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."

Florida marijuana laws remain tough as noted in a previous marijuana trafficking article we published in January. The drug statute establishes the penalties as first degree felonies when the case involves "in excess of 25 pounds of cannabis, or 300 or more cannabis plants, commits a felony of the first degree, which felony shall be known as “trafficking in cannabis . . . .”

Minimum Mandatory Sentence for Cannabis


Under Florida's tough trafficking law Florida Statute 893.135, Trafficking offenses have mandatory sentences. in this case the grower faces "a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years, and the defendant shall be ordered to pay a fine of $25,000."


Map of Latest Alleged Marijuana Growhouse


Below is a map of the calm peaceful location for the latest alleged grow operation. You can take a look at a few other growhouse locations here.





Previously we have discussed some of these Marijuana charges:


DRUG2905 Trafficking in Cannabis 25 to 2,000 Pounds | First Degree Felony ...
www.drug2go.com/2010/09/trafficking-in-cannabis-25-to-2000.html



 Rating: 5 - ‎Review by Google+ User
Jan 15, 2016 - Charge Code DRUG2905 is used by the court system when cases involve Trafficking in Cannabis 25 to 2,000 pounds. The charge is a First ...

DRUG8100 Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

www.drug2go.com/2010/09/drug8100-possession-of-drug.html


 Rating: 5 - ‎Review by Google+ User
Sep 2, 2010 - 893.147 Use, possession, manufacture, delivery, transportation, or advertisement of drug paraphernalia. (1)USE OR POSSESSION OF DRUG ...

Sources:

http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/news/article.html/content/news/articles/bn9/2016/5/19/deputies_approximate.html

http://www.hcso.tampa.fl.us/

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.

"Florida Statutes (2012) (entitled “Stop and Frisk Law”), provides: Whenever any law enforcement officer authorized to detain temporarily any person under the provisions of subsection (2) has probable cause to believe that any person whom the officer has temporarily detained, or is about to detain temporarily, is armed with a dangerous weapon and therefore offers a threat to the safety of the officer or any other person, the officer may search such person. . . " 

The Court ruled the policeman exceeded the scope of the pat down by searching the suspects sock, the drugs the guy tossed would have been "inevitably discovered" in the search incident to arrest based on the discovery of the drugs that he had abandoned under the vehicle. Defendant loses on the search but won because a problem with selection of jurors.

“Inevitable discovery is a recognized exception to the exclusionary rule and requires the State to establish that “the evidence would have inevitably been discovered in the course of a legitimate investigation.”


Case Excerpts:

"Officer Rosa Olivo was on patrol during the evening of February 3, 2012 when she saw a car with a faded and illegible temporary tag, as well as a tinted film covering the brake lights, making it impossible to determine if the vehicle’s lights were on. Before Officer Olivo could initiate a stop of the car, the driver suddenly turned into the opposite lane of traffic without signaling and parked in the
grassy swale. Officer Olivo activated her lights and siren, exited her car, and began walking toward the car. Cole was the driver and only occupant of the car. As Officer Olivo headed toward Cole’s car, Cole began to exit his car. Officer Olivo told Cole to remain inside. Cole handed Olivo his license and registration, and Officer Olivo described Cole as very nervous, sweating and stuttering. In response to her questions, Cole told Officer Olivo he was going to meet a “good friend” who lived nearby, but when asked, Cole could not provide the friend’s name. Given Cole’s behavior, Officer Olivo requested backup." 

"Officer Lisa Lobello arrived as backup within a few minutes of Officer Olivo’s request. Upon Lobello’s arrival, Officer Olivo returned to her police vehicle to conduct further investigation related to the traffic stop. Officer Lobello engaged in small talk with Cole, who was still seated in his car. Officer Lobello described Cole as looking past her as they spoke, as if he was “visually trying to clear an area.” Cole informed Officer Lobello that he was on parole. Cole was
sweating, bouncing his legs up and down, and looked afraid. Both of his hands were clenched in fists, and he was tightly gripping an ink pen in his right hand. This caused concern for Officer Lobello, who believed that the pen was being held in such a way that it could be used as a weapon. Officer Lobello asked Cole to step out of his car so she could conduct a patdown search. She grabbed his wrist before he stepped out of the car and shook the pen out of his hand, then helped Cole out of the car. While taking him out of the car, Lobello twisted Cole’s arm and turned him around so he was facing away from her and toward his own car. As she turned him around, Officer Lobello saw Cole flick his wrist. Lobello saw dust rising from the dirt ground and believed Cole had thrown something under the car."

