| Read Time: 4 minutes | Probation Violation

My First Probation Violation—What Am I Facing?

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people in the United States receive probation sentences.  A failure to comply with the conditions of your probation will result in a probation violation.  The consequences of violating probation depends on several factors.  If you have been charged with a probation violation, you may be wondering what to do from here. Speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney at Moses & Rooth to challenge your probation violation today.  What Is Probation? Florida law defines probation as a form of community supervision requiring specified meetings or contacts with probation officers and other terms and conditions. In Florida, there are five types of probation. Straight Supervised Probation Straight supervised probation is traditional probation. Under this type of probation, a defendant must obey the terms and conditions of their probation and meet with their probation officer on a regular basis. Administrative Probation As with traditional probation, a defendant under administrative probation must obey the terms and conditions of their probation. However, the defendant need not meet with a probation officer regularly. Community Control Community control refers to supervised custody. This often includes wearing an ankle monitor and being subject to a curfew.  Community control probation severely restricts a defendant’s movement. Thus, the defendant must follow a strict schedule and can have his or her probation revoked for a failure to do so.  Drug Offender Probation Drug offender probation requires the defendant to follow a drug treatment plan with strict supervision. While on drug offender probation, the defendant must also submit to random drug tests.  Common Probation Violations Many are familiar with the concept of probation. However, many people are unaware of the consequences if you violate probation.  Probationary sentences include numerous rules and regulations, all of which the defendant must follow to comply with the court’s order. What constitutes a violation varies among each individual sentence.  Generally, a failure to comply with probation guidelines in any way amounts to a violation. Some of the most common probation violations include: Failure to pay probations fines; Failure to appear for court dates; Committing additional crimes; Possession of illegal drugs; Leaving the state without authorization; Failure to meet with your probation officer as required; Failure to complete required community services; and Violation of curfew. Failure to comply with your probation requirements can result in severe repercussions. If you are in violation of your probation, contact Moses & Rooth today to discuss your options. First Violation of Probation: Penalty Overview A probation violation is a serious matter. The violation can result in prison time, additional charges, or even an extended probationary sentence.  A probation officer that suspects a violation of probation has occurred will file a Violation of Probation Affidavit with the court. This document explains to the judge what information the probation officer has that made him or her believe the probation conditions were violated. The probation officer will also provide the judge with a recommendation for a sentence. If the judge finds reasonable grounds to believe the probation sentence has been violated, he or she can issue a warrant for the probationer’s arrest. Unlike in a normal arrest, a person accused of violating probation is not entitled to a bond. This means you will be held in custody until you can appear in front of the judge. Being Held Without Bond Even if the judge does not set a bond, an attorney can file a motion to request a bond hearing and argue that in your situation, a bond should be set.  We can provide the court with any required documentation to illustrate why you should be released. This may include proof of completed community service hours, letters of recommendation, or in-person testimony from your community members.  Sentencing for Your Probation Violation Eventually you will have to go in front of the judge for sentencing on your probation violation. the judge will typically consider the reason for the alleged probation violation, the recommendation of the probation officer, the original charges, and the criminal history of the defendant.  This is your opportunity to explain the reason for your probation violation. A criminal defense attorney can assist in preparing and presenting this testimony in the manner most helpful to your case.  How Will I Be Sentenced After My Probation Violation? Judges have very wide discretion in sentencing defendants who violate probation. After you give your side of the story to the court, the judge will make a determination as to the consequences, if any, you will face.  For minor violations, the court may determine that your probationary sentence will proceed as initially planned. This is especially likely if it is your first probation violation. However, the judge has the power to enhance your sentence. The judge may also modify the terms of your probation or even revoke your probation entirely. This could mean prison time.  Remember, the judge has full authority for this decision. Decisions on probation violations can range widely due to the discretionary nature of the sentencing.  Talk to An Orlando Probation Violation Attorney Today If you were arrested for a probation violation, do not hesitate to reach out to Moses & Rooth. Whether or not it’s your first probation violation, we understand how devastating this can be. Our team of attorneys has over 20 years of combined experience in criminal defense law. Thus, we have handled almost every situation you can imagine. We will defend your rights every step of the way. As former prosecutors, we know how the other side handles probation violations. This expertise will be invaluable in defending your probation violation. Having an attorney in your corner to challenge your probation violation and prepare evidence in your defense is critical to a favorable resolution in your case. Contact us today for a free case evaluation, and see how we can help.

