| 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: < 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 | Orlando News

Florida Felons Win Their Voting Rights Back….or Did They??

On November 6, 2018 Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment which automatically restores the right to vote to 1.4 million individuals with felony convictions. Amendment 4 (Initiative Information) restores the right to vote for people with felony convictions upon completion of the terms of their sentence, including probation and parole.  The amendment does not apply to individuals convicted of murder or felony sexual offense. The amendment went into effect on January 8, 2019.  It was a popular and overwhelmingly successful amendment. But, the new amendment is threatened with politics, policy and certain limitations. Florida House of Representatives voted to advance a new bill (HB 7089) that would block certain convicted felons from their right to vote. ( Florida House of Representatives – Documents   The House Bill 7089 would require felons who have completed their jail terms to pay all fines and fees associated with their case BEFORE regaining the right to vote.  Basically, if you are Florida felon and have completed your jail time you have to pay all your fees and court costs before your right to vote is restored.  What does this really mean to Florida felons?  Essentially, Florida is a state that maintains more than 115 different types of fines, fees and surcharges which can be assessed against defendants in court cases, including those involving traffic violations, according to an analysis by the Fines and Fees Justice Center, based in New York. That’s the second-largest number of fines, fees and surcharges assessed anywhere in the country.   Florida Lawmakers who support this new bill say they are simply clarifying what the Amendment actually means by clearly defining that an individual completes their terms of probation or parole when all their fines and fees that have been assessed by the court are paid off.  Opponents argue that this essentially blocks most individuals from restoring their right to vote because most felons coming straight out of jail are not able to pay back all their fines and fees. The bill was supposed to go to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk to decide whether to sign the bill, let it become law, or issue a veto. Gov. Desantis would have signed this bill and made it law, however the bill passed in the House but did not receive a vote in the Senate.  The bill failed to pass in the Senate before the legislature adjourned on May 3, 2019.  Contact Moses and Rooth Attorneys at Law for your criminal defense needs.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Orlando News

Puerto Ricans Can Now Get Vital Documents Easier in Orlando

Catastrophic storms and an overall depressed economy have forced many Puerto Ricans to migrate to Florida. Over the past few years, over 100 people have made the journey to Florida every single day. The numbers might only be increasing. Once safely settled in the U.S. however, these residents often need vital records documents, such as birth certificates, which have proven hard to get from Puerto Rico. Fortunately, as the Orlando Sentinel recently reported, Puerto Ricans can now get their vital records at a new office that has opened: the Integrated Services Center (CSI) in Orlando. Typically, Puerto Ricans could only order their vital records by mail or online, and they often had to wait up to 45 days before the records arrived. Now, the records will be issued immediately, which makes things much easier. Why Might You Need Vital Records? Common vital records you might need include: Birth certificate Marriage certificate Death certificate Certifications of child-support payments There are many reasons you might need them. If you are applying for a job or government benefits, you will most likely need a birth certificate. If you are divorcing, you most likely need a copy of your marriage certificate. A death certificate can help you close financial accounts and handle a loved one’s assets. It might also be necessary to show that you are the true owner of property, if the deceased was once the owner. Also, if you are sued for failing to pay child support, you can use a certification to show that you have remained up to date. Without the documentation, a judge might enter an order against you for arrearages and garnish your wages. Where You Can Get Your Copies The CSI office is located at 6925 Lake Ellenor Drive, Suite 100. Its hours are Monday through Friday, 11:30am to 3:30 pm. To get a copy of your birth certificate, you must pay $5. You will also need to pay $10 for any additional copies of your birth certificate, as well as for all other vital records like death certificates and marriage certificates. You should be able to walk out with your records soon after paying. Before showing up, call ahead and ask about acceptable methods of payment (cash, check, credit card, etc.) The new CSI should make things much easier on our state’s new residents. Before, Puerto Ricans living in Florida had to travel back to the island or give a family member a power of attorney to request the documents. These options were impracticable for many people. Now, thankfully, Puerto Ricans can get reliable records in a timely manner. Need Legal Help? Contact Moses & Rooth We are a prominent criminal defense law firm located in Orlando and have represented hundreds of people involved in criminal matters in both state and federal court. If you have been accused of a crime, please reach out to us today. We offer a free consultation, which you can schedule by calling 407-377-0150. You have no time to lose.  