“Florida’s stop and frisk law requires “not probable cause but rather a reasonable belief on the part of the officer that a person 5 temporarily detained is armed with a dangerous weapon.” State v. Webb, 398 So. 2d 820, 824 (Fla. 1981); see also J.L. v. State, 727 So. 2d 204 (Fla. 1998). Section 901.151(5), Florida Statutes (2012) (entitled “Stop and Frisk Law”), provides: Whenever any law enforcement officer authorized to detain temporarily any person under the provisions of subsection (2) has probable cause to believe that any person whom the officer has temporarily detained, or is about to detain temporarily, is armed with a dangerous weapon and therefore offers a threat to the safety of the officer or any other person, the officer may search such person so temporarily detained only to the extent necessary to disclose, and for the purpose of disclosing, the presence of such weapon. If such a search discloses such a weapon or any evidence of a criminal offense it may be seized. The use of the term “probable cause” in the context of a stop and frisk, has been construed to mean “articulable suspicion,” “reasonable belief,” or “founded suspicion.” Webb, 398 So. 2d at 826; Smith v. State, 719 So. 2d 1018, 1022 n. 1 (Fla. 3d DCA 1998). And as the Florida Supreme Court has held, “[a] ‘founded suspicion’ is a suspicion which has some factual foundation in the circumstances observed by the officer, when those circumstances are interpreted in light of the officer’s knowledge.” Hunter v. State, 660 So. 2d 244, 249 (Fla. 1995). In State v. Cruse, 121 So. 3d 91 (Fla. 3d DCA 2013), this court set forth the factors that may be considered by officers to arrive at a reasonable suspicion that a crime is being or is about to be committed and to support the investigatory stop or detention of a suspect: 6 The time; the day of the week; the location; the physical appearance of the suspect; the behavior of the suspect; the appearance and manner of operation of any vehicle involved; anything incongruous or unusual in the situation as interpreted in the light of the officer’s knowledge. To this list may be added the factor of flight. Cruse, 121 So. 3d at 97-98 (quoting Hernandez v. State, 784 So. 2d 1124, 1126 (Fla. 3d DCA 1999)).”

“Inevitable discovery is a recognized exception to the exclusionary rule and requires the State to establish that “the evidence would have inevitably been discovered in the course of a legitimate investigation.” Moody v. State, 842 So. 2d 754, 759 (Fla. 2003). See also Nix v. Williams, 467 U.S. 431, 444 (1984) (recognizing and adopting the inevitable discovery exception to the exclusionary rule, and holding that the exclusionary rule should not apply if “the prosecution can establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the information ultimately or inevitably would have been discovered by lawful means”). In other words, given the evidence presented, “the case must be in such a posture that the facts already in the possession of the police would have led to this evidence notwithstanding the police misconduct.” Moody, 842 So. 2d at 759.”

Source: Cole v. State, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D970a (Fla. 3rd DCA 2016)



#DrugCrimes #DrugAttorney #PatDown InevitableDiscovery #Abandonment #TrafficStop #4thAmendment, #FourthAmendment #StopFrisk

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. "
ORDINANCE NO. 2016-36
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ORLANDO, FLORIDA, RELATING TO THE POSSESSION OF CANNABIS AND CANNABIS PARAPHERNALIA; CREATING SECTION 43.95, ORLANDO CITY CODE, MAKING POSSESSION OF 20 GRAMS OR LESS OF CANNABIS A CITY CODE VIOLATION; FURTHER MAKING POSSESSION OF CERTAIN DRUG PARAPHERNALIA A CITY CODE VIOLATION; PROVIDING FOR CIVIL PENALTIES; PROVIDING LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS, AND FOR SEVERABILITY, CODIFICATION, CORRECTION OF SCRIVENER'S ERRORS, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
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
WHEREAS, section 893.147(1), Florida Statutes, makes it a misdemeanor of the first degree to possess with the intent to use drug paraphernalia as drug paraphernalia is defined at section 893.145, Florida Statutes; and
WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Orlando, Florida (the "Orlando City Council"), hereby finds that existing criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana, and for the possession of drug paraphernalia used to administer marijuana, are often disproportionate to the severity of the offense; and
WHEREAS, the Orlando City Council hereby finds that civil penalties and procedures may be more commensurate with any social harm caused by the possession of small amounts of marijuana or the possession of marijuana paraphernalia; and
WHEREAS, the Orlando City Council hereby finds and declares that this ordinance is in the best interest of the public health, safety, and welfare; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ORLANDO, FLORIDA, AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. SEC. 43.95, CREATED. Section 43.95, Code of the City of Orlando, Florida, is hereby created to read as follows:

