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Fort Lauderdale Criminal Law Blog

5 taken into custody following residential drug bust

On May 17, Florida authorities said that five people were taken into custody on drug charges following a year-long investigation. The arrests were made following the execution of a search warrant at a residence located in the 6000 block of Barnes Street in Milton.

Authorities reportedly forced their way into the home after the residents did not respond to knocking. They found four people in the home. One person attempted to flee the scene but was quickly taken into custody. Another person, who was identified as a 41-year-old man, was transported to a nearby hospital after it was believed that he had overdosed on drugs. A fifth person was taken into custody after he drove up to the home. He allegedly had methamphetamine in his possession.

2 accused of stealing items worth more than $50,000

Two Florida men who were accused of stealing items valued at more than $50,000 and attempting to sell them on Craigslist were charged by the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office. The theft allegedly occurred on May 12 when someone reported that a flatbed trailer and two sump grinders had been taken from a fenced lot in Sarasota.

The victim reported to authorities that an ad was posted to Craigslist that showed the stolen items. The accused individuals got into contact with the victim and agreed to meet at a service station in south Florida to sell the items. Law enforcement officers were notified of the meetup.

Defend your freedom from domestic violence charges

Many spouses and partners face domestic violence charges at some point or another, but simply facing charges is far, far different from a conviction or guilt of harm. If you currently face domestic violence charges, you must do everything you can to stop these charges in their tracks.

Charges of this nature often carry more than just legal penalties — they carry social stigma that is exceptionally difficult to outrun. The truth of the matter is that your charges very well may stem from a misunderstanding or exaggeration, with no regard to how the charges themselves may affect you even if there is never a conviction.

Man facing drug trafficking charges after undercover sting

A 30-year-old Florida man is facing decades behind bars after allegedly approaching an undercover Polk County deputy to help him cook and distribute methamphetamine with a street value of approximately $600,000. The man has been booked into the Polk County Jail on two counts of trafficking methamphetamine along with motor vehicle and drug paraphernalia charges. If he is convicted, he would be sent to prison for 22 years under current minimum mandatory sentencing laws.

According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, the methamphetamine was produced in Mexico and smuggled into the United States using three vases. Police say that glass tiles were placed on the vases over liquid methamphetamine that had gelled into a paste. Law enforcement became involved when the man allegedly approached a deputy to help him convert the meth paste into a more salable version of the drug.

Drug legislation amended to remove mandatory minimums

On May 2, it was reported that legislation regarding Florida's rising opioid epidemic sparked a debate among lawmakers. This debate put an amendment that would establish mandatory minimim penalties for those who were convicted of being in possession of fentanyl in jeopardy.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is often mixed with heroin. The bill that would establish mandatory minimum penalties had already been approved by the House. In its initial form, the bill would have required a minimum three-year jail sentence for up to 14 grams. The minimum prison sentences would be bumped up to at least 15 years for up to 28 grams and 25 years for those convicted of being in possession of more than 28 grams.

Florida cracks down on synthetic drugs

On April 20, the Florida House passed a bill that would put synthetic drugs, including fentanyl, in the same category as heroin when it comes to drug trafficking. Furthermore, the bill includes a provision that if a person dies of a drug overdose, the person who sold the drugs can be charged with murder. Possessing 10 or more grams of some synthetic drugs will become a felony.

As part of another bill, pharmacies will be required to make daily rather than weekly reports to a state database about dispensing a controlled substance. The state is currently dealing with an opioid epidemic, and from 2013 to 2014, deaths related to fentanyl went up 115 percent. However, it is also expected that some of the new laws will lead to an increase in the prison population.

Multiple people in custody on drug charges

Florida authorities took four Port St. Lucie residents into custody April 12 on a variety of drug charges. Three of the individuals taken into custody were charged with possession of heroin, sale of heroin and drug possession without a prescription. The fourth person, a 62-year-old man, was also charged with trafficking heroin and possession of ammunition as a convicted felon.

Two of the defendants were under investigation by police after they had previously sold heroin to an undercover police officer. Authorities believed that the pair worked together on drug deals. After a traffic stop led to authorities finding roughly 300 capsules of heroin weighing 52 grams, a search warrant was executed on each man's home. During these searches, officers found heroin, drug paraphernalia and packing materials.

What's the best domestic violence defense strategy?

There is no denying the fact that domestic violence is a serious crime. Furthermore, if the police arrest you for this crime, you need to understand just how serious it is.

Before we go any further, you need to remember that domestic violence is not something that only occurs between two people who are married. This can also come into play among two family members or those who are dating.

State looking to expand diversion program for juveniles

The Florida state legislature is considering two different ideas that could potentially help keep juveniles who make mistakes from getting into legal trouble. Both of the bills would help minors who commit their first misdemeanor crime by getting them into diversion programs.

One of the bills, which is going through the Senate, would require law enforcement officers to issue citations to youths who are taken into custody after they commit a first misdemeanor crime. The second bill, a House bill, would automatically expunge a minor's record once they complete the diversion program. While it has been agreed upon that expanding the citation programs will help youths in the long run, determining how to change the programs is where the disagreements come into play.

Actor Adam Pally accused of weed, cocaine possession

Florida residents who enjoy watching "The Mindy Project" and "Happy Endings" may be interested to learn that on March 28 Adam Pally, an actor who was a regular on those shows, was taken into custody in New York City for possession of illegal substances. He was charged with criminal possession of cocaine and criminal possession of marijuana.

At approximately 10:46 p.m., officers reportedly observed Pally smoking an e-cigarette that was allegedly filled with pot on West 48th Street in Manhattan. After he was taken into custody, police found a small amount of cocaine on his person. He was ultimately released and was scheduled to return to court in June. He did not make a statement regarding the incident.

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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