Several times a year lawmakers come together to discuss different bills that are up for approval and those that pass through their hoops are sent to the governor for signing. Recently, these meetings took place and many were passed creating new Florida laws that have now gone into effect. There were 206 bills that cleared the House and Senate before the session ended March 19th. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed all but five of those into active laws.
Many of the new laws became official on July 1st – the beginning of Florida’s fiscal year. There was a newer set of laws that was signed on September 19th with an October effect date. Here are 10 laws that now exist in the state of Florida from that group.
- HB 675 – allows law-enforcement officers to make warrantless arrests for indecent exposure. Currently, officers need to have witnessed the indecent exposure or obtain warrants to make arrests.
- HB 1135 – revises the state’s specialty license plate program. That includes expanding the potential number of designs from the current 123 to 150 and requiring a minimum of 1,000 sales before new specialty plates can move forward and existing plates can remain in circulation. The bill also creates plates for the University of Alabama, the University of Georgia and Auburn University and establishes a “super tag” template for nine black fraternities and sororities dubbed the “Divine 9” — Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Delta Sigma Theta, Phi Beta Sigma, Zeta Phi Beta, Sigma Gamma Rho and Iota Phi Theta.
- SB 1286 – makes a series of changes to laws prohibiting contraband at prisons and other types of state and local detention facilities. The bill, in part, adds medical marijuana, hemp and industrial hemp to a list of prohibited contraband. Also, it addresses issues related to cell phones and vaping devices.
- HB 133 – makes a series of changes related to towing vessels and vehicles. In part, the bill requires local governments to set maximum rates for towing and immobilizing vessels. It also prohibits counties and cities from imposing fees on wrecker operators or towing businesses.
- HB 915 – expands state oversight of 20 commercial service airports, including requiring audits every seven years at the Orlando, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa international airports. All 20 must post online documents such as meeting notices, agendas and budgets.
- HB 387 – sets a $25 fee for most specialty license plates, with a $50 fee for the University of Alabama, University of Georgia and Auburn University tags.
- HB 205 – expands a portion of state law designed to prevent people from misrepresenting service in the military. The bill makes it a third-degree felony to use such misrepresentations to land jobs or political offices.
- SB 294 – creates the “Florida Veterans Protection Act” to make it a first-degree felony to obtain or attempt to swindle $50,000 or more from 10 or more military veterans.
- SB 680 – expands a 2017 law that increased penalties for people who remove fins from sharks and discard the rest of the sharks in the ocean. The new law bans the import, export and sale of shark fins but includes exceptions for people who already had federal shark fishing permits as of Jan. 1 and seafood dealers who had federal shark dealer permits. Shark fins are considered a delicacy in parts of Asia.
- HB 333 – prohibits courts from granting bail to adult defendants who are appealing convictions in cases that require registering as sexual offenders or sexual predators and in which the victims were minors.
If you or someone you know are being brought up on charges due to one of these new laws, or any Florida law consider hiring the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Russell Spatz has extensive experience with Florida’s court system and is ready to look into your case to help you get on the right track. Give him a call at 305-442-0200 to schedule a consultation today.
Miami, and Jim Turner. “Here Are Some of the 24 New Laws Starting October 1 in Florida.” Miamiherald, Miami Herald, www.miamiherald.com/news/state/florida/article246064165.html