Jonathan Rose, Attorney at Law
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Orlando Criminal Defense Blog

Sessions orders more forfeitures, despite widespread criticism

One of the most controversial elements of criminal investigations is the practice of asset forfeiture. This is the law that gives police permission to seize money, cars and other property they believe was involved in or the result of a crime. The intent of the law was initially to de-incentivize criminal enterprises.

However, over time, the process has been abused and manipulated; in some states, you don't even need to be arrested or charged with a crime to lose your property. Many states, including Florida, have passed bills to make asset forfeiture more difficult, but the fact is that asset forfeiture is still a very real problem for Americans. And Attorney General Jeff Sessions just announced plans to actually increase these efforts.

Could forgetfulness lead to criminal theft charges?

You and many other Florida residents may have been cursed with a bad memory. You may find yourself having to set multiple alarms and reminders in order to remember particularly important dates or activities, and you may have found yourself in trouble with a loved one for forgetting an anniversary or birthday. While you may not find yourself in the doghouse for long for such mishaps, you could potentially end up looking at the jailhouse if you forget to return a borrowed item.

Though most individuals tend to take a lax approach when working to get borrowed property returned, some parties may take such a slight very seriously. As a result, a neighbor or other person could potentially accuse you of theft for not returning a borrowed item. In such a scenario, you may feel particularly confused as to whether serious criminal charges could result.

An unexpected consequence of previous drug convictions

Readers of this blog should be familiar with the many consequences of a drug conviction. If you are convicted of a drug offense, you can be facing incarceration, fines and a stain on your criminal record. You can also lose your job, any professional licenses you might hold as well as your right to vote.

However, there is a consequence people often fail to recognize until they are back in handcuffs. A previous conviction for a drug offense means that you can be more likely to be suspected of a drug crime in the future. And you may have to stay behind bars while police investigate the case against you.

Faulty test results lead to 90-day incarceration for drug charges

Flashing lights in the rearview mirror can send chill bumps down the spine of almost any law-abiding Florida resident. The mind automatically races to determine why one is being pulled over. One typically does not assume that he or she is about to be arrested on drug charges that will later prove to be lacking in evidence.

In March, a Florida construction worker was stopped by local police. Authorities claim that he was driving without his headlights on. Upon running the driver's license information, officers determined that he was on probation and was in violation of his curfew; this curfew violation later proved to be inaccurate.

Don't let holiday mistakes jeopardize your freedom

The Fourth of July is right around the corner, and with that comes family vacations, patriotic parades and even some time off work. However, despite all the fun and celebration that takes place, this holiday is also a time when people engage in some inadvisable behaviors.

In cases where these behaviors are unlawful, they can wind up jeopardizing a person's future and freedom if he or she is arrested as a result. Below, we examine a few of the more common Independence Day-related activities that readers would be wise to avoid in the coming days.

School search results in more questions than answers

Imagine sending your child off to school one morning only to learn later that he or she was subjected to invasive searches by police while at school. As a parent, you would likely be livid at the intrusion and confused about whether the search that police conducted was lawful.

This is the very position in which the parents of roughly 900 students in another state have found themselves. Recently, the students were searched while at school and without notification to the parents. The troubling situation has raised a very important question: Where is the line between keeping kids safe and violating their rights?

The digital age is brutal on cops who use excessive force

You may be one of the numerous Florida residents who agree that law enforcement officers have a tough job. They put their lives on the line every day for people they don't know. However, they may also experience extreme stress due to the demands of the job, which could result in going well beyond what many would consider reasonable when dealing with the public and potential criminals.

The use of excessive force by police officers isn't new. However, technological advancements, such as cell phones and camcorders, mean that officers who get out of control could end up on YouTube or the local news. Whether the footage comes from a witness, the victim, or even a dashboard camera or body camera, it's good news for you if you suffered injuries due to police brutality.

3 reasons why eyewitness testimony is unreliable

People facing criminal charges often have at least one person serving as the eyewitness who identified them as being involved in a crime. This can certainly be upsetting if you are in this position, but understand that just because some identifies you as a guilty party does not mean you are guilty.

Eyewitness testimony is far from perfect. In fact, as noted in this Scientific American article, there are many problems with eyewitness testimony that make it unreliable in a court setting. We examine three such problems with eyewitness testimony below.

Women drivers: You could be at a higher risk of DUI arrest

Let's imagine two people sitting at a bar. They both are similar sizes and both order the same drink. Over the course of the evening, they both drink the same number of drinks. At the end of the night, they both drive home. However, one is legally sober and the other is legally intoxicated. How can this be the case?

This can happen if one of the people is a woman and the other is a man. For three reasons we examine below, women respond differently to alcohol, which could make them more likely to be arrested for DUI.

Driving under influence of drugs can result in criminal charges

If you are a golf fan, Florida resident or even just someone who reads the news, chances are you heard about the recent arrest of golfing legend Tiger Woods. Woods was arrested in Florida after police found him behind the wheel of his running car in the middle of the night.

Police reports indicate that he couldn't perform field sobriety tests, had slurred speech and was very confused. All signs pointed to intoxication, but he was evidently under the influence of several prescription drugs, and he was arrested for DUI. There are a few important things other Floridians can take away from the upsetting situation in which Woods found himself.

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CLICK HERE to see Orlando Style Magazine's Legal Elite article on Attorney Jonathan Rose November 2016
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