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Polk County Criminal Defense Blog

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.

Help when facing internet crimes accusations

Individuals accused of internet and computer crimes can face serious and ongoing potential penalties and consequences stemming from the charges and accusations they are facing. Many important rights of accused individuals are implicated in internet crimes charges including privacy rights and protections against unlawful search and seizure which is why it is important for individuals accuse of any crime, including computer crimes, to be familiar with their criminal defense rights and protections.

Criminal accusations and charges related to internet crimes and computer crimes can include internet fraud; computer fraud; computer hacking; invasion of privacy; unlawful use of a two-way communication device; possession of distribution of child pornography; use of a computer to seduce a child; solicitation of a minor; traveling to meet a minor; human trafficking; and cyberstalking. Internet crimes carry potentially stiff penalties and may even mean lifelong consequences for the accused individual.

What are Florida’s penalties for theft?

The state of Florida includes many different crimes under the term “theft”: Larceny, stealing, misappropriation, conversion and other illegal activities. Florida divides charges of theft into two different categories: Petit theft, and grand theft. Of the two charges, petit theft is less serious—it means that the state will prosecute the crime as a misdemeanor. Grand theft, however, is much more serious. In a grand theft, the state has decided to prosecute the theft as a felony.

Each charge comes with serious legal consequences, but the penalties for grand theft tend to be much more severe. If you are facing charges of theft, it is important to know the possible penalties that a conviction for grand theft can carry. In this post, we’ll go over the legal consequences that you could face if convicted of grand theft in Florida.

What is a restraining order?

Domestic violence is a concern that can impact entire families. Families struggling with the issue of family violence may wonder what a restraining order is and what one does. Restraining orders generally prohibit the individual who has been accused of domestic violence from engaging in certain activities. It is important to note that if an individual who has been accused of domestic violence violates the restraining order by engaging in one of the prohibited activities, they may face additional criminal consequences and penalties.

There are different types of orders including restraining orders, which may be used in different family law situations; emergency protections orders; protection orders, which are longer and more permanent in duration; and other types of orders as well. The names for orders and what they do may vary my state so it is helpful to understand the different types of orders available in your state and if an order has been issued, what type it is.

The basics of drug distribution charges in Florida

Drug distribution charges are serious charges which is why accused individuals facing them enjoy protections enshrined in the criminal justice system. In Florida, the sale and distribution of controlled substances is prohibited. Accused individuals can face serious criminal charges, potential penalties and possible consequences associated with possessing a controlled substance with the intent to sell or distribute it.

Drug trafficking and drug distribution charges are generally felony charges which means that they can be punished by a year or longer in prison. The actual potential penalties individuals accused of drug distribution face can be stiff. Harsh penalties, including between 3 and 5 years in prison or up to life in prison, can accompany a conviction for drug distribution charges. Drug trafficking and distribution charges apply to controlled substances.

Criminal defense options when accused of domestic violence

Domestic violence charges are serious criminal charges that cannot be taken lightly and can have a significant impact on accused individuals and families. Domestic violence accusations and allegations can have a significant impact on the family involved. It is important to keep in mind that all individuals accused of committing a crime, including domestic violence, have the right to a criminal defense and to defend against the criminal charges they are facing.

Individuals accused of domestic violence face significant potential penalties and consequences associated with the accusations and charges. Potential penalties and consequences individuals accused of domestic violence can face include mandatory jail time, anger management counseling and classes, community service, court costs and fines, loss of employment, an inability to return to a shared home, separation from the party they are accused of harming and other family members and the loss of the right to possess a firearm.

Criminal defense options in response to drug charges

Any type of drug charges, either possession or possession with the intent to sale, are all serious criminal charges that carry significant potential penalties and consequences. Because of this, criminal defense rights are important to be aware of. A criminal defense strategy is developed in response to the unique circumstances of the situation the accused individual is facing but may challenge the stated facts of the case; challenge procedural errors such as search and seizure violations; or offer other defenses such as a medical use for the drugs.

A strong drug crimes defense takes into account the circumstances and specific facts of the situation. A criminal defense response may be based on a violation of police procedure or the accused individual's rights such as search and seizure rights. Other rights that may be violated include the accused individual's right to remain silent or right to representation.

Man arrested for child pornography probation violations

Some criminal charges involving internet crimes, including child pornography charges, can have a lifetime of implications for accused individuals when considering possible probation and sex offender registry requirements. A former disc jockey was recently arrested in Florida for alleged probation violations related to a previous conviction for possessing child pornography. The man was arrested after a probation officer allegedly found 3 computers and 33 USB hard devices.

The 67-year old man was jailed without bail. He potentially faces 21 months in prison for an alleged violation of his probation which is the remainder of his original sentence. Though the man's original child pornography conviction was in another state, he was arrested in Florida for the alleged violation of his probation. He was required to register as a sex offender for life following his initial conviction.

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