It appears that Orlando will be joining Tampa and St. Petersburg in the drive to decriminalize marijuana in Florida. Florida Marijuana Decriminalization - Orlando Florida Cannabis Ordinance
Florida Marijuana
Decriminalization

Sec. 43.95. - Possession of cannabis or cannabis paraphernalia.

(1) As used in this section, the term: 
a. Cannabis means all parts of any plant of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant or its seeds or resin. The term does not include "Iow-THC cannabis" and "medical cannabis" as defined by section 381.986. Florida Statutes.


b. Cannabis paraphernalia means any object used. intended for use. or designed for use. in ingesting. inhaling. smoking. or otherwise introducing cannabis into the human body. or any object used. intended for use. or designed for use. in storing. containing. concealing. or transporting cannabis.

(2) It is unlawful and a violation of this Code for any person to possess cannabis paraphernalia or 20 grams or less of cannabis.
(3) A person found in violation of possession of cannabis under subsection (2) may not also be found in violation of possession of cannabis paraphernalia under subsection (2) arising out of the same incident.
(4) Any person violating subsection (2) of this section may be issued a code citation pursuant to Article II. Chapter 5. of this Code. and shall. upon conviction. be punished as provided in Article II. Chapter 5. of this Code.
SECTION 2. SEC. 5.19, AMENDED. Section 5.19, Code of the City of Orlando, Florida, is hereby amended as follows:

Sec. 5.19. -Classes of Violations and Reduced Civil Penalties.

(1) Violations of city codes and ordinances, and the applicable reduced civil penalties, shall be as follows:
Reduced Civil Penalty
Violation Classifications  First Offense   Second Offense      Third and Subsequent Offense
Class I                              $ 50.00             $100.00                   Court Hearing Mandatory

According to the City Council Agenda, "Proposed ordinance #2016-36, relating to the possession of cannabis and cannabis paraphernalia. . . . Proposed ordinance #2016-36 would make possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana or possession of cannabis paraphernalia a city code violation. 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. Under current state law, possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana (or marijuana paraphernalia) is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail, up to a $1,000 fine, up to 1 year of probation, and a possibly life-long criminal record."    

May 1, 2016

Tampa Cannabis Decriminalized - Complete Text of Tampa Cannabis Ordinance

"Many of the citations issued are on or near major highways, 
leading us to believe they may be associated 
with traffic stops and searches."

UPDATE May 1, 2016

Decriminalization of Cannabis in Tampa has generated some data on where the citations are being issued. We just obtained a map showing the locations of the first batch of citations issued in the new City of Tampa Marijuana Citation law. Many of the citations issued are on or near major highways, leading us to believe they may be associated with traffic stops and searches. The information about each detention for alleged marijuana ordinance violations can be found by clicking on the red pins on the cannabis ordinance violation map.



Map of Tampa Marijuana / Cannabis Citations Issued


The City of Tampa Florida, has just passed an ordinance decriminalizing possession of cannabis (less than 20 grams). Hash oil and derivatives are still felonies. The complete text of the new cannabis ordinance is below. The short version: Fines; For a first offense $75.00; For a second offense $150.00; For a third offense $300.00; For a fourth or subsequent offense $450.00.

UPDATE April 8, 2016

Tampa Bay area law enforcement and the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office have notified at least one media source that arrests and prosecutions for cannabis will continue for those arrested by anyone other than the Tampa Police Department. So, for example a fan arrested at Tampa Stadium by a Hillsborough County Sheriff or a Florida Highway Patrol State Trooper will still be prosecuted, even though the stadium is inside the Tampa City Limits.

UPDATE April 1, 2016

Today the new law takes effect. But, Tampa Police Department Attorney Kirby Rainsberger says that civil citations will be issued ONLY when the suspect is not a minor; there are no other criminal charges; suspect can be released on own recognizance; and the suspect has no unpaid fines. Check out The Tampa Tribune Marijuana story here. The Mayor of Tampa's comments and a History of the Marijuana Ordinance is here.