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| Read Time: 5 minutes | Drug Charges

Finding a Lawyer for Possession with Intent to Distribute Charges

Facing a drug charge can be daunting. Being convicted of a drug charge is life-changing. In Florida, possession with intent to distribute is a serious crime that is subject to heavy penalties. Not only do you face prison time and fines, but as a convicted felon, you lose your right to vote and own a firearm. You may also find difficulties in other aspects of life, such as obtaining a mortgage and securing employment.  If you have been arrested for possession with intent to distribute, you need our team of skilled defense lawyers at Moses and Rooth, Attorneys at Law, to build a strong case for you. As former prosecutors, we can anticipate the state’s case and create a solid strategy to defend you. For experienced criminal defense legal assistance following Florida drug charges, contact Moses and Rooth.  Possession with Intent to Distribute Under Florida law, it is a crime to possess a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. The severity of the drug charge, whether it be a felony or misdemeanor, depends on how Florida’s drug schedule classifies the substance.  Controlled Substance Schedules Controlled substances are categorized into schedules based on their potential for abuse (i.e. physical or psychological dependence) and accepted medical use. The schedules organize them by level of severity from Schedule I substances, having the highest potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical purpose, to Schedule V substances, being the least addictive and commonly used for medical treatment. Here are some examples:  Schedule I includes heroin, GHB, ecstasy or Molly, and LSD; Schedule II includes methamphetamine, oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), Adderall, and cocaine; Schedule III includes anabolic steroids, suboxone, and Vicodin; Schedule IV includes Xanax, Valium, Tramadol, and Ambien; and Schedule V includes Tylenol with codeine.  Possession with the intent to distribute a Schedule I substance is a third-degree felony, while the same drug charge involving a Schedule II substance is a second-degree felony. Drug sales of a Schedule V substance typically results in misdemeanor charges. How to Prove a Possession with Intent to Distribute Charge To be successful on charges of possession with intent to distribute, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt: You had possession of the controlled substance with the intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver the substance; The substance is listed under Florida’s drug schedule; and You had knowledge of the illicit nature of the substance.  Your entire case will be dismissed if the prosecution fails to prove even one element of the crime.  Possession Possession can be actual or constructive. You have actual possession over the substance if it is found on you or is somewhere that you can reach and you have control over that place. Constructive possession is where the substance is not physically on you, but it is in a place you have control over and you know or should know the substance is there.  Intent to sell When determining if you have the intent to sell, the prosecution will look at a multitude of factors, such as the following:  Admissions by you or your associates of the intent to sell the drugs; Quantity of the substance found; Packaging of the substance; Presence of sales paraphernalia, such as scales, baggies, and rolling papers; Large amounts of cash; Presence of weapons; and Records of sales or debts owed.  It is common for the prosecution to take a simple possession charge and elevate it to a possession with intent to distribute charge by pointing to any one of the factors listed above.  Penalties Drug charges in Florida are serious crimes that come with hefty jail time and fines. For a first-degree felony possession with intent to distribute charge, you face up to 30 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. A second-degree felony charge also carries a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in jail. For a third-degree felony charge, you could spend 5 years in jail and be fined $5,000. Misdemeanors carry possible jail time of 60 days to a year and a fine of $500-$1,000. The level of a possession with intent to distribute charge depends on four factors: The type and amount of substance,  The location of the substance’s distribution,  Whether the distribution involved a minor, and  The defendant’s criminal history.  These factors can also support elevating felony possession charges in Florida to possession with intent to distribute charges.  Type and Amount of Substance The penalty for possessing a controlled substance is impacted by the type and amount of substance involved in the crime. When determining if your Florida drug charge is a felony or misdemeanor, we look at how it is categorized in the Florida drug schedule discussed above.  The quantity of drugs police found is equally important. Possessing even a small amount of a Schedule I substance (such as ecstasy) could result in a third-degree felony charge. Location of the Distribution  The location of the alleged drug sale could elevate a charge. Florida law prohibits the possession and distribution of a controlled substance in, on, or within 1,000 feet of the following places: Childcare facilities; Public or private elementary, middle, or secondary schools between 6 AM and 12 AM; Public or private post-secondary educational institutions; State, county, or municipal parks, community centers, or public recreational facilities; Places of worship; and  Public housing.  The penalty also varies based on the location of the drug distribution. For example, Florida imposes a minimum jail sentence of three years for selling heroin within 1,000 feet of a public elementary school, but that required jail time does not apply if the sale took place near a church.   Involving a Minor If the defendant is over 18 and either sells drugs to a minor or uses a minor to facilitate a sale, the defendant will be charged with a felony. The degree varies based on the type of drug, but can result in a 15 to 30 year jail sentence and a $10,000 fine.   Criminal History  Florida imposes harsher penalties for repeat offenders.  A...

