Category Archives: Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Blog

Medical Marijuana Patients Cannot Purchase Guns Or Maintain Concealed Weapon Permit

Amendment Two is in direct conflict with citizen’s Second Amendment rights. In November, Florida’s Constitutional Amendment Two passed, legalizing medical marijuana throughout the state. A Federal court ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year bars medical marijuana users from purchasing guns or having a concealed weapons permit.  The Federal court maintained that drug use “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated.” This ruling has led to many questions and outrage, as state law is directly conflicting with Constitutional rights.

In order to legally purchase a firearm in the United States, an individual must complete a Firearms Transaction Record (form 4473). Question 11(e) on the form asks:

Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?

By law, an applicant must be truthful or is subject to felony prosecution. When applying for a medical marijuana card, the medical provider must report all patients to the state. This database of medical marijuana patients is easily accessed by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and any other state or government officials.

Contact Thomas Law, P.A. today with any questions regarding your gun rights, or other legal matters.

 

Florida Good Samaritan Law

Here’s what you can do if you see a child or dog locked in a hot car.

Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a bill into law in 2016 granting civil immunity to persons that intervene, and take what steps are needed to rescue a dog or person from a hot car. As part of the law:

1. First try to find the owner of the vehicle.

2. Get a witness that will corroborate your story

3. Try to open the door.

4. Call 911.

If these steps are unsuccessful and the animal or person exhibits signs of overheating, a person can break into the car by force, and be protected from prosecution by the new law, Florida Statutes, F.S. 768.139. 

After just one hour, in Florida, temperatures can reach easily 106 degrees or more. This can cause organ failure and death in animals and children.

HTO: What It Really Means to You

A common mistake when receiving a ticket from a police officer is to pay the ticket. Paying the ticket is an admission of guilt, and often can compound issues if the driver has additional moving violations in a five year period, or commits a crime while operating a motor vehicle. Additionally, paying the moving violation can result in points, or convictions accumulating in your driving record.

Florida Statute 322.264 states that a habitual traffic offender is any driver that pleads guilty to any of these three listed below within a 5-year period, arising out of separate acts:

1. Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle;

2. DUI offense of any kind, drugs or alcohol;

3. A felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used;

4. Driving while license is suspended or revoked (DWLSR);

5. Driving a commercial vehicle without a commercial driver’s license (CDL)

6. 15 convictions of moving violations in which points have been assessed within 5 years;

Very easily, a driver can accumulate three convictions for DWLSR within a five year period.

Here is a good example. A driver receives their first ticket for DWLSR without knowledge, then the ticket is paid without any dispute, as instructed on the ticket. The second and third DWLSR the driver also pleads guilty, because the driver is not advised of his rights, and they are scared because one had became a criminal offense. When this occurs within five years, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will suspend the driver as an HTO. This suspends driver’s license 5 years, possibly upgrading the future charges allowing the state to sentence the driver to jail or prison time.

Give us a call at Thomas Law, P.A. with any of your driving questions. We can help with the HTO process and possibly reverse previous convictions so that you can get your driving license back.

The Problem With Prosecutorial Misconduct

Noura Jackson,29, was released Sunday, after being wrongly convicted of murder by a Tennessee court. Noura Jackson, who is now 29, has spent more than a decade behind bars for the accused murder of her mother, Jennifer Jackson.

Jennifer was a 39-year-old investment banker, who lived in an affluent neighborhood with her 18-year-old daughter Noura Jackson. Noura had recently connected with her father, who had divorced from her mother years before when she was 16.  A few years later he was murdered in a gas station in Memphis. His killer was never charged or located.

Noura Jackson was convicted in 2009,  with the had prosecutor, Amy Weirich wielding the belief that Noura was a hardcore drug addict and partier, and wanted free from her mother’s rules. Jackson’s case was made up of purely circumstantial evidence, and had no physical ties that could directly link Jackson to her mother’s murder.

Amy Weirich, a lead prosecutor in Shelby County, emerged during the time where prosecutor’s were rewarded for wins, and held tightly to the belief that, “everyone is guilty, all the time,” (quote from Emily Bazelon’s New York Times Article). 

Just five days after Jackson was convicted, an assistant prosecutor on the case, Stephen Jones, filed a motion to submit an omitted document that had been in the prosecutor’s hands since the early days of the investigation. A former witness and friend of Noura’s, Andrew Hammack, had written this letter that would have shed doubt on the case. In this document that he had originally submitted in a statement to police,  he admitted to using ecstasy on the night of Jackson’s murder.

Jackson’s conviction was eventually overturned by the Tennessee Supreme Court in 2014, and was again set for a new trial. Eventually Jackson settled on taking a plea deal, as the new trial would have led her well into her 30’s, after serving more than a decade. Even after signing her plea deal and promised release, she was held for an additional year because the prison system miscalculated her ‘good time’.