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Orlando News

Restoration of Voting Rights Federal Case

Florida’s continued punishment of felons long after they have served out their sentence has become a hot button issue.  We discussed restoration of felon voting rights back in August of 2016 and this topic has continued to be argued in our state ever since then.  In fact, Florida voters will have the opportunity to allow the restoration of felon voting rights on the November 6, 2018 ballot.  This is big news and very important. Now a Federal Judge has examined the restoration of voting rights in Florida and has found it to be unconstitutional.  Judge Mark Walker found that Florida’s current scheme for “re-enfranchisement” violates both the First Amendment rights to free association and expression, and the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. View Order on Cross-Motions for Summary Judgement James Michael Hand, et al., Plaintiffs vs Rick Scott, et al., Defendants From the very beginning of his option Judge Walker was very critical of the current process to restore voting rights.  He starts his opinion: Florida strips the right to vote from every man and woman who commits a felony. To vote again, disenfranchised citizens must kowtow before a panel of high-level government officials over which Florida’s Governor has absolute veto authority. No standards guide the panel. Its members alone must be satisfied that these citizens deserve restoration. Until that moment (if it ever comes), these citizens cannot legally vote for presidents, governors, senators, representatives, mayors, or school-board members. These citizens are subject to the consequences of bills, actions, programs, and policies that their elected leaders enact and enforce. But these citizens cannot ever legally vote unless Florida’s Governor approves restoration of this fundamental right. Florida’s Executive Clemency Board has, by rule, unfettered discretion in restoring voting rights. “We can do whatever we want,” the Governor said at one clemency hearing.  One need not search long to find alarming illustrations of this scheme in action. In 2010, a white man, Steven Warner, cast an illegal ballot. Three years later, he sought the restoration of his voting rights. He went before the state’s Executive Clemency Board, where Governor Scott asked him about his illegal voting. “Actually, I voted for you,” he said. The Governor laughed. “I probably shouldn’t respond to that.” A few seconds passed. The Governor then granted the former felon his voting rights. …In Florida, elected, partisan officials have extraordinary authority to grant or withhold the right to vote from hundreds of thousands of people without any constraints, guidelines, or standards. The question now is whether such a system passes constitutional muster. It does not. Judge Walker has ordered all parties to file a brief related to remedies and will then enter a final judgment after considering he additional briefs. Governor Scott’s office issued a statement that indicated that the discretion of the clemency board over the restoration of voting rights had been in place for decades and over multiple governors.  While technically this is accurate, the current scheme administered under the Scott administration is by far more restrictive than previous governors.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Criminal Defense

