August 28, 2016

Don't Bring a Taser to a Gunfight at a Growhouse

Grow House, Growhouse, Tampa Grow House Defense Lawyer, Taser, #Taser, #AssaultRifle
Don't bring a taser to a Growhouse gunfight -
you will lose in Tampa, Florida.
#Taser, #AssaultRifle #Growhouse

Firearms and Growhouses

What happens when you Bring a Taser to a Gunfight? You lose. Two guys from South Florida planned on breaking into a Tampa grow house using a couple of tasers. The would-be grow house invaders thought they would sneak around to the back and kick in the back door.

Bad move: the occupant(s) were waiting locked and loaded.

After an argument, the occupant(s) of the grow house were armed and returned fire. Apparently, the taser-wielding rascals rented a car in South Florida and drove to the 16000 block of Dew Drop Lane in Tampa. UPDATE: The Tampa Bay Times reports the growhouse address as 16310 Dew Drop Lane, Tampa, Florida 33625.

"The score: Firearm 2 - Taser 0.  Both guys ended up in the  emergency room"

August 12, 2016

Constructive Possession of Drugs in Florida

Constructive Possession
Constructive Possession of Drugs in Florida

What is Actual Possession of Drugs in Florida?

One Florida court, Sasser v. State, 67 So. 3d 1150, 1152 (Fla. 2d DCA 2011) defined Actual Possession of Drugs in Florida as  "[A]ctual possession is shown when contraband is found in the defendant's hand, or his person, or within reach and under the defendant's control." (quoting Bennett v. State, 46 So. 3d 1181, 1183-84 (Fla. 2d DCA 2010)).  

What is Constructive Possession of Drugs in Florida?

To convict on a theory of constructive possession, the State is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt (1) that the defendant had knowledge of the contraband and (2) that she had the ability to exercise dominion and control over the contraband.  See Knight v. State, 186 So. 3d 1005, 1012 (Fla. 2016); Santiago v. State, 991 So. 2d 439, 441 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008). 

What happens where drugs are found in a room with more than one occupant?

August 1, 2016

Which Judge will preside over my Tampa / Hillsborough County Drug Crimes Case?

Dick Greco, Eric R Myers, Judge Scott A Farr, Lawrence M Lefler, Margaret R Taylor, Richard A Weis, Paul T Jeske, John N Conrad, Art McNeil, Drug Crimes Hillsborough, Drug Crimes Tampa
How are Judges in new Drug Crimes cases are assigned in Hillsborough County and Tampa, Florida?

Felony and Misdemeanor drug charges are assigned to the various divisions of the court. According to Court rules Misdemeanor Drug Crimes and criminal traffic offenses in which the offense occurred are assigned to a county criminal drug divisions according to the first letter of the defendant's last name. Felony cases are randomly assigned to the circuit Judges.

The Drug Crimes rule also states, "When a  [Misdemeanor Drug Crimes] notice to appear, criminal report affidavit, or information is filed, the clerk will assign the case according to the following alphabetical distribution." This means that misdemeanor drug cases outside of the Plant City, Florida Division will be assigned according to these charts and pictures seen above and below. Felony cases are all randomly assigned to the Tampa Division. If a defendant is on Probation, the case will be assigned to the Judge that originally heard the case(s).

Which Judge will  preside over my Tampa / Hillsborough County Drug Crimes Case?

July 21, 2016

Marijuana Requires No Laboratory Report in Florida

What happens when Prosecutors use the testimony of a cop, with no testimony from a laboratory to identify the drug, Marijuana / Cannabis?

Florida Marijuana Laws, marijuana, cannabis, #cannabiscommunity, #cannabislaws, #marijuana, #norml
No Lab Report Needed
for Weed in Florida
The following sections are excerpts from the court's marijuana opinion testimony decision that can be found in its entirety here. "The issue before us is whether a police officer’s identification of marijuana, arrived at by sight and smell alone, is admissible experience-based opinion testimony. Because the officer’s opinion was based on his personal knowledge and perception and resulted from a process of everyday reasoning, we hold that the officer’s opinion was admissible as lay opinion testimony under Section 90.701, Florida Statutes."

"We find the officers’ testimony within the 
permissible range of lay
observation and ordinary police experience.”

July 14, 2016

Another Florida Drug Dog Sniff Case Overturned

drug sniff, drug sniffing dog, methamphetamine, Drug Crimes,
Drug Conviction Thrown Out - Bad Dog

Here are the facts of the most recent dog sniff case we have seen in Florida.

