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Each lawyer in this firm has more than 25 years experience practicing criminal defense in Gainesville, Florida and surrounding areas, including Alachua, Levy, Bradford, Union and Gilchrist Counties.

(352) 378-1107

1800 N. Main Street
Gainesville, FL 32609
Fax (352) 378-0103
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Blog and News

"Current news and information concerning criminal law"

Jury Power: Under Attack

A recent N.Y. Times editiorial exposes how prosecutors are charging a retired chemistry professor with jury tampering as a result of him handing out pamphlets providing information on the historical doctrine of jury nullification.

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More States Consider Forced Blood Extraction For DUI Suspects That Refuse Breath Testing

Attorneys who practice DUI law understand that in Schmerber v. California, 384 U.S. 757 (1966), the US Supreme Court upheld the right of states to forcibly extract blood from DUI suspects.  Now the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports that many states, including our own, have adopted or are considering adopting "no refusal" laws that allow the police to hold you down and jam a needle in your arm and extract your blood when you refuse to provide a breath sample in a DUI case.  Not surprising, Texas appears to be leading the way in this new initiative.

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Florida Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument On Constitutionality Of Drug Law

The Florida Supreme Court heard oral argument on Tuesday, December 6, 2011, regarding the constitutionality of Florida’s drug laws as raised in the criminal case of Luke Jarrod Adkins et al v. Florida.  An assistant public defendant and assistant attorney general were questioned by the Florida Supreme Court Justice’s about their legal positions.  The Florida Supreme Court has not issued a ruling on the issue raised in the appeal and does not have a specific timetable for issuing a written order in the case.

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Understanding Florida’s Pre-Trial Intervention Program

The Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) is a diversion program available to some alleged felony offenders that, if successfully completed, results in the criminal charge being dismissed.

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Understanding Alachua County’s Drug Court Program

The Alachua County Drug Court program is a supervision and treatment program serving nonviolent felony offenders whose criminal allegations are related to drug or alcohol addiction. Alachua County’s Drug Court Program has been operating since 1993 and was one of the first fully functional programs in the State of Florida.  It’s offices are located at 249 W. University Ave. (Rear Entrance) Gainesville, Florida.

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Florida Supreme Court Accepts Jurisdiction In Drug Law Constitutionality Cases

The Florida Supreme Court has accepted jurisdiction to decide the constitutionality of Florida’s drug statutes pursuant to the request of Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal.  Meanwhile, in another case, Florida’s First District Court of Appeal upheld the constitutionality of Florida’s drug law.

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HERALD-TRIBUNE CALLS FOR FLORIDA TO DISCONTINUE USE OF INTOXILYZER

In an editorial published on 10-13-11, the Herald-Tribune cites a host of problems associated with the Intoxilyzer currently being used throughout the State of Florida including incorrect measurements of breath volume, unreliable results, increased government costs, and wasted court time.

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NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL CALLS FOR END TO MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCES

On Thursday September 29. 2011, in an editorial entitled “ An Invitation to Overreach”, the New York Times joins the  American Bar Association, the Judicial Conference of the United States , and every major organization focusing on criminal justice  in opposing  mandatory minimum sentences.  The Times stated the rise in mandatory minimum sentences has damaged the integrity of the justice system , reduced the role of judges in meting out punishment, and has increased the power of prosecutors beyond their proper role.

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District Court of Appeal Requests Florida Supreme Court Decide Constitutionality Of Drug Law Quickly

In an opinion dated September 28, 2011, a Florida District Court of Appeal has certified that an appeal from a recent ruling finding Florida’s primary drug prossession statute unconstitutional involves an issue of great public importance that requires immediate resolution by the Florida Supreme Court.  The appellate court’s certification is essentially a request that Florida’s highest court resolve issues recently raised about the constitutionality of Florida's drug statute as quickly as possible. The appellate court’s certification was entered as prosecutors in Manatee County Florida appealed Circuit Court Judge Scott Brownell’s dismissal of drug charges against forty-two defendants to the Second District Court of Appeal.  Judge Brownell’s recent order finding Florida’s drug statute unconstitutional, as well as other similar recent court rulings, have been discussed previously in this blog and can be found here.

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Tougher Sentencing Laws Give Prosecutors Greater Leverage to Induce Plea Bargains

On Monday, September 26, 2011, the New York Times reported in a front page story that as a result of decades of passing laws to increase punishments, prosecutors have gained greater leverage to extract guilty pleas from defendants which has dramatically reduced the number of cases proceeding to trial. The Times examined statistics from the National Center for State Courts and the Bureau of Justice Statistics which illustrate this trend towards lower trial rates

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Noise Statute Unconstitutional

On September 16th the Fifth District Court of Appeals declared Florida Statute 316.3045 (1 ) ( a ) unconstitutionally overbroad and found that it restricted the right of free expression. This ruling was consistent with a prior ruling of the Second District Court of Appeals from May of this year in a case styled as State of Florida v. Catalano 60 So. 3d 1139 ( Fla. 2nd DCA , 2011).

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Two Florida Circuit Court Judges Rule Drug Law Unconstitutional

Following the lead of U.S. District Court Judge Mary Scriven, who found on July 27, 2011 that the provisions of Florida Statute 893.13 violated fundamental rights of due process (read the Shelton order here), two State of Florida Circuit Court Judges have now also ruled that Florida’s primary drug prohibition statute is unconstitutional.   On August 17, 2011, Judge Milton Hirsch of the State of Florida’s Eleventh Judicial Circuit dismissed thirty-nine felony drug cases finding Florida Statute 893.13 violates due process and is unconstitutional.   Read the Hirsch order here.  Similarly, on September 14, 2011, Judge Scott Brownell of the State of Florida’s Twelfth Judicial Circuit, dismissed forty-two felony drug cases, finding that Florida Statute 893.13 is unconstitutional.  Read the Brownell order here.

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Helping Your Attorney Help You

Whether you are a litigant in a civil case or a defendant facing criminal charges, there will be difficult decisions you must face. Maintaining good relations with your attorney and assisting throughout the process can make your tough decisions easier.

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Finding the Right Attorney for You

If you are ever in need of legal advice and representation for a particular legal matter, you should spend some time and effort researching the best attorney for your needs.

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Florida Court Declares Loud Stereo Statute Unconstitutional

In May 2011, the Second District Court of Appeals ruled that the Florida Statute which makes it unlawful to have your car stereo plainly audible at a distance of 25 feet or more from the motor vehicle is unconstitutional. The Court stated that the term “plainly audible” is too vague and invites arbitrary enforcement. Additionally, the Court stated that this statute was a restriction on free speech.

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Drinking Alcohol in Public: Unlawful in Gainesville

Although it remains a violation of law in the city limits of Gainesville to either possess an alcoholic beverage in an open container or to publicly consume an alcoholic beverage, a change in the law earlier this year may affect the manner in which this ordinance is enforced.

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Judge Declares Florida Drug Law Unconstitutional

Today U.S. District Judge Mary Scriven declared Florida’s controlled substances law unconstitutional.

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