 "doesn't make us any less anti-drug, but it's a realization 
that the penalties that have been imposed have done 
more damage to the trajectories of young peoples' 
lives than the offenses have warranted."

Mayor Bob Buckhorn

Why Didn't Tampa Repeal Its Marijuana Forfeiture Law?


Tampa did not change its forfeiture ordinance, so expect police to be financially motivated to continue misdemeanor marijuana busts. The City council did not repeal Tampa City Ordinance 14-30. The Tampa law provides that it is a violation of this section and a motor vehicle shall be subject to impoundment whenever the vehicle was used, intended, or attempted to be used to facilitate the commission or attempted commission of any misdemeanor violation of F.S. Ch. 893 (Florida's Drug Law). See Video at the bottom of this article.

Tampa Remains the King of Marijuana Forfeitures


One media source has reported "No law enforcement agency in West/Central Florida seizes more vehicles under Florida's Contraband Forfeiture Act than the Tampa Police Department. And half of the 1,500 vehicles it seizes annually are either kept for agency use or turned into cash, either through settlements with the original owner or through sale at auction." The source reported "Tampa city ordinance 14-30 sets a flat $500 fee to get a vehicle back after a misdemeanor arrest, regardless of what happens to the charges. The city reports collecting the fee more than 500 times last year."

Tampa Cannabis Decriminalized, Tampa Cannabis Ordinance
Tampa Cannabis Decriminalized
Complete Text of Tampa Cannabis Ordinance


ORDINANCE NO. 2016-__

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF TAMPA, FLORIDA, CREATING TAMPA CODE SECTION 14-62 MAKING POSSESSION OF TWENTY GRAMS OR LESS OF CANNABIS UNLAWFUL, MAKING POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA AS DEFINED HEREIN UNLAWFUL, PROVIDING FOR CIVIL PENALTIES, AMENDING TAMPA CODE SECTION 23.5-5 TO SPECIFY THE AMOUNT OF CIVIL FINE FOR VIOLATION, AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE. 

WHEREAS, Florida Statute Subsection 893.13(6)(b) provides that the possession of twenty (20) grams or less of cannabis (marijuana), intended only for consumption of the possessor, is a misdemeanor criminal offense; and

WHEREAS. Florida Statute Subsection 893.147(1) provides that the possession of
drug paraphernalia as defined in Florida Statute Section 893.145 is a misdemeanor criminal offense; and

WHEREAS, the Tampa City Council finds that particularly where the citizen's only
known offense at the time of arrest is possession for personal use of a small amount of cannabis, or paraphernalia for administration thereof, criminal penalties and potentially lifelong criminal record are disproportionate to the severity of the offense; and

WHEREAS, the Tampa City Council finds that established civil penalties and
procedures are more commensurate with the offense of possession of twenty grams or less of cannabis or paraphernalia when that is the only chargeable offense.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF TAMPA, FLORIDA:

Section 1. That Tampa Code Section 14-62 is hereby created to read in its entirety as follows:


Sec. 14-62. Possession of cannabis or paraphernalia.


(a) Definitions.

(1)  Cannabis means all parts of any plant of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not and the seeds thereof. The tern does not include the resin or oil extracted from any part of the plant or "'low-THC cannabis" as defined in Florida Statute § 381.986 if manufactured, possessed. sold, purchased, delivered, distributed, and dispensed in conformance with § 381.986.

(2)  Paraphernalia means any object used, intended for use, or designed for use, in ingesting, inhaling, smoking, or otherwise introducing cannabis into the human body.

(b)  Any person who possesses twenty (20) grams or less of cannabis as defined herein except as otherwise authorized by law commits a violation of this subsection.

(c)  Any person who possesses paraphernalia as defined herein except as otherwise authorized by law commits a violation of this subsection.

(d)  A person charged with possession of cannabis under subsection (b) may not be charged with possession of paraphernalia under subsection (e) arising out of the same incident.

(e)  Penalties and Procedure


(1)  The provisions of Tampa Code Chapter 23.5 shall apply to all violations charged pursuant to this section.

(2)  Violation of this section is deemed to be an irreparable or irreversible violation punishable by civil penalty as a Class I offense.

(3)  If the applicable civil penalty is not paid within 30 days from the citation date, in addition to the procedure provided in Tampa Code Chapter 23.5 in the event of such nonpayment, the defendant will no longer be eligible for the alternative enforcement procedures provided by this section.