Officer patrolling with his drug detection dog when driver spotted in a truck with no seatbelt. Driver stopped for seatbelt violation. Cop asked driver to step out of the vehicle. Cops asked for consent to search the truck - denied. The officers then decided to conduct a “free sniff” with the dog. By that time, the information had come back from dispatch on the license and registration. Rather than write the ticket for the seatbelt offense, the officer went back to his car, retrieved the dog and commenced the sniff on the outside of the vehicle. Not surprisingly, dog alerts and meth found.

Why did a Florida Drug Crime Court find a Drug Dog Sniff was Unreasonable?

July 1, 2016

St Pete Still #Warped Cannabis Arrests at Van's Warped Tour St Petersburg, Florida

#Warped St. Petersburg PD will arrest and send to Pinellas County Jail they are still serious about possession
Warped Tour St Petersburg
Cannabis Arrest
St. Petersburg officials  have toyed with the idea of decriminalization of cannabis. However, we just received notice of at least one arrest and St. Petersburg Police Department officers are taking a hard line on possession of weed at the Van's Warped Tour. 

#Warped St. Petersburg PD will arrest and send to Pinellas County Jail they are still serious about possession  #Cannabis #weed @VansWarpedTour #Norml #CannabisCommunity

I had hoped my years of defending Possession of Marijuana cases in Florida were over - apparently they are not.

June 23, 2016

Growhouse Busted in Winter Haven, Florida - Video From the Inside

Polk County, Florida has one less growhouse after today's bust in Winter Haven, Florida. Forfeiture of the residence is possible.

#cannabiscommunity, #cannabislaws, #marijuana, #norml, Cultivation of Marijuana, Grady Judd, Manufacture of Cannabis, Marijuana Trafficking, trafficking in cannabis,
Polk County, Florida Growhouse 
Here is some video from inside the otherwise unremarkable suburban home, a map of 124 Elliott Ln, Winter Haven, FL 33884 and here is the haul according to the media darling, Grady Judd:

May 20, 2016

Is there a marijuana grow house in your neighborhood?

Marijuana Trafficking, Manufacture of Cannabis,  #cannabiscommunity, #cannabislaws, #marijuana, #norml
Hillsborough County, Florida
Another Weed Growing Operation Raided

There Probably IS a marijuana grow house in your neighborhood

Yet another growhouse has been raided in Hillsborough County Florida, This time in Brandon. See the map below for the location. The haul was 350 pounds. Here is a list of charges according to local news and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office reports: Trafficking in marijuana, Cultivation of marijuana,Grand theft-electricity, Own/lease/rent for purposes of trafficking,  Possession of drug paraphernalia. According to one source, "So far in 2016, Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies have shut down 20 marijuana grow operations in the county."

"You can take a look at a few 
other growhouse locations here."

May 17, 2016

What happens when a suspect throws drugs away and the cops find them?

Drug Crimes, Drug Attorney, pat down, inevitable discovery, abandonment, traffic stop, 4th Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Stop and Frisk
Fourth Amendment Search

What happens when a suspect throws down drugs and the cops later find them?

Where drug crime defendants / suspects throw  drugs under their vehicles while being removed from the vehicle after a valid traffic stop, a court can rule that the suspect has "voluntarily abandoned" the drugs. A Florida Court has just ruled there was reasonable suspicion to justify a pat down where there was a traffic stop, the target appeared nervous, could not answer some of the officer's questions, had made a sudden U-turn into an oncoming traffic lane,  and then parked facing the wrong direction just prior to the stop. The cop testified that the suspect had a pen clenched in his hand and the officer to believed it could be used as a weapon.

May 4, 2016

Florida Marijuana Decriminalization - Orlando Florida Cannabis Ordinance

Florida Marijuana Decriminalization, Orlando Florida Cannabis Ordinance
Orlando Florida
Cannabis Ordinance
Here is the text of the proposed city of Orlando marijuana ordinance. It appears that Orlando will be joining Tampa and St. Petersburg in the drive to decriminalize marijuana in Florida. The Orlando marijuana law makes a third offense have a mandatory court appearance.

"Violations are a civil infraction, rather than a crime, 
and are punishable by a $50 fine for the first offense, 
a $100 fine for the second offense, and a mandatory 
court appearance for the third and subsequent offenses. "
WHEREAS, section 893.13(6)(b), Florida Statutes, makes it a misdemeanor of the first degree to be in actual or constructive possession of 20 grams or less of cannabis (marijuana); and