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Fort Lauderdale Criminal Law Blog

Men and women can be accused of domestic violence

Many people think about men being the aggressors when they hear about domestic violence. This isn't always the case. Women can also act aggressively in these relationships, but this doesn't always mean that the woman is the abuser.

There are several issues that you have to look at when any accusation of domestic violence, whether against a man or a woman, is made. These can often provide an important insight into the intimate relationship.

Actress Rose McGowan facing drug charges

Florida fans of Rose McGowan may be interested to learn that the actress was taken into custody on Nov. 14 on felony charges for possession of a controlled substance. She reportedly turned herself in to authorities in Virginia where she was booked and released on a $5,000 unsecured bond.

The charges stemmed from an incident in early 2017 when some of the actress's personal belongings were left behind on a flight. The items reportedly contained traces of narcotics. Tests to confirm this allegation came back positive. The arrest warrant was issued on Feb. 1.

Student faces drug charges in ongoing investigation in Florida

On Nov. 7, a student was taken into police custody in connection with an investigation that is ongoing at Florida State University in Tallahassee. According to media sources, the 22-year-old man is being held at the Leon County Detention Facility on suspicion of selling cocaine. Preliminary reports indicate that bond has been set at $25,000.

A member of FSU's Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, the student is the second fraternity member to face drug charges following the death of a 20-year-old pledge at a residence off campus. On Nov. 6, a 20-year-old member of Phi Delta Theta was detained on allegations of trafficking and selling cocaine. News sources report that FSU officials have indefinitely suspended all of the university's sororities and fraternities in the aftermath of the incidents. Authorities have not yet officially confirmed the cause of death in the pledge's demise.

Florida man loses job because of mistaken drug arrest

A 33-year-old Florida man says that a police mistake has cost him both his job and his reputation. The Pensacola resident was charged with drug possession on Oct. 6 after a roadside drug testing kit used by police indicated that a white powder found in his car was cocaine, but subsequent laboratory testing conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement discovered no trace of the drug.

The man's vehicle was originally pulled over by Escambia County Sheriff's Office deputies for a license plate violation, but the situation escalated when one of the deputies claimed that the car smelled of marijuana. While no marijuana was discovered during the subsequent vehicle search, deputies did find a plastic bag containing white powder. The man told deputies that the substance was protein powder, but he was taken into custody and charges with drug possession when a portable drug testing kit signaled that the powder was cocaine.

Cocaine found in alleged drug dealer's car

On Oct. 17, a Florida City woman was taken into custody on suspicion of selling cocaine. The incident took place at around 6:15 p.m. in Monroe County.

According to authorities, the defendant, age 39, was driving a black Volkswagen on Overseas Highway when she was pulled over near the 55-mile mark by deputies from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. The deputies ran a check on her license plate and discovered that she had a warrant for two counts of dealing cocaine. She was also wanted for using a two-way communications device to facilitate a felony.

Donut and meth mix-up results in sweet settlement for Florida man

Florida residents may be interested to learn about a case where a 64-year old man received a monetary settlement after police officers in Orlando mistakenly identified Krispy Kreme donut glaze for methamphetamine. The situation unfolded in late 2015 during a routine traffic stop that has put Florida taxpayers on the hook for $37,500, excluding court costs.

Although this is a civil law settlement, the case started in criminal court after the plaintiff was stopped for an alleged traffic violation. Police officers searched his vehicle and noticed a mysterious glaze covering parts of the dashboard. The officers then subjected the plaintiff to roadside drug testing, which ostensibly came up positive; furthermore, the sugary glaze also came up positive for methamphetamine.

False allegations of domestic violence common in divorce cases

Are you a Fort Lauderdale man who is going through an ugly divorce? If so, beware that this civil procedure could spin off false accusations of domestic violence that threaten to land you in jail on spousal abuse charges.

Could you be victimized by false domestic violence allegations?

Arrests for possession perpetuate the "War on Drugs"

The most common drug offenses leading to arrests in Florida and across the United States are related to possession of controlled substances. According to the 2016 Uniform Crime Report issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the latest law enforcement trend in the U.S. involves arresting individuals for simple possession. Nearly 85 percent of the nearly 1.6 million drug arrests conducted by state and federal agencies in 2016 were for drug possession charges, and the vast majority of these arrests did not involve any violence.

Even as many states move towards legalizing marijuana dispensaries and even recreational use, the number of drug arrests does not seem to attenuate. In fact, it seems as if though the War on Drugs is intensifying. In light of this situation the Drug Policy Alliance is calling on state legislatures to adopt more relaxed measures in cases related to possession of small amounts.

Man facing drug charges after allegedly fleeing accident scene

The Florida Highway Patrol has reported that a 33-year-old Mississippi man is facing a raft of charges including drug possession and dealing in stolen property after allegedly fleeing the scene of an accident on the morning of Sept. 30. Police say that the man's vehicle struck a wooden box in the parking lot of Santa Rosa County convenience store pushing it through the store's window. The incident took place on Navarre Parkway in Navarre at approximately 6:00 a.m.

The man is said to have admitted to causing the accident and consented to a search of his Chevrolet Malibu after being pulled over a short time later. According to police, the search yielded a Xanax bar, a syringe and two bags of methamphetamine along with several items of personal mail and several boxes of snacks. Initial reports suggest that police believe the snacks were stolen.

Stolen tire leads to major drug bust in Florida

On Sept. 14, law enforcement officials in Florida recovered more than 360 grams of methamphetamine following an alleged burglary involving a tire. Police say that the confiscated meth has a street value of more than $14,000 and represents the largest drug bust ever achieved by the Fort Myers Police Department. Two men were taken into custody in Lee County in connection with the incident. Trials for both men are scheduled to begin on Oct. 16.

The incident began in a shopping center parking lot where a woman reported a stolen tire. Sources indicate that two men used a tire iron to remove the item from the woman's Toyota before leaving the scene in another vehicle with the alleged stolen property. The woman's children, who witnessed the incident, told responders that the alleged burglars were traveling in a Toyota with a spare tire when they left the scene.

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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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