Texting while driving has always been frowned upon for obvious safety reasons, but due to a new law that's been passed in Florida there's even more of a reason not to text and drive. On May 17th, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill making it a possible for law enforcement to stop and ticket drivers who are caught texting. Under the previous law, drivers on their phones could only be cited if they were pulled over for another violation first.
Illegal acts come in a variety of different situations and severities. Crimes can range from murder to theft, drug use, rape, assault, or forgery to name a few. Depending on where the crime takes place and the type of crime it is, you could be charged by the state (in this case Florida) or by the federal government if the crime meets certain criteria.
At this point in time, nearly everyone is active on some form of social media -whether it's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or all of the above. You may know that what's on your newsfeed and is shown to the general public can be used against you as evidence, but did you know that your private direct messages can also lead to charges being placed against you if misconduct is discovered?
Even if you've never been in a courtroom before, chances are you've seen a movie or television show where the judge asks the defendant how they plea to the crime they are being charged for. A plea is essentially your response to the charges being brought against you. There are three ways a defendant can plea during a court case: guilty, not guilty, and nolo contendere (also known as no contest). The way you plea to charges against you determines the next steps in your case. Once you've put in your plea, it's very difficult to withdraw or change it, so be sure you're comfortable with whatever route you decide to go.
We live in a world where safety concerns like bomb threats or random shooting are something we hear about all too often. Many establishments such as schools, airports, and large public venues have policies in place for what to do if that kind of threat should occur. In the event that a threat is reported, law enforcement will immediately jump into action. So, what happens if the reported threat is false and a lie? Does the person who falsified the threat deserve to be punished? What about the time, cost, and mental disruption caused by those involved in the steps that take place after the threat is reported?
It only seems logically to record interrogations, as that's the moment when may confessions take place. Having these recordings allow for an accurate depiction of how the conversation occurred as well as if the confession seemed honest and truthful or possibly forced or coerced through pressure by the interrogating officer. However, Florida is one of the states in the United States that doesn't legally require for interrogations to be recorded. Senate Bill 204 aims to change that.
Most crimes - with the exception of murder and kidnapping - have a limit of time that a prosecutor can file criminal charges against a suspect. These time limits are known as the statute of limitations. The statutes are in place to make sure that evidence being used is preserved properly and justice is happening in a timely manner.
Hundreds of arrests happen each day in the United States and many of these are wrongful arrests of defendants who haven't committed the crime they are ultimately charged with and often serve time for. In a country where at any given moment over 2 million people are in prison, even 1% of an error in arrests can result in several thousands of people behind bars for crimes they didn't commit.
After you're arrested for a crime, the next step is the filing of the information or indictment. In most cases in Florida (except Capital) the police will fill out a standard police report (A-Form) that will be passed on to the State Attorney's Office who will review the case and determine what crimes they will formally charge you with.
Having the ability to defend oneself in a moment where you fear for your life is an important factor in feeling safe. The Stand Your Ground law protects those who have to take action to defend themselves in life-threatening cases. Initially, this was a right given to all persons, but not necessarily those on the police force. However, the Florida Supreme Court recently ruled that Florida law enforcement can use the law in some instances.