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Miami Criminal Law Blog

The Difference Between a Direct Appeal and Post-Conviction Relief in Florida

In the event that someone is found guilty of a crime during a criminal trial, there can be an element of shock and disbelief, especially if the defendant feels as though the trial was unfair, or additional evidence that challenges their guilt was not available at the time of trial. The initial trial conviction isn't always final, and there are a couple ways that the case can be examined again.

Between a direct appeal and post-conviction relief motion, a criminal conviction can be challenged following the initial trial. However, it's important to note that these two types of situations mean different things and fall under different contexts in the realm of criminal justice.

Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Florida

Many states around the country have recently passed laws legalizing both medical and recreational marijuana use, creating a confusing situation around the country as the laws regarding marijuana can widely differ from state to state. Despite the fact that Amendment Two, which supported the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida, passed with an overwhelming amount of votes in the election of 2016, the state of Florida is still grappling with largely misunderstood laws when it comes to the legal use of medical marijuana.

Drug Laws and the State of Florida

A recent case surfaced in Miami Beach where a popular barber was arrested after a comprehensive undercover sting. The barber was charged with several drug charges including 10 counts of marijuana possession and selling; seven counts of cocaine possession and selling; five counts of ecstasy possession and selling; and two counts of using communications devices in an unlawful act. He is currently being held on a $120,000 bond.

Drug charges can vary from a misdemeanor to first-degree felony charges depending on the type of controlled substance and the amount involved in the crime. Different types of drug charges can come from simple possession for personal use, or if the intent of the controlled substance is for sale. Here is some information on the drug laws in the state of Florida.

April is Alcohol Responsibility Month

Alcohol Responsibility Month is in April, but it should be every month when you consider the harm that can be done when someone over indulges. Not only do you put yourself at risk when you abuse alcohol, but you can also put friends, family, and strangers in harm's way. Because of the need to drink and enjoy alcohol in a responsible manner, Responsibility.org has made a campaign out of alcohol responsibility, as opposed to awareness, for the month of April.

What You Need to Know About Probation Violations in Florida

When someone is convicted of a crime, there are several different ways that they can be punished. Often we see incarceration offered as a type of punishment, but probation is also an option depending on the type of crime and the judge's choice in sentencing.

It's important to note that probation is a criminal sentence that is an alternative to incarceration and can be used in county or circuit court for misdemeanors or felonies. It is still very serious because if the defendant violates his or her probation, it can mean serious jail time or even prison.

The Controversy of Facial Recognition Technology in Criminal Cases

A Florida state appellate court will soon decide whether to appeal a guilty conviction of a man who was identified by police using a controversial police surveillance program. The controversial facial recognition program was used by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office to find a man who was accused of selling drugs. Now, the First District Court of Appeals is set to break new legal ground in deciding if police are allowed to use facial software to identify suspects in crimes without notifying the defense first.

Your Miranda Rights and the 5th Amendment

If you've ever watched a Hollywood crime show, you've probably heard the phrase, "You have the right to remain silent" when a suspect is arrested. These seven words usually come shortly after the phrase, "You are under arrest." But do you know exactly what it means when a law enforcement officer makes this particular statement, and are you aware of your rights as a crime suspect under the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights?

Miami Man Sentenced to 240 Months in Prison for Medicare Fraud

In a story we hear of all too often in South Florida, a Miami-area man was recently sentenced to 20 years in prison (240 months) for his role in a large Medicare fraud scheme. In addition, he is also required to pay $66.4 million in restitution for the fraud he committed against the Medicare system.

Supreme Court to Hear Appeal of Death Row Inmate with Dementia

When a death row inmate is executed, there is an expectation and legal requirement that the individual has a rational understanding that he or she is about to be executed and why he or she is facing execution. Most inmates remember their crime, and they are able to answer in the affirmative that they understand the reason for their punishment. However, one Alabama man is proving to be an exception to this understanding. Now, his lawyers argue that because he suffers from dementia, and does not remember his crime over 30 years ago, that he is unfit for execution. The U.S. Supreme Court must now decide if Vernon Madison will die by lethal injection.

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