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FedCrime

Decriminalizing Marijuana at The Federal Level

By The Baez Law Firm |

Even though almost a dozen states have already legalized marijuana, according to the latest FBI crime statistics, arrests are increasing in connection with marijuana offenses. Still, just as Florida is taking steps to decriminalize marijuana (although only for medical use), Congress is also taking steps to try and ensure that its use is no… Read More »

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Florida’s Sex Crime Case Against Kraft & Others Falls Apart Due to Police Failing to Properly Conduct Surveillance So as to Protect Privacy Rights

By The Baez Law Firm |

The trial involving Florida bringing a number of sex crime charges against Robert Kraft and others in connection with several massage parlors hit a wall on May 13, when the judge found that hundreds of hours of video surveillance police had gathered and based the case on were inadmissible in court because that surveillance… Read More »

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Time for Additional Criminal Justice Reform

By The Baez Law Firm |

There is no question that our criminal justice system is based on the concept of retributive justice, with the goal being to punish people and seek vengeance under the theory that this will help them act correctly in the future. In other words, it is based on the system harming that individual if they… Read More »

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Florida’s Outdated Felony Theft Charges Can Ruin Lives for Crimes as Small as Stealing a Phone

By The Baez Law Firm |

The felony theft charge threshold has been far too low in Florida for far too long: To date, theft charges become felonies if the value of what of stolen is it least $300, and this has not changed since 1986. In other words, in Florida, stealing a phone, for example, can literally ruin your… Read More »

FedCrime

It’s Time for Florida to Stop Trying Juveniles as Adults for Minor Crimes

By The Baez Law Firm |

We previously discussed widespread corruption and abuse in the Florida juvenile justice system. Florida leads the nation in charging children and teens as adults, where three-quarters of these children are African-American or Hispanic. Between 2016-2018, the number of children transferred to the adult system was between 900 and more than 1,000, each year. Bill… Read More »

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Florida Criminal Justice Reform Bill Gains Traction, But House Version Is Missing Key Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Reductions

By The Baez Law Firm |

In April, the Florida House finally filed a long awaited response to a criminal justice bill filed by State Senator Jeff Brandes that would adjust mandatory minimum sentencing and increase the focus of Florida prisons on the rehabilitation of inmates. Fortunately, both the right and left have praised the criminal justice bill; citing a… Read More »

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Color Due to Discriminatory, Unconstitutional Legislation Introduced

By The Baez Law Firm |

On April 8, Florida civil rights advocates issued a travel advisory for people of color and immigrants, urging them to use caution when traveling in Florida due to two proposed bills; Senate Bill 168 (“SB 168”) and House Bill 527 (“HB 527”). According to advocates, if these bills are passed into law, certain individuals… Read More »

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Florida House Considers Bill Making Certain Abortion Provider Activities a Third-Degree Felony

By The Baez Law Firm |

On April 17, the Florida House considered legislation requiring minors seeking an abortion to first obtain parental consent. If it passes and is signed into law, any doctors or other healthcare providers involved in providing abortions to minors would face severe criminal consequences. While Florida already has a parental notification requirement for minors when… Read More »

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Florida Advocates, Once Again, Seek to Expand What Is Punished as A Hate Crime

By The Baez Law Firm |

A number of Florida advocates and legislators are, once again, pushing to expand the coverage of what is considered (and thus punished as) a hate crime here in Florida. Although this is not the first time that legislators in Florida have sought to expand the state hate crime law, these efforts do appear to… Read More »

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Nonviolent Drug Offenders Are Still Serving Decades in Florida Prisons, but That Could Soon Change

By The Baez Law Firm |

The passage of the First Step Act brought a number of much-needed criminal justice reforms at the federal level; such that Florida lawmakers are now considering enacting similar reforms throughout the state of Florida. Florida’s prison population is currently close to a total of 1,000,000 inmates. A significant portion of these inmates are offenders… Read More »

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LGBTQ Discrimination in Florida

By The Baez Law Firm |

Can a private business in Florida discriminate against a couple simply because they are gay? That is a question that arose recently when a gay couple were refused a couples massage at a Florida spa by the manager, who emphatically claimed that the refusal was not due to discrimination, but simply because couples massages… Read More »

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Advocates Petition Florida Supreme Court to Restore Constitutional Right to Challenge Facial Recognition Systems before Criminal Conviction

By The Baez Law Firm |

Many people do not realize that Florida diverges from other states in allowing people to be convicted based on facial recognition systems that identify you as the perpetrator of a crime without first allowing you to exercise your constitutional right to challenge its accuracy; all due to one Florida appeals court decision. As a… Read More »

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All Pending Marijuana Legalization Bills In Florida; Summarized

By The Baez Law Firm |

As attorneys who regularly defend individuals accused of drug crimes here in Florida—including marijuana-related crimes—we regularly receive questions about where Florida is in terms of decriminalizing marijuana. There are currently a number of bills pending in the Florida Senate and House that address the legalization of marijuana; below, we summarize each one. SB 182… Read More »

