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Polk County Criminal Defense Blog

What is "cyber stalking" and the potential penalties?

While the Internet is a beneficial and reliable form of technology, it is also a platform for criminal allegations. When an individual in Florida or elsewhere is accused of an Internet crime, this could mean facing serious criminal charges that comes with harsh penalties.

For example, what is "cyber stalking" and what are the potential penalties for this crime? According to Florida statue section 784.048, "cyber stalking" means to engage in conduct that is used to communicate or to cause communication through words, image or language through electronic mail or electronic communication. This conduct is directed towards a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person, and this conduct serves no legitimate purpose.

Domestic violence laws in Florida

Major disputes between loved ones could result in criminal charges. A heated dispute could result in one person claiming harm was committed against them by the other. Because domestic abuse is a serious situation, these matters are treated seriously. However, not all claims of domestic abuse have merit. It is vital that those accused of this crime in Florida understand the state laws for this crime, allowing them to explore the defense options that are available to them.

Florida law defines domestic abuse as a type of violence that is committed against a family or household member. This can include a spouse, ex-spouse, the co-parent of a child in common or a relative that is related by blood or marriage. The laws in Florida also protect against domestic violence that occurs between individuals currently cohabitating or who formally cohabitated.

Helping you clear your name after domestic violence allegations

We don't always see eye-to-eye with our loved ones. In some cases, this leads to simple discussions. However, it could also devolve into physical disputes. While it is not uncommon for loved ones to have arguments with one another, it is a serious matter if these disagreements get heated and turn physical. A physical altercation is not only damaging to the relationship, but could also lead to criminal charges. When individuals in Florida and elsewhere are accused of domestic violence it is important to take a stand and assert a defense.

While it can be an emotional and scary situation, just because an individual is arrested following a domestic dispute does not mean the accused will be convicted of domestic violence. These are serious allegations that can harm a person's reputation, making it vital to understand what can be do to protect one's rights.

Internet fraud: Understanding it may help you avoid charges

Centuries ago, the idea that one could communicate with someone on another continent, in a matter of seconds, simply by clicking a button would have seemed outrageous. If you were born in or before the sixties, it might seem a bit outrageous to you as well; however, you have come to terms (perhaps even embraced) the age of technology and have taken advantage of it in ways that add convenience (or even profit) to your life.  

Along with the internet came internet crime. Fraud is a key focus of law enforcement agencies who analyze online usage to help people protect their assets and their rights. Various kinds of online fraud exist. If you have basic understanding of each type, you may avoid legal problems while you're surfing the internet, running an online business or hanging out on social network sites. If someone accuses you of illegal internet activity, it's not only critical that you understand what fraud is but that you know where to seek support

How do you suppress evidence in a criminal action?

When individuals in Florida and elsewhere are accused of drug crimes, he or she is likely overwhelmed. It is not only the charges themselves that are overwhelming. The evidence piling up against the accused can make one feel hopeless in this emotional and difficult matter. However, one should not that just because evidence exists does not mean it is automatically credible and usable in court. There are mechanisms to weed out evidence, even helping a defendant to clear his or her name.

How do you suppress evidence in a criminal action? The exclusionary rule can be used to challenge evidence used against a defendant. This rule is designed to prevent the government from using evidence that was gathered unlawfully. This typically applies when evidence was obtained in violation of the defendant's Fourth Amendment rights against an unlawful search and seizure. For example, if a search was conducted without a search warrant, the evidence obtained during this search will likely be inadmissible at court.

Searches and seizures and drug charges

When faced with a drug crime, accused offenders are often concerned with the evidence that is stacked up against them. Whether it was a traffic stop subject to a search, a stop and frisk or the search of the home, if law enforcement uncovers a controlled substance, the person being searched could be charged with a serious drug charge. However, it is important to note that just because evidence was recovered against the accused, this does not mean the charges will remain.

To begin, in order for there to be a lawful search, a search warrant must be issued if the search is being conducted where one expects to have privacy. Two factors need to be considered when determining whether or not a search warrant is necessary. The first is whether the person of the home or property being searched expects a degree of privacy. The second factor is whether or not this expectation of privacy is reasonable.

Sting operation leads to 76 arrests for child pornography

As a means to catch individuals in the act or to collect evidence them, law enforcement may use a sting operation. These are often used in certain situation or for specific crimes, such as child pornography. While these matters can be very shocking and overwhelming for those arrested, it is important for defendants to understand that these operations are not perfect and mistakes can be made. Thus, it is possible to assert a criminal defense that could help the accused reduce and even dismiss the charges against them.

According to recent reports, a multi-state sting operation resulted in the arrest of 76 individuals. This sting operation entitled Operation Southern Impact II was focused on capturing individuals engaged in the sexual exploitation of minors. The focus was especially on those matters involving infants and toddlers. While investigations targeting the trade of all type of child pornography occurs regularly, this operation targeted those seeking out and distributing the most violent forms of pornography that involve infants and toddlers.

What is the mental state required to commit a computer crime?

With the advancement in technology and our society's reliance on computer to complete our daily and work tasks, this causes expansions in other areas, such as criminal law. Computer crimes can be very complex, as the laws that govern them are rapidly changing to keep up with the ever-evolving world of technology. However, these crimes frequently cover acts such as copyright infringement, hacking, malware and phishing. If an activity on the computer qualifies as a computer crime, an individual accused of committing such an act could face serious penalties.

What is the mental state required to commit a computer crime? In order to be convicted of a computer crime one must have the requisite mental state. This means that they must be willfully, knowingly or purposefully accessed computer-based data, intending to steal, destroy or alter computer-based information. It is not a crime, for example, to accidentally or unintentionally wander into area on the Internet where valuable secure information exists.

Do police always need a warrant?

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects you from unlawful searches and seizures. Regardless of whether you remember this from school or from watching movies and television shows, you know you have this right.

However, what you may not realize is that "right" hinges on the word "unlawful." Over the years, the U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted that word in many cases. It endeavored to reach a balance between your rights and the reticence to unduly tie the hands of law enforcement officials as they carry out their lawful duties. It may surprise you to learn that police officers don't always need a warrant for an arrest, search or seizure.

Florida laws for heroin drug charges

It is clear that Florida and other states are tough on drug in general. The state seeks to reduce the amount of illegal substances being sold and used. As a means to deter such conduct, drug statutes penalize possession, sale, manufacturing and trafficking on such substances. Based on the type of drug in question, a defendant could face a wide range of penalties.

Take for example heroin. When an individual is caught in possession of heroin, whether it is for personal use or for sale, state and federal drug laws could cause a person to face serious consequences. Because heroin has one of the most devastating consequences when it comes to drugs and their legal and health ramifications, the law is tough on individuals in possession of this drug.

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