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Orlando News

Local Criminal Defense Attorneys Representing Capital Rioter

Local Man Identified in Images from Scene at Capitol Adam Johnson, aka “Lectern Guy”, has quickly become internet infamous.  For those not familiar, Mr. Johnson, was not only one of the people who took part in last weeks riots, but he is also the one who posed with Speaker Pelosi’s lectern.             According to the Statement of Facts Mr. Johnson was identified in the picture as being in the rotunda of the Capital building.  According to the Speaker’s staff, the lectern was stored in the Speaker’s Suite before the riots began.  Fortunately, the lectern was found on the Senate side of the capital and was not being sold on eBay as some places had reported.             On January 6, 2021, Mr. Johnson may have made the worst decision of his life, however, he seems to have been making wiser decisions since then by hiring two high-powered local criminal defense attorneys, David Bigney and Dan Eckhart.             While Mr. Johnson’s case is being prosecuted in the DC Circuit, he will appear today in the Middle District of Florida in Tampa and will be in front of Judge Christopher P. Tuite.  Johnson is currently incarcerated and in the custody of the US Marshals, but he will be transported to court for the hearing.  Mr. Johnson will be told the charges he is currently facing and perhaps most importantly his continued incarceration will be discussed.             The US government may seek detention in which case the Federal Magistrate will determine if they feel that pretrial release is appropriate or if Mr. Johnson will continue to be detained.  Alternatively, the Magistrate could rule that Mr. Johnson will remain in custody until the Judge in DC make a ruling on continued detention.             The Court may consider detention if they consider Mr. Johnson to be a flight risk, if they feel that he is a danger to the community, or if the Judge determines that no condition of release will reasonably assure the appearance of Mr. Johnson.               Should the Judge determine that release is appropriate, they have a number of conditions that could be imposed as a condition of release.  They include: Electronic monitoring Travel restrictions Curfew A prohibition on possession of a firearm or other weapon A prohibition on the use of drugs or alcohol A monetary bond A restriction on communication with certain people A restriction on accessing Social Media or Internet Forums Updates Coming Soon Today will be interesting for Mr. Johnson and a number of questions will need to be answered.  Will the Government agree to release or seek detention?  Will the Judge go along with the request for release or continued incarceration?  Will the government give us some insight into what Mr. Johnson’s role was on January 6?  Was he present when the Capital was initially breached or did enter later on?  Is he alleged to have caused any destruction?  Was he the one who took the Speaker’s lectern? We will follow up on the case after the 2pm initial appearance

