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Palm Beach Gardens Criminal Defense Law Blog

Improper use of medical marijuana is no small matter

Medical marijuana is now legal in Florida, which is great news for individuals with certain medical conditions. By passing this law, people now have access to something that will allow them to experience less pain and fewer complications when dealing with certain ailments and disabling issues.

However, medical marijuana is not easy to get, and individuals who do have valid prescriptions must be careful to follow guidelines and avoid using medical cannabis improperly. Even with a prescription for medical marijuana, you may still face criminal charges if you drive while high. Individuals without a prescription may also face charges, even if it is being used for medical purposes.

Who can be accused of terroristic threats?

Terroristic threats might seem like something that only happens outside the United States, but they are common here as well. Making a threat of terrorism can be anything from threatening to bomb a local school to suggesting you'd be willing to open fire on a local church group. The point of terrorism is to intimidate the government and civilians, so any case that seems to point in that direction could result in a person facing charges for making terroristic threats.

It can be hard to prove that a person made legitimate terroristic threats, which is a good thing for your case. Intent plays a role when there are allegations against you. For example, if a teen is angry and shouts that he's going to blow up someone's school, the reality is that the person may have no actual intention to do so. It's a terroristic threat on the surface, but the prosecution has to show that the act appears to be intended to make the charge stick.

Is a misdemeanor a serious charge?

If you think a misdemeanor is no big deal, you couldn't be more incorrect. While you're not likely to head to prison and may not face the largest of fines, convictions affect you in other ways, too. Even if the penalties for your misdemeanor seem minor, they can affect your everyday life. How? They hurt your reputation.

Imagine getting a conviction for a DUI. It's a misdemeanor, but you've paid the fines and done the requirements needed to fulfill the court's requests. Although that's true, if you apply to a job where you need to drive, you might be out of luck. Few businesses will hire drivers with a history of DUIs.

What happens if you get a DUI in Florida?

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is hazardous to your health and to those on the roads. Florida's laws state that a DUI is an offense where your impairment can be proved by showing that your normal faculties are impaired or that you have an unlawful blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The legal limit for those 21 or older is .08 percent.

Although the offense can be proven in multiple ways, the penalties are the same. On a first conviction, you'll face a fine of up to $1,000 but at least $500. If your BAC is .15 or higher, you'll be fined at least $1,000 and up to $2,000. Additionally, you may be placed on probation or be incarcerated for up to a year.

Insanity defenses are not easy, nor a ticket to freedom

What makes a valid insanity defense in the state of Florida?

While this is a fact that surprises many, not every state uses the same standard when courts determine whether or not someone was legally insane when he or she committed a crime. In Florida, the courts use what is commonly referred to as "the M'Naghten Test" to make the decision.

Domestic violence victims have extra woes amid natural disasters

Domestic violence victims have enough trouble on their hands before a natural disaster like a hurricane, tropical storm or major flooding takes place.

Once a natural disaster starts, they face additional problems that other refugees don't have to face: Abusers with a low threshold for stress who strike out when they can't keep a situation under their control.

Arming yourself with information may help you avoid DUI problems

As summer winds down in Florida, you may be one of many who are trying to make the most of your free time, perhaps getting in a few final trips to the beach before heading back to college or simply gathering with friends at your favorite restaurant or pub. The problem is if the information you have regarding how to avoid DUI problems is misguided, your summer time fun might wind up being akin to a living nightmare you'd like to forget.

For instance, someone may have told you that if you stick to milder types of alcohol, such as white wine or pale ales, you decrease your chances of getting behind the wheel with too much alcohol in your system. Not only is that information not factual, it can lead to a collision, legal problems, or both.

How serious is the crime of looting?

Looting is always a problem after a major natural disaster, Some people suddenly think that the normal laws regarding property and ownership stop applying and that anything that's available can simply be taken.

Various cities around the country are taking a new, tougher approach to looters these days. Since Florida is likely to be hit any time now with Hurricane Irma, it seems like this is a good time to discuss looting and the law -- before you do something you'll end up regretting later.

Falsely accused of domestic violence? Do this now

Once that 911 call has been made alleging domestic violence, the odds are good that someone is going to get arrested.

If that someone is likely to be you, even though you know the claim is a lie, this is what you need to do:

Joyride or grand theft auto?

Children in trouble may be quick to defend themselves by pleading that they didn't mean to do it. Whatever the action that prompted discipline, they instinctively know that their motives behind it may change the grown-up's view of the misconduct, perhaps even lessen the punishment.

In the adult world, the criminal justice system often takes into consideration the motives of a crime when filing charges or handing down sentences. Your intentions may have everything to do with the way police and prosecutors handle your case. One example of this is if you are accused of taking a vehicle that didn't belong to you.

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