Video - Florida Forfeiture and Seizure - Cops Gone Wild

drug forfeiture, Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act
Florida Forfeiture and Seizure
Cops Gone Wild
Cops and communities have a new contest - let's see how much stuff we can take from citizens using civil forfeiture, even though they are not convicted criminals. These cops gone wild seize cash and assets then post “trophy shots” of money. Some police advocate highway interdiction as a way of raising revenue for cash-strapped municipalities.

$2.5 Billion Seized Without Warrant or Indictment | Civil Forfeiture


There are seminars and training firms that help agencies and communities get in on the forfeiture gold rush. One was quoted in the Washington Post saying, “All of our home towns are sitting on a tax-liberating gold mine,” This cop gone wild published his book under a fake name since he is also a marketing specialist for an interdiction training firm. Lets take a look at the consequences of civil forfeiture . . . #copsgonewild

Tampa Drug Charge Defense

Tampa Drug Charge Defense
Tampa Criminal Drug Defense Attorney, Casey Ebsary is a local defense attorney and former prosecutor. Casey was a Prosecutor in Hillsborough County's Drug Court, which was one of the first drug treatment-oriented court programs in Florida. Casey is ready to help with all types of criminal charges including drug charges and Driving Under the Influence DUI where drug use is alleged.

Casey Ebsary is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law by the Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education. Less than one-half of one percent of Florida's lawyers have qualified for this distinction. Click on the Florida Bar Board Certified Criminal Trial icon above to review Casey's qualifications. Then give Casey a call to discuss how he can help you, a family member, or a loved one.

Casey is available for a free phone consultation at  813-222-2220.



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Tampa Drug Charge Defense Attorney

Can Color of Vehicle Be Probable Cause In Traffic Stop?

Exclusionary Rule, Probable Cause, Motion to Suppress, Fourth Amendment
Probable Cause Traffic Stop Vehicle Color
A Florida Drug case just answered two questions: 1) Can the Color of a Vehicle be the Probable Cause for a Traffic Stop? 2) Can cops invent creative reasons to pull you over?

Traffic Stop Facts


The case began when the cops were looking for a reason to pull a vehicle over and the driver was not doing anything wrong to justify a legitimate traffic stop to issue a traffic citation or a warning. The cop used his computer system to pull the DHSMV (Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles) records on the vehicle he was following. The record was valid, the registration was valid, the driver and the vehicle were lawfully in operation. One field on the vehicle record described the color of the vehicle. The color of the targeted vehicle did not match. vehicle was stopped, odor of cannabis / marijuana, large quantity of drugs found, driver is arrested and goes to prison.

Can the Color of a Vehicle be the Probable Cause for a Traffic Stop?


Florida Supreme Court says the DHSMV record does not need to match the vehicle color. People are free to paint cars whenever they wish. There is no requirement that car owners report the new color of their vehicle to the state. Conviction overturned.

Can cops invent creative reasons to pull you over?


Florida Supreme Court says police cannot use otherwise innocent conduct to invent reasons for traffic stops. Courts can punish police who engage in such hunting. The punishment will at least be the evidence they have illegally obtained will be suppressed under the Exclusionary Rule. Under the rule, courts will not let police engage in misconduct and then convict and imprison citizens.

Case Excerpts

"To warrant an investigatory stop, the law requires not just a mere suspicion of criminal activity, but a reasonable, well-founded one. Popple, 626 So. 2d at 186 (“[A]n investigatory stop requires a well-founded, articulable suspicion of criminal activity.”). In Terry, the stop was found appropriate because the officer “had observed [three men] go [t]hrough a series of acts, each of them perhaps innocent in itself, but which taken together warranted further investigation.” Terry, 392 ."