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Scholarship

Announcing the 2020 Legal Scholarship Winner

We’d like to say thank you to all those who took the time to submit applications for our legal scholarship. After carefully reviewing all of them, we are pleased to announce the winner of our 2020 scholarship. Glenn Korman Congratulations! Glenn graduated from Boston University, Summa Cum Laude, majoring in International Relations and minoring in Political Science. He’s now attending New York University School of Law with an interest in environmental and energy law. Glenn tells more of his story in his scholarship essay, which he has agreed to have published below. We invite you to read it. “On paper, I am a suburban guy from the Northeast, but this role is too confining for me. As a kid, weekends were spent listening to my grandmother tell tales of 1950s Toronto. Summers were spent in the cornfields of Iowa with my extended family. For college, I moved to Boston to experience a city rich with history. Since then, I have added Stevensville, Michigan and Dresden, Germany to the list of places I have called home.   Growing up in Buffalo, I witnessed an uneven economic revival that benefited only those that fit a certain mold. My time in the Midwest drove home the importance of crossing the political aisle. In Dresden, I was in the epicenter of the social friction that has been rocking Germany. Empathetic conversations with students from Syria opened my eyes to the heavy emotional toll that being stripped to the identity of “refugee” can have on someone. My experience at Boston University reinforced the value of intellectual diversity, and due to my interdisciplinary education, my fear that specializing in one area comes at the cost of ignorance of other fields was never realized.   The widespread geographical distribution of each place I have called home has given me a myriad of diverse perspectives that I can draw upon when confronting political, economic, and social issues in my chosen area: environmental and energy law. Each of these distinctive communities has highlighted the importance of engaging with the local population to fully understand the unique complexities of their situation and their willingness to accept change. My exposure to a variety of environmental problems in these areas, such as fluctuating lake levels and flooding in the Great Lakes Basin, solidified my interest in environmental and energy law. Issues stemming from climate change, pollution, and environmental degradation often disproportionally impact lower-income and minority segments of our population. It is next to impossible to address the legal and policy questions that arise out of humanity’s use, and oftentimes abuse, of the environment without maintaining a strong sense of empathy for at-risk individuals, endangered species, and those that rely on the industry whose practices are being scrutinized.   Specifically, I envision myself working to improve the state of energy governance in the United States. We lack a coordinated and comprehensive framework that reduces the overall environmental impact of these systems. Currently, environmental consequences are primarily considered during the siting process of new energy projects, forcing local and regional ecosystems to adapt after a cost-benefit analysis on the project’s potential impact is performed. Rather than working aggressively to minimize the environmental disruptiveness of these technologies from their inception, we address the majority of these issues at a stage where few substantive adaptations can be performed. While functional, this cost-benefit approach reduces the value of the environment by not properly considering monetary damages likely to result, such as a reduction in tourism or property values due to an increase in pollution, as well as benefits that are nearly impossible to monetize like personal enjoyment resulting from the use of pristine natural spaces. Furthermore, by using a discount factor that limits the future outlook on how harmful our current actions are, these analyses prevent us from doing justice for future generations. Advocating for and eventually shaping an updated legal framework regulating and incentivizing more environmentally friendly developments in this area is how I intend to use my Juris Doctor. Although a cost-benefit analysis will still have a place within this framework, considering the more abstract value of the environment must be incorporated as well. For this reason, I feel compelled to pursue a legal career where I can meaningfully impact this field while also practicing in a manner that emphasizes empathy and humanity.” – by Glenn Korman

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Sex Crimes

Title IX Updates

  Guilty until proven innocent.  Forget due process, it barely exists.  Cross-examination of your accuser, forget about it.  Am I speaking about the criminal justice system in Russia?  No, I am speaking about the Title IX hearing held on college campuses around the country for allegations of sexual misconduct.  Let me repeat that last part, “allegations of sexual misconduct”. The first time I assisted someone with a university hearing for allegations of sexual misconduct I was blown away.  Notice I said “assisted someone”.  You see, at these hearings they did not allow an attorney to speak or present evidence or be present in an advisory capacity.  The accused had to defend him or herself.  Certainly, it makes sense that an 18 year old kid would be expected to conduct a hearing that had ramifications for the future of their education much less the rest of their life.  Additionally, the accused could not ask the accuser questions.  The person who is making accusations, very serious accusations was free from having to answer any questions from the accused.  And the standard of proof?  Preponderance of evidence, which means that they were more likely than not to have committed the infraction. Thankfully, some of these rules have been amended and will be going into effect in August of 2020.  The U.S. Department of Education has issued the final version on how schools handle allegations of sexual harassment and assault.  The new rules allow for the accused and the accuser to submit evidence and participate in cross-examination in live proceedings.  The provision allowing for cross-examination of the accuser is already drawing criticism from victim’s rights groups.  They fear that allowing the accuser to be questioned will have a chilling effect on a victim willing to come forward with accusations of sexual misconduct.  While victim’s rights are important, a more balanced approach to these proceedings were needed.  In a statement released by the Department of Education Secretary Devos said “This new regulation requires schools to act in meaningful ways to support survivors of sexual misconduct, without sacrificing important safeguards to ensure a fair and transparent process.”  I think that is all anyone could really ever ask for, support the victim, but make sure that the accused is treated fairly.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Politics

Top Ten Thoughts on Coronavirus (Legal Edition)