So, what went wrong? Brady v. Maryland can explain. Per the Brady v. Maryland decision, prosecutors have a duty to disclose exculpatory evidence even if not requested to do so.

Interestingly enough, the problem with prosecutorial misconduct, is that this type of behavior is not punished in the U.S., and often rewarded. Amy Weirich is now the District Attorney of Shelby County, the court in which Jackson was originally sentenced, and this has fueled her possible political career. (New York Times)

According to a Fair Punishment Project, which operates at Harvard University, Shelby County prosecutor Amy Weirich is ranked highest for prosecutorial misconduct in a study that was published in July 2017. (The Commercial Appeal)

The Fair Punishment Project researched cases that were involving allegations of prosecutorial misconduct in four states from January 2010 to Dec  2015.

“In the time period we reviewed, the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office had the highest number of misconduct findings—with more than a dozen—and the most reversals in Tennessee,”  their findings said. (The Commercial Appeal)

Thomas Law, P.A.

Lengthy Consequences For Multiple DUI Offenders

Offenders with multiple DUI’s will encounter issues when trying to relocate to another state and get a driver’s license. Even with good reason—moving for a job, family member, etc., Florida requires that you satisfy the suspension in Florida before getting licensed in another state. This will especially affect those with a 5-year driver’s license revocation, 10-year, or a life-time revocation.

The national driver’s registry is a country-wide database, sharing information with each state about the status of your driver’s license. When trying to get licensed in a state other than Florida, the new state will check this database and find the Florida suspension, and not allow you to be licensed in the new state until the Florida suspension is satisfied.

To comply with Florida’s requirements during the suspension period, Florida requires registration in the special supervision program, completing DUI school, and whatever drug or alcohol treatment the DUI Supervisory office requests. Some of these requirements will have to be met previously, as they are required by the courts. Additionally, drivers must install a breathalyzer into your vehicle for the DHSMV mandated period. For those with a second DUI the period is 1-2 years depending on the blood alcohol level. For third DUI the period is a minimum of 2 years. Fourth DUI, or subsequent offenses is a minimum of 5 years. Drivers must visit the Interlock device’s vendor monthly, there are five to choose from. Every month the driver pays the vendor to service the device and record the pertinent information recorded by the device.

In Hillsborough or Pinellas County, the DUI program and Special Supervision Program is managed by DUI Counterattack or Suncoast Safety Council. During enrollment in the statewide special supervision program, offenders are first evaluated, then must visit a supervision officer once a month for an interview, pay a supervision fee, and take a random drug/alcohol test. The monthly interviews continue for the remainder of the suspension period (5 years, 10 years, or lifetime). The offender will have to remain in Florida for that period to keep licensing, or travel from out of state once a month to visit the special supervision officer for the remainder of the period.

For questions about multiple DUI offenses, or any other Florida DUI questions, please contact Jenny Thomas at Thomas Law, P.A. We are a boutique law firm focused on working hard to achieve the best outcome for our clients.

What is Probation?

Probation is a court ordered sanction of a jail sentence that allows a person convicted of a crime a chance to remain in the community under the supervision of a probation officer, instead of going to jail. A person is put on probation when they’ve been found guilty of committing a crime. However, probation is not an option for every single offense – some offenders go to jail or prison without ever having the offer of probation on the table. The conditions of this community-based supervision can vary. Probation requires that you follow certain court-ordered rules and conditions and it could include jail time, fines, restitution, community service, or other sanctions. Typical conditions may include meeting with your probation officer, refraining from using illegal drugs or excessive alcohol, avoiding certain people and places, and appearing in court during requested times.

Probation can also require counseling, weapons restrictions, and the offender reporting to their probation officer. If the person does not follow the rules of their probation, they could go back before a judge and be sent to jail or prison.

The mission of probation is to ensure public safety. Every citizen has the right to be free from fear of harm to their person and property.

Thomas Law’s Solution to Violating Probation in Tampa, FL

If you find yourself in a severe issue with probation, you can always call Thomas Law. Jenny Thomas has many years of experience in Probation Law and may be able to help you with your troubles. Don’t hesitate in dealing with your problems! They only get worse. Your probation officer is your number one priority in this situation and to ignore the officer is a situation you don’t want to be in. Making the wrong move may land you in jail. Call as soon as you can!

Contact Thomas Law Today If You’ve Violated Your Probation

Thomas Law is ready when you are to get started on your case. Jenny Thomas is available normal business hours and offers free consultations. Any questions you have can be answered as soon as possible. Never hesitate! Solve your problems as soon as they arise. Contact Thomas Law today.

