Monday, October 24, 2016

That's Not Meth


On December 11, 2015, an Orlando man was arrested for a felony charge of Possession of Methamphetamine.  The resulted from a traffic stop as the Orlando man was exiting an Orlando area 7-11.  Orlando police officers claimed that they had stopped the man’s vehicle for failing to come to complete stop as he was exiting the convenience store parking lot.

According to the arrest affidavit, Orlando Police Officer Shelby Riggs-Hopkins wrote that she “observed in plain view a rock like substance on the floor board where his feet were.”  When questioned about what was found, the man advised that what she was looking at was sugar from a Krispy Kreme donut. 

This eleven-year veteran of the Orlando Police Department retrieved the observed substance and conducted a field test.  The substance produced a positive result for amphetamines.  When questioned further about the substance, the 64-year old man advised Officer Riggs-Hopkins that the substance was sugar.

Rather than conducing any further testing on the substance, Officer Riggs-Hopkins arrested and charged the man with a third-degree felony charge.  After additional testing by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), the substance was confirmed to be sugar from a Krispy Kreme donut.

Now the Orlando man has filed a lawsuit in Orange County Circuit Court alleging negligence on the part of the City of Orlando and the company which produces the drug test kits.  The man is claiming emotional harm, including embarrassment and humiliation. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Traffic Ticket Quotas

The Winter Springs Police Department is currently being investigated for a program where Officers were rewarded for meeting and/or exceeding citations issued and arrests made during a week in September.  During the weekend of September 10th, more than 100 citations, warnings, and arrests were made.  A discovered internal handwritten memo titled, "Delta Shift Weekend Competition" offered points to the officers for cases ranging from a traffic ticket to a DUI arrest.  The winner of the contest would be able to "float" for a pay period and would get a surprise.

On July 1, 2015, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a law that forbids local governments from having traffic ticket quote programs.  Many believe that this law ensures transparency in government and prevents the exploitation of motorists.  This investigation into the Winter Springs Police Department being conducted by WFTV News 9 could create issues for the agency.

If you were issued a civil traffic infraction or if you were arrested for a drunk driving (DUI) charge during the month of September 2016 in Winter Springs, Florida, you may want to contact a Winter Springs Criminal Defense Lawyer to determine whether your case is impacted by this quota program.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Changes to Florida Minimum Mandatory 10-20-LIFE Law

Florida Senate Bill 228 was drafted as an act relating to mandatory minimum sentences.  On October 1, 2016, it was enacted into law by amending Florida Statute 775.087.  The amendment deleted aggravated assault from the list of convictions which carry a minimum term of imprisonment if during the commission of the offense the convicted person possessed a firearm or destructive device.  It also deleted the term aggravated assault from the list of convicts which carry a minimum term of imprisonment if during the commission of the offense the convicted person possessed a semiautomatic firearm.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Changes to Florida Firearms Law

The Florida Legislature has enacted an act making it a crime to threaten terror or acts of violence towards public officials.  Senate Bill 436 was signed into law and created Florida Statute 836.12.  This statute defines the terms "family member" and "law enforcement officer."  Senate Bill 436 also amends Florida Statutes 790.163 and 790.164 by creating the crime of falsely reporting the use of firearms in a violent manner against a person or persons.