10.  Lawyers don’t seem to understand that the quarantine doesn’t mean the dress code goes out the door.  I know working from home is new for us attorneys and appearing via video conference is foreign, but did it really take a judge to write a letter regarding appropriate work attire.  For some reason there were lawyers appearing on video conference who were wearing casual shirts (ok, not really ideal but not crazy), a beach cover-up (unless you’re hoping to distract the judge from your poor legal argument this seems to be a bad idea), and finally the guy who appears shirtless (he either has the confidence of a super hero or has zero fucks left to give). 9.  I love that Judges are now making available virtual pre-trial conferences.  I know 9Th Judicial Circuit Judge Harris has been doing this for a while.  Makes you wonder why it took a worldwide pandemic to make this procedure nearly universal. 8.  Indecent exposure is still a crime.  COVID-19≠No Laws.  Apparently, a person in Taneytown needed that reminder.  The local police department posted in Facebook “Please remember to put pants on before leaving the house to check your mailbox.  You know who you are. This is your final warning.” On a side note, when I first heard this story, I assumed like everyone else did, must have happened in Florida.  So on behalf of all Floridians, thank you Maryland. 7.  Harvey Weinstein thought he was getting out of jail because of coronavirus. 6.  Michael Avenatti IS actually getting out of jail because of coronavirus. 5.  On a more serious note, Florida needs to amend statute 947.149, Conditional Medical Release.  A person sentenced to prison in a federal case who is at higher risk of complication from COVID-19 has a vehicle to allow a judge to amend their sentence to terminate incarceration or place on house arrest.  It is part of the recently passed First Steps Act in a section on Compassionate Release.  The Florida statute doesn’t allow for this and places many vulnerable people at risk of severe illness or death.  Our prisons were not built to handle or treat a pandemic and our judiciary should have the ability to address certain inmates with preexisting medical or age-related conditions.  4.  Are law students around the country just faking internet issues if their professor calls on them to explain the Rule in Shelley’s Case? 3.  President Donald Trump is looking into a pardon for Joe Exotic. 2.  Stay at home orders were implemented to enforce social distancing.  People are getting arrested and sent to jails. You know, places where people are crammed into small cells and can’t stay six feet apart much less self-isolate.  Issue a fine, ok. Issue a criminal notice to appear, maybe. Take to jail, dumb and counterproductive. 1.  Under Governor Desantis’s Stay at Home Order, lawyers are essential.   However, my wife can’t say lawyers are “essential” without putting air quotes around the term.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Federal Crimes

COVID-19 and Getting Out of Prison

Many things are lacking in Florida’s correctional system, but maybe none more glaring right now than there is no mechanism to release non-violent offenders who are at high risk of developing complications due to COVID-19.  Currently, there is no way for an attorney to request judicial screening for a just and humane amendment to a sentence, and no way for even the prison to request a judge review a prison term and determine if release is appropriate.   The Federal government through the First Step Act which allows for compassionate release in certain circumstances.  In fact, Attorney General William Barr has directed the head of the Federal Bureau of Prisons to review inmate records to determine if they are at a higher risk of developing complications due to COVID-19.  The First Step Acts even allows for an inmate’s attorney to request the sentencing judge to decide if releasing someone from prison and placed on home confinement or supervised release is appropriate. The need for the Florida Legislature to add a provision for compassionate release is clearly seen by reviewing the statistics of the virus.  As of April 12, there are 44 Department of Correction employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 36 inmates have tested positive as well.  While this number may not seem large, we know that this virus is highly contagious, and these numbers will only increase. Inmates who have an underlying medical condition that make them susceptible to complications should have their sentence review by DOC and the sentencing Judges.   The Center for Disease Control has states that certain groups are at a higher risk for severe illness if they contact COVID-19.  These Non-violent inmates with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or pulmonary issues do not all need to be put as risk of developing complications from COVID-19.  The Florida legislature needs to act. I do not envy the situation that our government is in currently.  Speaking specifically about our state inmates this really is a no-win situation.  The prisons were not designed to treat massive amounts of people who may become ill due to a new virus.  The idea of social distancing in a prison setting is laughable. Public perception of releasing inmates is never popular. However, the government is in charge of these human beings, many of them vulnerable. The government owes it to the people they oversee to ensure their health.  To quote Attorney General Barr, “The mission of BOP (Bureau of Prisons) is to administer the lawful punishments that our justice system imposes. Executing that mission imposes on us a profound obligation to protect the health and safety of all inmates.”

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Criminal Defense

Guess We are All in this Together

The coronavirus or COVID-19 is affecting everyone. Restaurants and stores are shutting down and more are sure to be closing soon. Many government functions are being suspended including many court events. However, you know what isn’t being suspended? People are being arrested. Now more than ever it is extremely scary to be arrested with the fear of being stuck in jail during this pandemic. The Courts are still hearing “essential court proceeding” and the attorneys at Moses and Rooth are here to assist. Critical hearings are deemed to be first appearances, criminal arraignments as necessary, hearings on motion to set and modify bonds for people in custody. There are also hearings on juvenile delinquency detentions. The courts are also hearing situations involving this health emergency. Hearings are happening for violation of quarantine or isolation, violation of order limiting travel, violations of curfew, and violations for failure to close public or private buildings. Certain arrests require a hearing before a judge who can then set conditions of release. These crimes includes domestic violence cases, punishable by life cases, and other cases involving victims. It is important as ever to make sure that you have representation at that initial appearance to assist with the potential release from custody. Even during these crazy times you can turn to Moses and Rooth Attorneys at Law to assist you in this ever changing environment. Call at any time at 407-377-0150.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

What Is a Tortfeasor?