5 Orlando Events for Pro Bowl Week

This time of year is exciting for football fans. February 4 marks the 52nd annual Super Bowl. If you can’t wait until February to watch an exciting football game, Orlando residents have the Pro Bowl coming a week earlier, on January 28. The Pro Bowl is the NFL’s all-star game and will be coming to Camping World Stadium in Orlando. Many popular football players will be on hand as pros from the National Football Conference (NFC) take on pros from the American Football Conference (AFC). There will be plenty of events going on in the Orlando area during Pro Bowl week. Here are some of the ones happening near you. Pro Bowl Week The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee hosts Pro Bowl Week. This is where “The Best Meets the Next.” There will be a variety of fun activities going on from January 24-27, 2018 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. each day. This free event is for the entire family. More details will be released soon. Pro Bowl Experience The Pro Bowl Experience will also be happening at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex from January 24-27, 2018. It happens each day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and admission is free. This event is a festival for football fans of all ages. There will be football-themed activities and interactive games, providing a fun experience for the entire family. Pro Bowl Player Practices The Pro Bowl Player Practices will also be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. From January 24-27, 2018 at 10 a.m. each day, you can watch your favorite NFL players practice and get autographs afterward. In order to attend, you must register for the Fan Mobile Pass. You will be allowed into the seating area on a first come, first serve basis, so get there early for the best seats. The NFC and AFC teams will practice at the same time. Pro Bowl Skills Showdown The Pro Bowl Skills Showdown is also located at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. It happens just one day only—January 24, 2018 at noon. The showdown features players from both the AFC and NFC leagues. To attend the taping, get your free tickets here. 2018 NFL Pro Bowl Game This is the game football fans have been waiting for all season. The 2018 NFL Pro Bowl Game is held at Camping World Stadium on January 28, 2018 at 3 p.m. Bring your friends and family and cheer on your favorite NFL players. Before the game, enjoy the GameDay Fan Plaza celebration. Contact an Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney Sporting events can sometimes get rowdy, as many people celebrate by drinking alcohol. Fights often occur and spectators may get in trouble with the law. If you are facing criminal charges during Pro Bowl week or any time of the year, the aggressive Orlando criminal defense attorneys at Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law will be there for you. Let us protect your legal rights. Contact our offices at (407) 377-0150 to schedule a free consultation. We are available 24/7.

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Orlando News

5 Exciting Venues for New Year’s Eve in Orlando, FL

The end of the year is quickly approaching, and that means that it’s time to nail down your plans for New Year’s Eve. While some people like to stay home and watch the ball drop on TV, others take advantage of this opportunity to have some fun, enjoy drinks with friends and ring in a new year filled with promise. Orlando is known for its nightlife, and there is no shortage of New Year’s Eve activities and venues for single people, couples and families with children who want to ring in 2018 in style. There is one item you should be concerned about, though: alcohol consumption. Law enforcement officials will be out in full force on December 31 and January 1 looking for drunk drivers. Avoid starting the new year on the wrong foot with a DUI charge. If you plan to drink, remember to do it responsibly. Looking for an exciting New Year’s Eve venue to take your significant other or your family? Here are some fun options in and around Orlando you’re sure to enjoy. New Year’s Eve 2018 at BB King’s BB King’s Blues Club in Orlando is hosting a fun event for those in the area. The event runs from 5 p.m. – 2 a.m. and features dinner, dancing and music. You can pay $20 for standing room only admission or opt for one of the packages. For the $55 Party Package, you get reserved seating, an entree, cheesecake, beverage, party favors, free parking and champagne toast. The Exclusive VIP Package is available for $75 and includes the same as the $55 package, but also includes premium reserved seating, Church Street’s New Year’s Eve 2018 Block Party Church Street in Downtown Orlando is the place to go if you’re looking for a wide variety of alcoholic drinks and music. This huge street party lasts from 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. and offers access to four bars: Cahoots, Chillers, Latitudes and Irish Shannon’s. Celebrate with the best DJs in orlando and at midnight, watch the iconic orange ball drop from Latitudes’ skytop. There are four packages available. For $39, you get admission to the block party and access to all four bars. For $54.95, you also get all you can drink well and frozen cocktails and domestic bottle beers. For $74.95, you get all the above, plus all you can drink domestic and import bottle beers and call cocktails. With the $94.95 platinum package, you also get a $20 gift card plus all you can drink shots, bottles of water and Red Bull cans. You can also get VIP table reservations. At Chillers, you can reserve a table that seats four people for $100. Cahoot and Latitudes also have tables that seat six people for $150. You can also celebrate 2018 in luxury by getting your friends together and reserving spots on the Latitudes Skytop Deck. For $2,000, you get admission for 20 people, unlimited mixers, three bottles of champagne, two Top Shelf bottles, party favors and your own server. Cocoa Beach Pier New Year’s Eve Celebration If you’re a beach lover, spending New Year’s Eve at Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier may seem like the ideal venue. Instead of heading to the bars, get away and enjoy the ocean atmosphere. Spend time outdoors with gorgeous views as you enjoy a fun party overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. on December 31. Cost is $35 plus tax and includes admission, party favors, live entertainment, two complimentary drinks and a champagne toast at midnight. This event is held in a family friendly environment and is open to all ages, so bring the kids along if you want. However, you must be 21 or older to partake in the champagne toast. Rock ‘Til The Drop New Year’s Eve Party If you’re celebrating New Year’s Eve as a family, consider the Rock ‘Til The Drop New Year’s Eve Party. Held at the Hard Rock Cafe & Live Orlando at Universal CityWalk, this celebration is open to all ages, so feel free to bring the kids. This venue features live music from Epic Evolve: The Decades Show cover band, which plays music from all decades. Plus, enjoy an assortment of menu offerings and a champagne toast at midnight. There will also be a private area of the venue available for added comfort. All ages are welcome, but tickets are a bit pricey at $100 each for general admission (both kids and adults) and $200 for VIP admission. Unlimited water, soda and juice is included with each ticket. Disney’s Contemporary Resort If you’re partying with the little ones, enjoy a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. This year, it’s hosting a Pixar Party that’s sure to be a hit with your kids. The event runs from 8 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. in the Ballroom of the Americas. It costs $175 per person and is open to all ages. The event features short Disney-Pixar films as well as face painting, balloon artists and boot camp. Your child will also get to meet with their favorite Disney-Pixar characters. Next, you’ll enjoy a buffet dinner with restaurant-style seating while a DJ plays Radio Disney hits. Enjoy dancing until the fireworks display at midnight.   Remember to Drink Responsibly For many, a New Year’s Eve celebration isn’t complete without some champagne and other alcoholic beverages. Make sure you have transportation arranged in advance so you can get home safely after a night of partying. Keep yourself and others safe as you ring in the new year.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | DUI