"[T]he sole basis here for the investigatory stop is an observation of one completely noncriminal factor, not several incidents of innocent activity combining under a totality of the circumstances to arouse a reasonable suspicion—as was the case in Terry. "

"The discrepancy between the vehicle registration and the color the deputy observed does present an ambiguous situation, and the Supreme Court has recognized that an officer can detain an individual to resolve an ambiguity regarding suspicious yet lawful or innocent conduct. Wardlow, 528 U.S. at 125. However, the suspicion still must be a reasonable one. Popple, 626 So. 2d at 186 (“Mere suspicion is not enough to support a stop.”). In this case, there simply are not enough facts to demonstrate reasonableness." 

"[It] is not against the law in Florida to change the color of your vehicle without notifying the DHSMV."

"The intrusion involved in the instant case is similar to that described in Prouse, especially considering that anyone who chooses to paint his or her vehicle a different color could be pulled over by law enforcement every time he or she drives it."

"We are satisfied that the exclusionary rule will have an appropriate deterrent effect in this case and that none of the exceptions to the rule apply. "



Medical Marijuana Legal Advice - Can a lawyer advise a client about using the drug or operating such a business without running afoul of the Bar?

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, medical marijuana dispensary, Medical Marijuana, Medical Marijuana Card, medical marijuana cooperative, medical marijuana lawyer
Legal Advice for
Medical Marijuana
Dispensaries
With a possible legalization of medical marijuana on deck in Florida, many are wondering how can a lawyer advise using the drug or operating a marijuana dispensary without running afoul of the Bar? Now we know the Florida Bar's position. "Yes [counsel can advise], according to the Bar Board of Governors, which adopted a policy not to prosecute Bar members for misconduct if they advise clients about the new state law — as long as they also remind clients about federal law. " says the Florida Bar News in its June 15, 2014 edition.

Can a lawyer advise a client about Medical Marijuana without Violating Bar Rules?


The new medical marijuana Policy follows: “The Florida Bar will not prosecute a Florida Bar member solely for advising a client regarding the validity, scope, and meaning of Florida statutes regarding medical marijuana or for assisting a client in conduct the lawyer reasonably believes is permitted by Florida statutes, regulations, orders, and other state or local provisions implementing them, as long as the lawyer also advises the client regarding related federal law and policy.

6 Drugs The Feds Like to Prosecute and the Consequences

traffic, trafficking, Powder Cocaine,  Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Oxycodone, Crack Cocaine
Drugs The Feds Like to Prosecute
Trafficking in these 6 drugs constitutes 97 percent of Federal Drug Prosecutions. How does the DEA, law enforcement, and Federal Prosecutions impact drug trafficking? Sometimes these policy choices impact society in ways that are counter-intuitive. When the focus goes to synthetic opioids like oxycodone, the natural substitute, trafficking in heroin spikes. Recent data shows that the war on pill mills has reduced the supply of pharmaceuticals and driven users to heroin. Heroin overdoses are now spiking. When crack cocaine penalties were reduced, trafficking declined. Here are six drugs to traffic and get a ticket to a federal indictment and prison.

Six Drugs To Get You in Federal Prison

Powder Cocaine 
Marijuana 
Methamphetamine 
Heroin 
Oxycodone 
Crack Cocaine 

Once the Feds target a drug, the prosecutions and prisoners increase. For example, methamphetamine traffickers decreased after 2006 , then increased again since 2009. Once the war on synthetic heroin, also known as oxycodone was commenced, after remaining stable for much of the past decade, the number of heroin traffickers has increased. Although oxycodone trafficking is low compared to other drug types, there has been a substantial increase. 

Once the Feds reduced sentences and focused elsewhere, Crack cocaine trafficking has decreased since 2008 when reductions in crack cocaine penalties were first implemented. Now that legalization has begun, marijuana trafficking now has seen a sharp decline in  2013. With the sometimes unexpected consequences of drug policies in play, one can wonder why these decisions to target certain controlled substances are made and who is calling the shots?

Source: United States Sentencing Commission 

Drug Trafficking By the Numbers - 9 Facts - Federal Statistics

Trafficking, Drug Trafficking, Federal Drug Trafficking
Drug Trafficking
How and why do we lead the world in per capita number of people in prison?  

