Mike G Law
813-221-4303
Available 24/7

Tampa Criminal Defense Blog

11 Florida cities land on '100 most dangerous' list

Across Florida - particularly on the Atlantic Coast - news media and citizens alike are reacting to a recent list that calls out 11 Sunshine State municipalities for their violent crime rates. The Top 100 Most Dangerous Cities in America, published by Alarms.org compiled the list in response to the shooting at a Parkland, Florida school. In spite of the alarms the list may be sounding, it also notes that the incidence of violent crimes in the country actually appears to be dropping.

Although the report acknowledges the dip in violent crime, the media in some Florida cities took umbrage at being included at all. A television station in West Palm Beach, WPTV, pointed out that the statistics used to compile the "Most Dangerous Cities" list were four years old. Noting that three of the cities on the list were in Palm Beach County - Belle Glade, Lake Worth and Riviera Beach - WPTV gathered its own statistics from local law enforcement agencies.

What does "probable cause" mean in Florida?

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects citizens of Florida -- and the rest of the United States -- from unlawful searches and seizures, the latter of which includes arrests. Even in the case of suspected violent crimes, the protections afforded by the Fourth Amendment are foundational. To overcome, such constitutional protections, law enforcement, pursuant to the Amendment's language, cannot search or seize a person or their property without "probable cause."

Even a law enforcement officer with a search or arrest warrant was required to make a showing of probable cause. In order to obtain the warrant, the police officer must swear in an affidavit that there is sufficient probable cause to overcome the Fourth Amendment protections afforded to an individual. A judge will ensure that the showing of probable cause is sufficient before signing off on the warrant.

We represent those struggling with drug addictions

There are many good people in the Tampa area who are struggling under the weight of a drug addiction. Often, their addictive behaviors are simply ways they cope with deep-seated trauma or other issues over which they may have had no control.

Still, drug use has a tendency to land even decent people in serious trouble with the criminal justice system. In addition to drug possession being a crime in and of itself, people often do things while high that they would never do were they sober, and many of these behaviors are also against the law and can lead to prison time.

How the criminal justice system sets up kids for failure

The criminal justice system is surely not one size fits all. This can be especially true when it comes to serving youth. Unfortunately, many kids do not understand their rights when dealing with law enforcement, and their naivety can be used against them in court.

Here is how the criminal justice system fails kids during arrests and interrogations.

Congressman's wife's arrest shines light on mental health issues

Many of us n Tampa have made the less than two-hour drive to visit Disney World. While the theme park is known for bringing smiles to the faces of visitors, it was recently the site of the arrest of U.S. Rep. Darren Soto's wife Amanda on a charge of disorderly intoxication.

The congressman later released a statement that his wife has been dealing with mental health issues for years and that she regrets the actions that led to her arrest. The case will, hopefully, serve as reason for people to reflect on the struggles many have with depression, self-medication, addiction and sometimes arrests.

False accusations of domestic violence are common in divorce and custody

About 25 percent of divorces involve an allegation of domestic violence. Restraining orders and tales of abuse provide powerful leverage in family court.

Research shows that a high percentage of restraining orders are issued for trivial or trumped-up reasons. Half the time, no physical violence is even alleged. Yet judges issue the orders and let the chips fall where they may.

Don’t give up on yourself!

When a person is charged with a sexual offense, it feels like the end of the world. They are overcome with feelings of shame and despair. They feel they have let their families and everyone down.

Society holds sex offenses to be the most reprehensible of all criminal types. The news reverberates through the community, affecting relationships, employment and school.

Nation's first opioid court opens, goal is keeping users alive

The ordinary drug treatment courts aren't up to dealing with the opioid addiction crisis. Officials in Buffalo, New York, which has just opened the nation's first opioid treatment court, say that more drastic measures are needed if the intervention is to be successful at its most basic level: keeping the defendant alive.

Most drug courts emerged in the 1980s and early 1990s in response to crack cocaine. The idea is to provide what's really needed -- drug treatment -- to people who aren't career criminals but got involved in drugs. Defendants may be first-time arrestees for drug possession, or they may have been charged for crimes they committed as a result of their drug addiction. Those charges are dropped if the defendant successfully completes drug treatment.

Pregnant addict charged with aggravated assault for overdose

Should someone with a serious addiction problem be criminally charged for overdosing? She should if she is pregnant and the overdose harms the child, according to prosecutors in another state.

Unfortunately, it's not at all clear the mother was fully responsible for the harm to her child in this case. Emergency medical technicians, police and emergency room personnel all seem to have missed the symptoms of an overdose, causing a potentially major delay in treatment for the overdose.

Opioid treatment is available, but even the insured aren't getting it

The co-author of a new study in JAMA Pediatrics has a message for parents. "If you have a child struggling with opioid addiction, understand that there are medications that support and sustain recovery."

That seems straightforward, but the study found that many people may not realize there are effective treatments available for addiction to opioid medications like OxyContin, Vicodin and Xanax -- even methadone, fentanyl and heroin. Unfortunately, it seems that most young addicts aren't getting that treatment, even when they have good insurance.

Contact The Firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

email us for a response
Mike G law - A Law Firm