Violation of Probation Florida Consequences

  • A Standard of Proof Must Be Provided
  • The Violation Must Be Substantial and Willful
  • You Can Violate Probation for a Positive Drug Test
  • You Can Violate Probation for Failure to Complete a Drug Program
  • You Can Violate Probation for Failure to Pay Financial Obligations
  • You Can Violate Probation Acts Resulting from Mental Illness
  • You Can Violate Probation from Negligence or Ineptitude
  • You Can Violate Probation from Missed Appointments or Reports
  • Upon the revocation of probation or community control in Florida, the court may impose any sentence which it might have originally imposed on the offender at sentencing. Thus, the defendant may be sentenced up to but not in excess of the statutory maximum penalty for the original offense at issue.

Thomas Law May Be Able to Help with Violation of Probation Florida Consequences

Thomas Law has an experienced attorney, Jenny Thomas, in Tampa, FL that may be able to help with Violation of Probation Florida Consequences. If your situation becomes one where you are in trouble with the law due to violating probation, it is a good idea to contact us before the situation gets worse; we specialize in Violation of Probation Florida Consequences.

Contact Us Today If You’re Facing Violation of Probation Florida Consequences

Contact Thomas Law and Jenny Thomas today if you find yourself in a situation facing Violation of Probation Florida Consequences. They can be quite dire and you don’t want to do through them alone. A professional attorney in Hillsborough County and Tampa like Thomas Law may be able to protect your rights as a citizen of the United States in a court of law. Contact us right away for your free consultation.

Violation of Probation Florida

Thomas Law of Tampa, FL may be able to help with issues of Violation of Probation Florida. These issues can lead to serious legal problems, but they are not always the fault of the person on probation. Every citizen of the United States has the right to criminal defense and should immediately reach out to an attorney in Tampa, FL in order to resolve an issues associated with Violations of Probation in Florida.

Thomas Law: Your Lawyer for Violation of Probation Florida

Thomas Law has experienced attorney, Jenny Thomas,  who may be able to help those in need with probation issues. Violation of Probation Florida should not be taken lightly as the consequences can be dire for anyone who is found guilty for doing so. Thomas Law provides free consultation for all services provided and should be contacted immediately for all issues.

Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation on Violation of Probation Florida

Contact Thomas Law and Jenny Thomas today to find out if you qualify for services with our free consultation. When you’re in need and find yourself in a situation like Violation of Probation Florida, please fill out a contact form on our contact page or give us a call right away. We will be more than happy to help you with your situation as soon as possible.

Hillsborough County Attorney

Thomas Law and Jenny Thomas may be able to assist you with a certain range of criminal charges in Hillsborough County as your Hillsborough County Attorney. Thomas Law services people with troubles in areas of road offenses, drug offenses, petit theft, grand theft, and many other areas. If you need to find out more, simply click the links.

Thomas Law: Your Hillsborough County Attorney

Thomas Law and Jenny Thomas seek to be of the greatest help to you and your troubles. There are many issues that can arise from criminal charges, and we would hope to help with as many as possible. Thomas Law is very experienced in the fields listed on this website and we will give free consultations to those in the Tampa and Hillsborough County area that need them. Feel free to ask any questions that you need!

Contact Thomas Law for Your Free Hillsborough County Attorney Consultation

We have an excellent contact page that you can submit an email with your information so we can contact you right away, or simply give us a call. We are available during the week at normal business hours. We seek to help you as soon as possible. Never hesitate to contact your local Hillsborough County Attorney as your charges left unattended will affect you for the rest of your life! Contact us today!

Petit Theft Florida Statute

 

Petit Theft Florida Statute

Thomas Law and Jenny Thomas may be able to help in situations of the Petit Theft Florida Statute. In Florida, you are committing Petit Theft if you take someone else’s property with requisite criminal intent. This property needs to be valued less than $100, then this will result in a misdemeanor of the second degree. The property being valued between $100 and $300 will result in a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Thomas Law: Your Lawyer for the Petit Theft Florida Statute

Let Thomas Law and Jenny Thomas represent you during these trying times during your encounter with the Petit Theft Florida Statute. You don’t want to be caught in a place where you can’t control how your case goes and have no one to rely on. Thomas Law is experienced with a wide range of criminal issues, and is sure to try to help with your case.

Contact Us Today if You Need Help with the Petit Theft Florida Statute

Contact Thomas Law and Jenny Thomas today about your Petit Theft Florida Statute case. We will get in touch with you as soon as possible with as much information as we can about how to successfully complete your court case. We offer free consultations, so don’t be afraid to reach out to us. There’s no time to lose, so don’t wait! Every minute counts when you’re involved with the Petit Theft Florida Statute.