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Florida Plastic Surgery Clinic Becomes Epicenter of Wrongful Death Incidents

By The Baez Law Firm |

USA Today recently ran an important story on one Florida plastic surgery clinic becoming a national epicenter for wrongful death. This clinic is described as a “factory assembly line” that processes a number of patients every day. However, just at this one clinic and a nearby facility, eight patients have died just in the… Read More »

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Florida Legislators Advance Unconstitutional Bill to Significantly Limit the Ability for Ex-Felons to Vote

By The Baez Law Firm |

In continuation of their attempts to stall the restoration of voting rights to ex-felons, as was the will of a majority of Floridians, on March 19, Florida legislators advanced a bill to further solidify this hurdle by requiring former felons to pay all court fees and fines before they can register to vote and… Read More »

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Florida Finally Legalizes (Decriminalizes) Medical Marijuana

By The Baez Law Firm |

On March 18, Gov. Ron DeSantis overturned Florida’s ban on medical marijuana when he signed legislation overturning it into law. The legislation marks the state finally taking steps to actualize the will of the voters, who approved legalizing medical marijuana three years ago. DeSantis also dismissed the state’s appeal of the lower court’s decision… Read More »

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U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision Solidifies Florida Bump Stock Ban & Felony Classification?

By The Baez Law Firm |

Even though owning bump stocks has been illegal in Florida for months now, citizens have reportedly continued to own them, and a number of attorneys have challenged the ban in courts; arguing that it is unconstitutional for the state to take away residents’ property without first providing compensation. However, the recent decision made by… Read More »

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Florida Is, Once Again, Retrying A Defendant Who Has Already Been Exonerated by DNA Evidence—What Does This Say About Our Justice System?

By The Baez Law Firm |

We have previously discussed the issue of prosecutors deciding to prosecute innocent individuals in spite of evidence to the contrary, and the wrongful convictions that can result from this misconduct. This issue was recently highlighted in the trial of Paul Hildwin, whose death sentence was reversed and capital conviction overturned when DNA evidence linking… Read More »

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Citizenship Question for Voter Registration Sparks State-Based Civil Rights Lawsuits

By The Baez Law Firm |

A huge civil rights issue has emerged at both the federal and state level regarding the citizenship question and review as part of the 2020 census. Some minority organizations now found themselves having to sue their state officials over what they call an “election-related witch hunt” designed to intimidate voters by asking them to… Read More »

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Another E-Cigarette Death Raises Question Surrounding Products Liability & Civil Litigation

By The Baez Law Firm |

There is no question that e-cigarettes have both harmed and killed a number of people after exploding and catching on fire, as well as sending shrapnel into consumers. Recently, another man died after one of these devices exploded and sent debris into his left carotid artery, lodging in his throat and causing a stroke,… Read More »

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When Criminal Cases Are Thrown Out Due To Government Misconduct

By The Baez Law Firm |

One criminal case that was dismissed due to the local sheriff “spying” on the defense’s notes and jurors’ notebooks has received widespread attention and begged the question as to just how frequently law enforcement and prosecution is involved in similar government misconduct around the country. The incident sparked outrage from criminal and civil rights… Read More »

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Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Wins Post-Conviction Release for BlueWare CEO

By The Baez Law Firm |

In February, criminal defense attorney Jose Baez won a post-conviction release of BlueWare CEO Rose Harr, who was previously found guilty of Conspiracy to Commit Bribery and Principle to Commit Bid Tampering in a 2014 criminal public corruption case. The alleged scandal and subsequent charges involved former Brevard Clerk of the Court Mitchell Needelman… Read More »

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In Florida, Not Only Are Wrongful Convictions Par for the Course, But Some Prosecutors Fight Obvious Exonerations

By The Baez Law Firm |

It’s no secret that no state in the U.S. likely has more wrongful convictions than Florida, where a number of defendants are convicted simply because they did not have the resources to build a proper defense and/or were cajoled into taking inaccurate plea bargains. Sadly, in Brevard County in particular, wrongful convictions are reportedly… Read More »

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Florida Student Arrested For Refusing To Stand For/Recite the Pledge of Allegiance

By The Baez Law Firm |

News of an 11-year-old Florida student being arrested, taken to a juvenile detention center, and charged with a misdemeanor for refusing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in class has been covered all over news headlines. Not only is the child now facing criminal charges, but his civil rights under the First and Fourteenth… Read More »

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Florida Officers Accused Of Slapping Suspect Taken Into Custody & Trying To Destroy Evidence of It

By The Baez Law Firm |

Two Florida police officers are not only being accused of police misconduct, but are also now facing criminal charges—misdemeanor battery—after a video showed them slapping a handcuffed teenager as they were being taken into custody. One of them is also being accused of trying to destroy the video surveillance that captured the activity. The… Read More »

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