New Alcohol Bill Passed in Pinellas County

While drunk driving remains a major problem in Orlando and throughout central Florida, that has not slowed the demand for liquor. Responding to public demand, the Pinellas County Commission approved legislation back in March that permits bars, restaurants, and stores to begin selling hard liquor on Sundays starting at 8 a.m. Under previous rules, 8 a.m. sales were the rule for every day except Sunday, when liquor could not be sold before 11 a.m. Will an 8 a.m. Start Be a Boon For Area Businesses? The later start for Sunday liquor sales was a remnant of the “blue laws,” which date back to colonial times. Many states and localities adopted special Sunday morning restrictions on alcohol sales, ostensibly to promote the idea that people should be attending church rather than drinking. In many states, blue laws also restricted other types of businesses from operating on Sunday. In an editorial supporting the new Pinellas County law, the Tampa Bay Tribune said the 11 a.m. start time for Sunday drinking was an “unneeded, outdated relic.” The editorial noted that while it makes sense to require liquor sales end at 3 a.m.–that remains unchanged from the previous county ordinance–there was no comparable “public safety argument” for “making football fans, boaters or the brunch crowd hold off until 11 on Sundays.” Also keep in mind that this is a county-level ordinance, and individual cities within Pinellas may still opt to keep or add their own restrictions on when local businesses may sell alcohol. But so far, there is little evidence to suggest that cities do not welcome the county’s move. The Times cited St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman as a key figure in “lobbying for the change” as a way to boost local tourism. And the City of Dunedin’s Commission has already given its unanimous approval to the 8 a.m. start time. City officials said the earlier hours will “give boaters and others more flexibility of when they buy.” Could Early Sunday Sales Increase DWI? Some people are always concerned that expending the time when alcohol is legally available for sale may exacerbate Florida’s existing DWI problems. But according to the Times, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s office raised no objections to the county’s ordinance. And at least one study published by the National Institutes of Health suggested there is “no relationship between repeal of Sunday sales bans and fatal vehicle accidents.” But that particular study only addressed bans on the sale of packaged liquor in stores, where people are more likely to drink at home. Given that Pinellas County is also permitting bars and restaurants to begin serving liquor at 8 a.m., it is quite possible we will see more early-morning DWI arrests, especially on a Sunday where roads are generally less congested. Of course, it goes without saying that you should always enjoy alcohol responsibly, whether on Sunday morning or any other day of the week. And if you are stopped and charged with DWI, you should remain calm and contact a qualified Orlando criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Contact the offices of Moses & Rooth, Attorneys at Law, at 407-377-0150, to schedule a consultation with an experienced Florida DWI defense attorney today.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Orlando News

