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Polk County Criminal Defense Blog

Florida opioid and cocaine deaths on the rise

The recently released 2016 Medical Examiner report for District 10, which is comprised of Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties, notes drug deaths are on the rise. This mirrors a statewide and national trend. Pain killer abuse has been declared a public health emergency by the president.

 

Criminal defense for those charged with sexual assault

A Florida Uber driver has been charged with sexual assault after taking a drunken, unconscious passenger to a hotel room and attempting to have sex with her.

The female passenger told law enforcement that she requested an Uber ride to her hotel. She stated that when she got into the vehicle she felt fine, but then suddenly lost consciousness. The Uber driver advised law enforcement that the passenger asked him to pull over because she felt like she was going to be sick. He claimed that she then pulled up her dress at which time he noticed she was not wearing any underwear, and he thought that meant she wanted to have sex.

16-year-old found kidnapped and battered in Polk County

A 30-year-old Haines City man is in custody after being charged with, among multiple other charges, sexual battery of a 16-year-old girl.

The man contacted the girl online and agreed to pay her $300 for sex. They arranged to meet at an empty house in Davenport. Upon her arrival, the man punched the girl multiple times in the face, tied her up, cut off her underwear, and sexually battered her multiple times. He then put a knife to her throat, attached a dog leash to her neck, and put her in his truck. He drove the truck until the vehicle became stuck in an orange grove, where he then sexually battered her again. He fled the scene on foot, leaving the young girl tied up in the truck.

An in-depth look at Florida drug charges: conspiracy

The state of Florida views conspiracy as an express or implied agreement between two parties with the intent to commit a crime. Conspiracy charges are often assessed as an additional charge against defendants who are charged with serious felonious crimes, especially those that involve drugs. Though the burden of proof for a conspiracy conviction lies on the prosecution, these charges are always best addressed with the help of an attorney experienced in defending drug crimes.

To obtain and sustain a conspiracy conviction, the prosecution must prove two elements beyond a reasonable doubt. First, they must prove that the defendant had intent that a crime was to be committed. Therefore, there must be concrete evidence which proves voluntary involvement in the planning and proposed execution. Just because a party was present during a discussion between other parties about committing a crime does not prove that party's participation. Second, it must be proved that the defendant conspired with a second party to carry out the commission of the crime.

Stolen firearms and grand theft

The theft of a firearm in Florida is a third degree grand theft felony no matter the value of the weapon. That’s significant when taking into consideration that first degree petit theft, which is only a misdemeanor, is property valued between $100 and $299 and used firearms can sell for under $200.

Types of email scams to watch out for

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has identified the 12 most common types of email scams to land in an inbox. With internet crimes on the steep incline, an individual should be extremely diligent in making sure personal information is protected. Let's look at some types of emails to watch out for.

Pyramid schemes disguised as business opportunities will usually offer a way to make money working from home, and give a phone number to call. Callers may reach a voicemail that asks for a name and phone number to which a salesperson can return a call.

Is there a law against cyberbullying in Florida?

With the explosion of the current social media culture comes a form of bullying in a league all its own. Cyberbullying has become a significant problem among today's youth. In 2017 in Florida alone, there have been several teen deaths by suicide due to constant cyberbullying from peers. This type of bullying can take place in the form of social media posts, text messages, or even unwanted photographs and videos taken without permission. Because of these methods, often times the parents of a youth are unaware the bullying is even taking place until it is too late.

Florida statute 1006.147 of the K-20 education code prohibits bullying and harassment, and includes a specific paragraph addressing cyberbullying. It is defined as "bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication." Further, it explicitly addresses the psychological distress of a victim of cyberbullying.

Positive drug test leads to child neglect charges

A 20-year-old mother and 29-year-old father were arrested on November 14, 2017 in Lakeland after their baby tested positive for methamphetamine. The parents took the child to Lakeland Regional Hospital for treatment of an infected area on the leg which had, by that time, turned black. The mother claimed that the child had received mosquito bites several days prior, and that one of those had become infected.

Upon performing toxicology screening, the treating physician found that the child had methamphetamine in his system. Authorities were contacted, and the couple were arrested and charged with child neglect.

Men arrested in child pornography bust

Internet sex crimes are very serious. Although they may be seen as particularly heinous, everyone deserves fair and experience defense in such situations. Recently, a South Florida man was accused of possessing a large amount of pornographic images in which young children are seen in various sex acts.

A 23-year-old man was arrested after law enforcement after using tracking technology specifically designed to monitor suspicious uploads and downloads. The man is accused of having more than 180 images of children between the ages of two and 12 in various sexual situations with adults. Another man, also 23, was arrest the month before. He is accused of having images of children under the age of seven engaged in various sex acts. Both men have entered not guilty pleas in court.

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