped his vehicle for driving without lights. When police viewed his record, they discovered that he had pleaded no contest to cocaine and marijuana charges in December 2015 and was currently on probation. The law enforcement database then indicated erroneously that the man was out past his curfew.

2 teens accused of involvement in road rage incident

On June 16, two Florida teenagers were taken into custody after they were accused of threatening a 71-year-old man with a baseball bat. Authorities said the incident may have been caused by road rage.

The incident report said that the teens, an 18-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl, were driving closely behind the 71-year-old man's vehicle. He reportedly tapped on the brakes. In response, the teens allegedly moved over to the adjacent lane and pulled up next to him. They then allegedly threw a soda bottle into the passenger side of the man's vehicle. The elderly man told authorities that he followed them into a shopping plaza parking lost. The girl then reportedly got out of the vehicle with a baseball bat while the other teen recorded the incident. The elderly man said that he warned the teens that he had a gun.

Understand the many drug possession defense strategies

Any type of drug crime conviction can have a negative impact on your life. This is why you need to understand your charges, your legal rights, and the type of defense strategy that can help you avoid the most serious punishment.

Some of the many drug possession defense strategies to consider include:

Drug raid of Florida man's home streamed on Facebook Live

A raid by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Department interrupted a 22-year-old man's live video stream on Facebook where he was flashing wads of money. As he boasted about his cash on social media, the video captured the sound of law enforcement announcing the execution of a search warrant.

Neighbors who spoke to a local television crew reported that the sheriff's department fired smoke grenades into the man's home. On the video, the man leaves the room with the camera running. Deputies are then seen coming and going until one of them noticed the camera and shut it off.

Rapper taken into custody in his home state

Florida residents who follow the world of rap music may have heard that Rich Homie Quan was stopped by police at a checkpoint in Georgia on May 27. He and five others were taken into custody and charged with suspicion of possessing a stolen gun and drugs. Quan was also charged with a felony count of possession with intent to distribute.

It was speculated that the drug that he was in possession of was marijuana. However, there was no information regarding how much he may have had with him when contacted by police. If he is convicted of the charge, the rapper could spend up to 30 years in prison.

Alternative to adjudication through pretrial program

Minors in Florida who are charged with certain types of felony offenses may be eligible to enter into a special pretrial intervention program in lieu of adjudication. The program may offer a way for juveniles to avoid adjudication on their charges while also allowing them to get the help that they need.

Minors who are charged with second- or third-degree felony offenses for possessing drugs, trying to obtain drugs with fraudulent prescriptions, solicitation to possess drugs or tampering with evidence are eligible to voluntarily enter the program if they do not have prior felony convictions on their records. The program includes drug education and treatment components along with a drug treatment court.

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Certified | The Florida Bar | Criminal Trial Law

Andrew M. Coffey has been recognized as a Board Certified Civil Trial lawyer by the Florida Bar. Certification is the highest level of recognition by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in the areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Florida.

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