The war on citizens, also known as the war on drugs continues in United States District Courts across the country. The presumptive punishment for almost every drug trafficking case is incarceration. The numbers are in for the most recent period. Nothing has changed. If there is a drug trafficking conviction in Federal Court, 96.3 percent of the time, the defendant lands in prison for an average of 72 months. Below is a breakdown of the data we just reviewed.


  • Most drug trafficking offenders were sentenced to imprisonment (96.3%).
  • More than three-quarters of drug traffickers were sentenced either within the guideline range (39.7%) or below the range at the government’s request (38.5%). 
  • An additional 20.7% of drug traffickers received a non-government sponsored below range sentence, with the remaining 1.1% of offenders sentenced above the guideline range.
  • The average sentence length for all drug traffickers was 72 months. 
  • The average sentence varied substantially depending on the type of drug trafficked in the offense.
  • 63.7% of all drug trafficking offenders were convicted of an offense carrying a mandatory minimum penalty; however, less than half of these offenders (41.3%) remained subject to that penalty at sentencing.
  • 20.0% provided the government with substantial assistance in the investigation or prosecution of other offenders, 
  • 28.5% were eligible for relief through the statutory safety valve provision,
  • 10.2% received both forms of relief.
Source: United States Sentencing Commission 2013. 

Law Office of W.F. "Casey" Ebsary, Jr.

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"Casey's strong arguments during the hearing made all the difference ..."
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Casey is a Criminal lawyer and DUI attorney at the Law Office of W.F. "Casey" Ebsary, Jr. in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL. . Casey and his team can help you, a friend, or a loved one with misdemeanor, felony, and drunk driving cases throughout Tampa Bay.
1101 Channelside Drive
Tampa
33602
US


Law Office of W.F. ''Casey'' Ebsary, Jr.
Attorney Lawyer
Casey is a Criminal lawyer and DUI attorney at the Law Office of W.F. "Casey" Ebsary, Jr. in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL. . Casey and his team can help you, a friend, or a loved one with misdemeanor, felony, and drunk driving cases throughout Tampa Bay.
1101 Channelside Drive
Tampa, FL
33602
US
centrallaw@gmail.com
813-222-2220

Pinellas Drug Court Avoid Prison

Drug Court, Pinellas Drug Court, Pinellas Drug Attorney, Dismiss Drug Charges
Pinellas Drug Court
Pinellas County Drug Court Defense Attorney and former prosecutor is frequently asked several questions. Drug Court is an 18 month supervision program with Department of Corrections / Drug Pre-Trial Intervention. This is also a 12 to 18 month treatment program with treatment offered by DACCO. Upon successful completion of the treatment program and Drug Pre-Trial Intervention supervision your charges will be dismissed.

Now there is news that Pinellas County has expanded their program to include those that would otherwise go to Florida State Prison for between 12 and 17 months. Those case will involve a Criminal Punishment Scorsheet that includes no more than 60 points. According to the Court's announcement, "Defendants with substance abuse issues who score no more than 60 points on state’s sentencing guidelines can apply for admission to program. Until 2012, the threshold had been 52 points, eliminating many likely candidates."

Pinellas Drug Court Press Releases: 

"Adult Drug Court is a voluntary program that combines court-monitored, comprehensive substance abuse treatment with frequent appearances before a judge who may reward progress or sanction non-compliance. Successful completion means no prison time, and the judge may withhold adjudication of guilt and reduce the length of probation. "

"Adult Drug Court is a voluntary program that features court-supervised, comprehensive substance abuse treatment with frequent appearances before a drug court judge. Frequent hearings enable the Court to closely monitor a participant’s progress in treatment and the results of drug testing. The drug court judge may reward progress or sanction non-compliance. "


SAMPLE TEXT OF DRUG COURT CONTRACT

This AGREEMENT is entered into this day, by the Client who agrees that:

The Client meets the criteria and is qualified for admission to the DUI Drug Court Program (hereinafter, the Program). And it is in the Client’s best interest to enter into this Agreement.