Section 2. That Tampa Code subsection 23.5-4(e) is hereby amended as follows:

(f)  After issuing a citation to an alleged violator, a code enforcement officer shall deposit the original and one (1) copy of the citation with the  City Attorney's Office. If the citation is not paid within thirty (30) days of the date of issuance. the City Attorney's Office shall forward the original and one (1) copy of the citation to the county court.

Section 3. That Tampa Code Subsection 23.5-5(a) is hereby amended by adding the underlined part as follows:

Sec. 23.5-5 Schedule of violations and penalties.



(a)  Violations of the following sections of the Tampa City Code are considered Class I violations and will carry a fine of:

For a first offense $75.00
For a second offense $150.00
For a third offense $300.00
For a  fourth or subsequent offense $450.00


Sources:

Tampa, Florida Marijuana Cannabis Ordinance
https://atg.tampagov.net/sirepub/meetresults.aspx?meettype=Council%20Regular&cscRedirectID=497
http://legacy.wtsp.com/story/news/investigations/2014/11/25/policing-for-profit-tampa-police-seizures/70096900/
http://www.tampagov.net/sites/default/files/planning/files/supp_81/supp_81_ch14_9_10_13.pdfbr /> http://www.tampagov.net/

April 28, 2016

St Petersburg, Florida Marijuana Civil Citation Program

St Petersburg, Florida
Marijuana Civil
Citation Program
Pinellas County Marijuana Defense Attorneys may soon be out of work. St Petersburg, Florida reviewed the current status of Pinellas County efforts to move towards a diversion program as opposed to an ordinance and recommended the proposed Marijuana Civil Citation Program Ordinance move to a First Reading after review and discussion. Meanwhile, Pinellas County Commissioners continue to delay implementing decriminalization of Cannabis.

St Petersburg, Florida  Marijuana Civil Citation Program


St Petersburg, Florida  City Attorney, Mark Winn, presented a proposed ordinance that makes possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis or paraphernalia a City Code violation. He discussed that this will allow officers the discretion to utilize this non-criminal option instead of charging someone with a misdemeanor. 

"the number of times a person was cited should be limited"


Under the proposed Marijuana Civil Citation Program, the Chief of Police would need to establish written standard operating procedures to guide officers in its use and to provide for consistency. The Pinellas County State Attorney's Office indicated a preference for a countywide ordinance for ease of enforcement and reports that a diversion program was being created to address this same issue. 

Discussion was held regarding implementation of an education, therapeutic or assessment component after the second or third citation, how these citations might affect an individual's status in obtaining or remaining in public housing, whether there should be a community service component, whether the number of times a person was cited should be limited, what are the parameters of the officer discretion (e.g. whether this is an option if another offense is being charged), should this option be available for other minor offenses, and review of citation data at a six or twelve month interval.

"Pinellas County State Attorney's Office indicated a preference for a countywide ordinance for ease of enforcement"


A St. Petersburg City Council member made a motion to request Legal return to the Committee with a second draft incorporating the summarized comments and forward the current draft with these minutes to the appropriate officials with Pinellas County. All members of the City of Petersburg, Public Services & Infrastructure Committee at the Meeting on  March 31, 2016 were in favor of the motion. 

St Petersburg, Florida  Marijuana Civil Citation Program #CannabisLaws #CannabisCommunity #Norml #MarijuanaLaws

Sources:




April 6, 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.”

Florida Law Weekly says, "Trial court did not abuse discretion by admitting police officer's testimony identifying substance as marijuana based on sight and smell alone -- Officer's testimony was admissible as lay opinion testimony because it was based on sufficient personal knowledge and senses of sight and smell, and it was arrived at through a process of everyday reasoning . . . ."


This case is a typical marijuana possession case. L.L., a juvenile, was charged with one count of simple possession of cannabis under Section 893.13(6)(b), Florida Statutes. At the adjudicatory hearing below, the State relied, in part, on the testimony of Officer Joseph Munecas, who offered his opinion that the substance in question was marijuana. Prior to trial, L.L. requested a Daubert1 hearing to challenge the admissibility of Officer Munecas’s opinion testimony. The judge declined to hold a pre-trial hearing, but agreed to conduct the hearing during the course of the trial. The prosecutor began by laying the foundation for Officer Munecas’s opinion testimony, asking the officer about his field experience and training. 