Catching a Murderer: The Ongoing Manhunt for Markeith Loyd

Markeith Loyd gained national infamy for shooting and killing Master Sgt. Debra Clayton when she confronted Loyd at a Wal-Mart this past Monday, January 9.  Additionally, Deputy Norman Lewis of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office died in a traffic crash while responding to the manhunt for Loyd.  If that weren’t enough, it is also alleged that on December 13 Loyd shot and killed his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Sade Lasha Dixon, and shot and wounded Ronald Allen Stewart.  Soon thereafter an arrest warrant was signed by Judge Donald Meyers. Now there is a reward of $100,000 for information leading to the capture of Loyd. For those keeping track, Loyd is accused of shooting and killing 3 people, including his unborn child, and wounding another.  The police are undergoing a massive manhunt.  All family members are being interviewed in hopes of find Loyd.  As of today, three people have been arrested for aiding Markeith Loyd. Three Arrested for Aiding Loyd The three people who have been arrested for aiding Markeith Loyd are Zarghee Mayan, Lakensha Smith-Loyd, and Jameis Slaughter.  All three are accused of violating Florida Statute 777.03, accessory after the fact.  Essentially, they are accused of providing some sort of aid to Markeith Loyd knowing that he had committed a crime.  They are accused of helping Loyd knowing that he had killed his ex-girlfriend.  They are NOT accused of providing aid after he had killed Sgt. Clayton. Zarghee Mayan Zarghee Mayan was Loyd’s employer at New Texas Fried Chicken.  His arrest affidavit indicates that he was questioned on December 14 about Loyd and while initially denying any contact with him, he eventually stated that he spoke with him the night before, December 13.  He was also aware that Loyd had killed Ms. Dixon.  Mayan initially indicated that Loyd came to the restaurant armed with a gun and made him drive to an unknown location off of Lee Rd and dropped him off.  On January 9, Mayan was interviewed again and told an entirely different story.  During the second interview Mayan was aware of the shooting death of the ex.  He drove Loyd around after seeing him at a drug house.  He also made arrangement to give Loyd money for the hours that he previously worked.  On January 7, he also had provided food to Loyd. Lakensha Smith-Loyd Lakensha Smith-Loyd is Loyd’s niece.  She too was arrested accessory after the fact by providing aid to Loyd.  Her arrest affidavit indicates that he was making phone calls on his behalf and collecting money for him so that he could continue to avoid arrest by law enforcement. Jameis Slaughter The third arrest is for Jameis Slaughter.  Ms. Slaughter was Loyd’s ex-girlfirend.  She is accused of trying to get money from a tenant at Loyd’s apartment.  The report indicates that she was collecting the money to give to Loyd. Obviously, it is wrong for anyone to aid a person accused of committing a crime particularly as heinous as killing your pregnant ex-girlfriend.  The fact that three people were all assisting him is more disturbing. I think that sending a message to the community that helping a person after they committed a crime is not only wrong but criminal.  I think making it clear that those who assist a person in avoiding detection after they killed someone will result in their arrest and prosecution.  However, I am a bit cynical.  I don’t know that any of these arrests occur if Loyd doesn’t murder a police officer.  I don’t know that a follow up interview ever occurs with Mayan if Sgt. Clayton hadn’t been killed.  Sometimes tragic events spur change.  People may be less likely to lend assistance if they feel that their freedom is at risk. I hope that Loyd is caught and justice is served.  Maybe the senseless deaths of Dixon, Clayton and Lewis will spur this change.

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