The Misdemeanor Client shall participate in the Program for a minimum of twelve (12) consecutive months. In accordance with the terms and conditions set forth herein. The Felony Client shall participate in the Program for a minimum of twenty-four (24) months. The Program shall consist of:

A. Phase I Requirements: Duration — MM (14 Weeks): Felony (28 Weeks)

1) Bi-weekly (every other week) court appearances.
2) Attend a minimum of 2 hours of group and/or individual therapy sessions. 1 time per week.
3) Attend a minimum of 4 AA/NA meetings per week. Additional meetings may he. required upon treatment provider recommendation.
4) Submit to random alcohol/drug screens, Client must call the Color Line daily at (863) 534-5828.
5) Comply with any additional requirements recommended by the treatment provider.
6) Defendant will be responsible for all costs associated with the DUI Court Program.

B. Phase II Requirements: Duration — MM (22 Weeks)~ Felony (44 Weeks)

1) Bi-weekly (every other week) court appearances.
2) Attend a minimum of 2 hours of group and/or individual therapy sessions, I time per week.
3) Attend a minimum of 3 AN/NA meetings per week. Additional meetings may be required upon treatment provider Recommendation.
4) Submit to random alcohol/drug screens. Client must call the Color Line daily at (863) 534-5828.
5) Comply with any additional requirements recommended by treatment provider.
6) Defendant will be responsible for all costs associated with the DUI Court Program.
7) There will be NO entry into Phase III until a sponsor has been obtained.

C. Phase III Requirements: Duration — MM (16 weeks); Felony (32 Weeks)

1) Minimum monthly court appearances.
2) Attend a minimum of 2 hours of group and/or individual therapy sessions, biweekly.
3) Attend a minimum of 3 AA/NA meetings per week. Additional meetings may be required upon treatment provider Recommendation.
4) Submit to random alcohol/drug screens. Client must call the Color Line daily at (863) 534-5828.
5) Comply with any additional requirements recommended by the treatment provider.
6) Relapse prevention will be an essential element of Phase 111 treatment and shall be addressed for at least 1 hour during the Group and/or individual sessions.
7) Maintain frequent contact with sponsor.
8) Develop an aftercare plan.
9) Defendants will be responsible for all costs associated with the DUI Court Program.

DUI Drug Court Clients who are on periods of probation longer than twelve (12) or Twenty-lour (24) months may, at the discretion of the Court or Probation, be extended in the Program for a period not to exceed the term of their probation. The Program shall consist of:

A. Phase IV Requirements (for those on extended probation): Duration — not To exceed term of probation

1) Minimum monthly court appearances.
2) Attend a minimum of 1 half hour individual therapy session per month.
3) Attend a minimum of 3 AA/NA meetings per week. Additional meetings may be required upon treatment provider Recommendation.
4) Submit to random alcohol/drug screens. Client must call the Color Line daily at (XXX) YYY-ZZZZ.
5) Comply with any additional requirements recommended by the treatment provider.
6) Relapse Prevention will be a continuing element of Phase IV treatment and shall be addressed in individual therapy.
7) Continue to maintain frequent contact with sponsor.
8) Implement the aftercare plan developed in Phase III.
9) Defendants will continue to be responsible for all costs associated with the DUI Court Program.

4. The Defendant shall appear in open court, when and as ordered to do so by the Court or the DUI Drug Court Program, and upon proper notification at his/her last known address. Failure to appear in court shall constitute a prima-facie violation of the terms of this Agreement. 