"Officer Munecas also searched L.L.’s vehicle and found a rolled cigarette under the front passenger seat. At trial, and again over L.L.’s objection, the officer identified the item as a marijuana cigarette . . . . ."

"During cross-examination, counsel for L.L. repeatedly asked Officer Munecas how he was able to identify the substance as marijuana. The officer maintained that his opinion was “just based on my experience and based on my senses.” Counsel pressed the officer further, asking whether his experience-based methodology satisfied any of the traditional Daubert factors. For instance, counsel asked whether Officer Munecas used the scientific method, whether he collected any data to formulate his opinion, whether there were any peer reviewed articles determining the reliability of identifying cannabis by sight and smell, or whether he was aware of the false positive rate regarding his method of identifying the substance. Officer Munecas was unable to answer counsel’s pointed questions beyond asserting that he had seen and smelled marijuana on numerous occasions in the past and therefore was able to identify it when he saw and smelled it on this occasion. The officer finally conceded: “Sir, I am a police officer, I’m not a scientist.”

"Although the trial judge expressed doubts as to whether Officer Munecas’s “testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data[,] is the product of reliable principles and methods, and whether he has applied the reliable principles and methods in this case[,]” the judge ruled that the testimony was admissible . . . . "

How did the Florida Marijuana Appeal  court Rule?

Florida Statutes, reads as follows:


90.702 Testimony by experts 

If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact in understanding the evidence or in determining a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify about it in the form of an opinion
or otherwise, if:

(1) The testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data;

(2) The testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and

(3) The witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.

(amendments in bold). 


One of the Legislature’s stated purposes in amending Section 90.702 was “to adopt the standards for expert testimony in the courts of this state as provided in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), General Electric Co. v. Joiner, 522 U.S. 136 (1997), and Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137 (1999), and to no longer apply the standard in Frye v. United States, 293 F.2d 1013 (D.C. Cir 1923) in the courts of this state.” Ch. 2013-107, Laws of Fla. (Preamble to § 90.702). The Legislature also intended to prohibit the much criticized pure opinion exception to the Frye admissibility standard as provided in Marsh v. Valyou, 977 So. 2d 543 (Fla. 2007). Id.



Five Factors of the Daubert Test of Admissibility in Florida



In Daubert, the Court referenced five factors courts could use to determine the reliability of expert scientific testimony: 

(1) whether the expert’s theory or technique can be (and has been) tested; 
(2) whether the theory or technique has been subjected to peer review and publication; 
(3) the known or potential rate of error; 
(4) the existence and maintenance of standards controlling the technique’s operation; and 
(5) whether the technique has been generally accepted in the relevant scientific community. 

509 U.S. at 593-94. 

The Defense claimed that Officer Munecas’s opinion testimony did not satisfy Daubert’s reliability standard. The State counters by arguing the Daubert factors are “flexible and nonexhaustive.” However, we do not decide this case under Daubert’s expert opinion testimony framework because the admissibility of Officer Munecas’s experience-based testimony is more appropriately analyzed under Section 90.701.

Section 90.701: Lay Opinion Testimony
We begin with the text of Section 90.701, Florida Statutes:
90.701. Opinion testimony of lay witnesses
If a witness is not testifying as an expert, the witness’s testimony about what he or she perceived may be in the form of inference and opinion when:

(1) The witness cannot readily, and with equal accuracy and adequacy, communicate what he or she has perceived to the trier of fact without testifying in terms of inferences or opinions and the witness's use of inferences or opinions will not mislead the trier of fact to the prejudice of the objecting party; and

(2) The opinions and inferences do not require a special knowledge, skill, experience, or training.

However the Florida court ruled in this case  “[a]ll lay witnesses have some specialized knowledge—knowledge relevant to the case that is not common to everyone . . . . Indeed, that is why all witnesses—lay or expert—are called: to get what they know about the case that other people do not.” Paul F. Rothstein, Fed. Rules of Evidence Rule 701 (3d ed.). The text of the Federal Rules offers more guidance than does Section 90.701 because it specifies that lay opinion testimony is not based on “specialized knowledge within the scope of Rule 702.” Fed. R. Evid. 701 (emphasis added). With this in mind, the question is not whether the opinion requires specialized knowledge, as all opinion testimony does, but whether the specialized knowledge is sufficiently specialized to fall within the scope of Section 90.702. See Rothstein, supra, Rule 701.