If you’ve been injured in any type of accident and are pursuing an insurance claim, one question that you’ll have to answer that will be asked by the insurance company is that of who the tortfeasor is in your claim. This word, along with other legal jargon, may not be one that you’re familiar with. At the law offices of Moses & Rooth, our experienced personal injury lawyers can help you to navigate the law and make sense of complicated terms and rules. Here’s what you need to know about the word “tortfeasor” and its implications in a personal injury claim– What Is a Tortfeasor? One of the best definitions for the word tortfeasor comes from the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School. According to this source, a tortfeasor is simply one who commits a tort. So, what’s a tort? A tort is an act or an omission that causes harm or injury to another and amounts to a civil wrong. As a result, the courts can impose liability.  There are three types of torts: strict liability torts, negligence torts, and intentional torts. Most injury cases deal with negligence torts. To sum it up, a tortfeasor is a party who causes harm to another by committing a tort.  Why Does It Matter? If a party breaches the duty of care owed to another and harm to the latter results, the former party has committed a tort and can be held liable for the harm. However, in order to prove liability and recover damages, the injured party will need to prove the details of the tort. Namely, the following four elements must be established: the tortfeasor owed a duty of care to the plaintiff; the tortfeasor breached the duty of care; the breach of the duty of care was the proximate cause of harm; and the plaintiff suffered damages as a result.  An insurance company will ask who the tortfeasor is in a claim because they need to know who breached the duty of care, the details of that breach, and who should be held liable. Someone who does not commit a tort cannot be held liable for the damages to another.  Other Important Parties in a Personal Injury Claim In addition to the word tortfeasor–which, remember, is the person who commits the tort (civil wrong)–other important terms to know are: Plaintiff – the party who is bringing forth a lawsuit Defendant – the party against whom a civil action is being filed (i.e. the tortfeasor). 

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Gun Laws

Florida Police Have Confiscated Thousands of Guns

In response to multiple mass shootings across the country, many states have enacted red flag gun laws. Red flag gun laws allow specific individuals to petition the court to remove a family member or roommate’s legally owned guns or other weapons. Red flag gun laws are intended to prevent people with mental disorders or violent instincts from accessing weapons to commit a crime.  If you have been charged with a violent crime in Orlando, Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law can help. Our attorneys have extensive experience successfully representing clients, and we can do the same for you. Contact our Orlando criminal defense law firm today to schedule your free initial consultation.   Florida’s Red Flag Gun Law  The Florida legislature passed its own red flag gun law after the Parkland high school shooting that took place in 2018. The red flag gun law allows specific individuals to petition the court for risk protection orders. A judge will evaluate whether the defendant is a safety risk to him or herself or others. If so, the judge will order law enforcement officers to confiscate the at-risk individual’s guns.  Thousands of Florida Residents Have Been Ordered to Surrender Their Firearms According to the Tampa Bay Times, since Florida enacted its red flag gun law, Florida courts have ordered 2,654 residents to surrender their guns and ammunition. These individuals are also prohibited from purchasing or owning a firearm for up to a year. The exact number of confiscated guns is not yet known to the public. Some gun owners only hold one weapon while others, like a man from Pinellas, turn in as 57 weapons. Florida police officers may have seized as many as 18,000 firearms so far.  Concerns Regarding Florida’s Red Flag Gun Law Since the enactment of the law, Florida judges have ordered the confiscation of a resident’s weapons an average of five times a day. To issue the risk protection order, a judge must determine that clear and convincing evidence that the individual is a danger to him or herself or others exists. There is some concern that disgruntled ex-spouses or partners could call and falsely report another person’s dangerous behavior.  What Happens to a Weapon that the Police Confiscate? Typically, police officers hold confiscated weapons in a vault until the time comes to return them. In some instances, an individual can transfer gun ownership to a family member, friend, or anyone else who is willing to hold them who undergo a background check.  Can I Take an Attorney to My Hearing? Yes, we recommend working with a skilled attorney during your hearing. At Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law, our attorneys have the skills and experience needed to represent you at a temporary risk order protection hearing assertively. We will advocate on your behalf and cross-examine any witnesses against you. Schedule your free initial consultation by contacting our Orlando criminal defense law firm today. Call 407-377-0150.

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