5. For participation in the DUI Drug Court Program:
                
a. The Client shall pay the XXX County DUI Drug Court the amount of $l00 for the Initial client assessment and the first drug test, with such amount  Due and payable upon the first visit with the counselor.
b. The Client shall pay the XXX County DUI Drug Court an administrative fee of $180 per month for the services provided by the  Drug Court Program, the first payment of which is due thirty (30) days after signing of this Agreement.
c. For those Clients placed in Phase IV, the Client shall pay the XXX County DUI Drug Court Program an administrative fee of $140 per month for the services provided by the DIM Drug Court Program, the first payment of which is due thirty (30) days after placement in Phase IV.
d. All fees paid to XXX County Drug Court are non-refundable.
e. In the event you graduate or are terminated from the program and have not paid all fees due, these fees will be D6’d against your driver’s license. This means your license will be suspended until full payment is made and you will be responsible to pay additional fees to reinstate your driving privileges.

6. The Client shall comply with the following terms and conditions as a part of this Agreement:

a. Enter and successfully complete the DUI Drug Court Program consisting of evaluation and assessment, intervention, treatment, multiple urine Screens, and payment of all fees;
b. Comply with all program requirements and those imposed by his/her DUI Drug Court Counselor, Probation Officer and the Court;
c. Advise his/her Probation Officer of any changes in address, telephone number, employment status or location, education, or treatment activities;
d. Participate in other programs and/or evaluations as may be established by his/her Counselor, Probation Officer or the Court, the cost of which shall be paid for by the Client;
e. Truthfully answer all inquiries and follow all instructions of his/her Counselor, Probation Officer and expressly permit the Counselor and Probation Officer to visit his/her home, place of employment, school, or other location for the purpose of providing adequate supervision;
f. Make restitution, if necessary, as directed by his/her Counselor, Probation Officer or the Court;
g. Obey all Federal, state, and local laws and ordinances;
h. Associate only with law-abiding persons; and
i. Work regularly at a lawful occupation and/or pursue a course of study as a full-time student.

7. The Client shall not:

a. Use or possess alcohol or any illegal drugs;
b. Own, have in his/her possession, or attempt to purchase a firearm or any type of weapon; and
c. Leave the County or the State without the permission of his/her Probation Officer or the Court.

8. The Client acknowledges that he/she may be arrested without a warrant and be held without bond for violating any of these terms and conditions, and be brought before the Court for further disposition.
9. The Client acknowledges that he/she. Will be subject to warrantless searches and seizures of his/her person and belongings for illegal drugs/alcohol and/or weapons.

10. As a part of our services and to assess the effectiveness of our Program. The Client will be asked to complete a confidential survey for a period of up to twelve (12) months after completing the Program. The Client agrees that he/she will keep a current address with the DUI Drug Court, arid will complete and return any and all questionnaires and surveys that arc sent to the Client up to twelve (12) months post-discharge.

11. The Client acknowledges, understands, and agrees that any violation of this Agreement including testing positive for alcohol or illegal drugs could result in him/her receiving one or more of the following sanctions: 1) ½ day in Court; 2) increase urinalyses; 3) Jail; 4) Essays; 5) Curfew; 6) Lengthen time in program; 7) Community service; 8) Increased group and/or individual sessions; 9) Increase NA/AA: 10) Termination; II) Electronic Monitoring; and 12) Any other sanction the Court may deem appropriate. If client objects to or refuses to comply with any of the therapeutic consequences administered by the DUI Drug Court Judge. He/she can be terminated from the program at that time and his/her probation will be revoked.
12. The Client understands that he/she shall be terminated from the DUI Drug Court Program Upon request if ordered by the Court for non-compliance with program rules and regulations.
13. The Client’s entry into this Agreement is being made freely, knowingly, and voluntarily. If the client fails to abide by the terms and conditions of this Agreement, this will constitute a violation of their probation and they may be sentenced up to the maximum amount of time for the offense they arc on probation. 

14. The Client acknowledges, understands, and agrees that if he/she is dismissed or terminated from the Program either voluntarily or involuntarily, he/she shall not be permitted to re-enter the Program at a later date.

By signing below, the Client acknowledges they have read and understand this Agreement and agree to comply with its terms and conditions.

THIS AGREEMENT SHALL BECOME EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY UPON APPROVAL OF THE COURT.

Source: http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/drug-court-to-expand-in-pinellas-pasco-with-prison-diversion-program/2144832