The Advisory Committee Notes to Rule 701 prove instructive on this point, distinguishing between specialized knowledge within the scope of Rule 702 and personal knowledge: “courts have permitted lay witnesses to testify that a substance appeared to be a narcotic, so long as a foundation of familiarity with the substance is established.” Fed. R. Evid. 701 advisory committee’s note to 2000 amendment. This is because “[s]uch testimony is not based on specialized knowledge within the scope of Rule 702, but rather is based upon a layperson’s personal knowledge.” Id.; see also § 90.604, Fla. Stat. (“Except as evidence is introduced which is sufficient to support a finding that the witness has personal knowledge of the matter.”) 

The lay witness may not rely on hearsay in forming an opinion, but the witness may base the opinion on what the witness has perceived.” (citing Somerville v. State, 626 So. 2d 1070 (Fla. 1st DCA 1993))); Barnes v. State, 415 So. 2d 1280, 1283 (Fla. 2d DCA 1982) (“Section 90.701, Florida Statutes (1979), allows opinions of lay witnesses only when based upon what the witness has ‘perceived.’”).

Here, Officer Munecas’s opinion is based solely on his personal, firsthand knowledge and what he perceived. Cf. Daubert, 509 U.S. at 592 (“Unlike an ordinary witness, see Rule 701, an expert is permitted wide latitude to offer opinions, including those that are not based on firsthand knowledge or observation.”). For instance, when asked how he was able to identify the “strong smell of marijuana” coming from L.L.’s rolled-down window, 


Finally, we hasten to add that although the more demanding Daubert admissibility standard does not apply to lay opinion testimony, there is nevertheless a reliability inquiry. Not only must lay opinion testimony be based on the witness’s personal knowledge, section 90.604, Florida Statutes, and
erceptions, section 90.701, Florida Statutes, but the witness must have sufficient personal knowledge to support the opinion. See Imwinkelried, Distinguishing, supra, at 94 (“[T]he judge must determine whether the extent of the witness’s familiarity is ‘sufficient.’”) (quoting Fed. R. Evid. 901(b)(2) (advisory committee’s note)).7 Here, we have no difficulty concluding that Officer Munecas had sufficient personal knowledge to support his opinion that the substance was marijuana. He testified that he had years of experience identifying marijuana by sight and smell, even going so far as to claim marijuana is so predominant in the community that he sees it “practically every day.”

For the reasons outlined above, we conclude the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting Officer Munecas’s marijuana identification testimony in this case. Officer Munecas’s testimony was admissible lay opinion testimony under Section 90.701 because it was based on sufficient personal knowledge and his senses of sight and smell, and it was arrived at through a process of everyday reasoning. We therefore affirm the decision of the trial court. 

Affirmed. 


Third District Court of Appeal
State of Florida 
Opinion filed April 6, 2016. Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
No. 3D14-2410 Lower Tribunal No. 14-2034
L.L., a juvenile, 
Appellant,
vs.
The State of Florida, 
Appellee.
An Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Richard Hersch, Judge.
Carlos J. Martinez, Public Defender, and Jeffrey Paul DeSousa, Assistant Public Defender, for appellant.
Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Marlon J. Weiss, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.
Before SHEPHERD, ROTHENBERG and SCALES, JJ.
SHEPHERD, J.

April 2, 2016

New Florida Forfeiture Statute - Complete Text

CHAPTER 2016-179 

Committee Substitute for Committee Substitute for Senate Bill No. 1044

An act relating to contraband forfeiture; amending s. 932.701, F.S.; conforming provisions to changes made by the act; amending s. 932.703, F.S.; specifying that property may be seized only under certain circumstances; defining the term “monetary instrument”; requiring that specified persons approve a settlement; providing circumstances when property may be deemed contraband; allocating responsibility for damage to seized property and payment of storage and maintenance expenses; requiring the seizing agency to apply for an order, within a certain timeframe, making a probable cause determination after the agency seizes property; providing application requirements; requiring a court to make specified determinations; providing procedures upon certain court find­ings; authorizing the court to seal any portion of the application and of specified proceedings under certain circumstances; amending s. 932.704, F.S.; providing requirements for a filing fee and a bond to be paid to the clerk of court; requiring that the bond be made payable to the claimant under certain circumstances unless otherwise expressly agreed to in writing; increasing the evidentiary standard from clear and convincing evidence to proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a contraband article was being used in violation of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act for a court to order the forfeiture of the seized property; increasing the attorney fees and costs awarded to claimant under certain circumstances; requiring a seizing agency to annually review seizures, settlements, and forfeiture proceedings to determine compliance with the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act; providing requirements for seizing law enforcement agencies; requiring seizing law enforcement agencies to adopt and implement specified written policies, procedures, and training; requiring law enforcement agency personnel to receive basic training and continuing education; requiring the maintenance of training records; amending s. 932.7055, F.S.; conforming provisions to changes made by the act; creating s. 932.7061, F.S.; providing reporting requirements for seized property for forfeiture; creating s. 932.7062, F.S.; providing penalties for noncompli­ance with reporting requirements; amending s. 322.34, F.S.; providing for payment of court costs, fines, and fees from proceeds of certain forfeitures; conforming provisions to changes made by the act; amending ss. 323.001, 328.07, and 817.625, F.S.; conforming provisions to changes made by the act; providing an effective date. 
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: Section 1. Subsection (1) of section 932.701, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:  

932.701 Short title; definitions.— 


(1) Sections 932.701-932.7062 932.706 shall be known and may be cited as the “Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act.” 

Section 2. Subsection (1) of section 932.703, Florida Statutes, is amended, a new subsection (2) is added, and present subsections (2) through 

(8) are redesignated as subsections (3) through (9), respectively, to read: 


932.703 Forfeiture of contraband article; exceptions.— 

(1)(a) A Any contraband article, vessel, motor vehicle, aircraft, other personal property, or real property used in violation of any provision of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act, or in, upon, or by means of which any violation of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act has taken or is taking place, may be seized and shall be forfeited subject to the provisions of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act. A seizure may occur only if the owner of the property is arrested for a criminal offense that forms the basis for determining that the property is a contraband article under s. 932.701, or one or more of the following circumstances apply: 

1. The owner of the property cannot be identified after a diligent search, or the person in possession of the property denies ownership and the owner of the property cannot be identified by means that are available to the employee or agent of the seizing agency at the time of the seizure; 

2. The owner of the property is a fugitive from justice or is deceased; 

3. An individual who does not own the property is arrested for a criminal offense that forms the basis for determining that the property is a contraband article under s. 932.701 and the owner of the property had actual knowledge of the criminal activity. Evidence that an owner received written notification from a law enforcement agency and acknowledged receipt of the notification in writing, that the seized asset had been used in violation of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act on a prior occasion by the arrested person, may be used to establish actual knowledge; 

4. The owner of the property agrees to be a confidential informant as defined in s. 914.28. The seizing agency may not use the threat of property seizure or forfeiture to coerce the owner of the property to enter into a confidential informant agreement. The seizing agency shall return the property to the owner if criminal charges are not filed against the owner and the active criminal investigation ends or if the owner ceases being a confidential informant, unless the agency includes the final forfeiture of the property as a component of the confidential informant agreement; or 

5. The property is a monetary instrument. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “monetary instrument” means coin or currency of the United States or any other country; a traveler’s check; a personal check; a bank check; a cashier’s check; a money order; a bank draft of any country; an investment security or negotiable instrument in bearer form or in other form such that title passes upon delivery; a prepaid or stored value card or other device that is the equivalent of money and can be used to obtain cash, property, or services; or gold, silver, or platinum bullion or coins. 

(b) After property is seized pursuant to the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act, regardless of whether the civil complaint has been filed, all settlements must be personally approved by the head of the law enforcement agency that seized the property. If the agency head is unavailable and a delay would adversely affect the settlement, approval may be given by a subordinate of the agency head who is designated to grant such approval Notwithstanding any other provision of the Florida Contra­band Forfeiture Act, except the provisions of paragraph (a), contraband articles set forth in s. 932.701(2)(a)7. used in violation of any provision of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act, or in, upon, or by means of which any violation of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act has taken or is taking place, shall be seized and shall be forfeited subject to the provisions of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act. 

(c) If at least 90 days have elapsed since the initial seizure of the property and the seizing agency has failed to locate the owner after making a diligent effort, the seized property is deemed a contraband article that is subject to forfeiture under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act All rights to, interest in, and title to contraband articles used in violation of s. 932.702 shall immediately vest in the seizing law enforcement agency upon seizure. 

(d)1. The seizing agency may not use the seized property for any purpose until the rights to, interest in, and title to the seized property are perfected in accordance with the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act. This section does not prohibit use or operation necessary for reasonable maintenance of seized property. Reasonable efforts shall be made to maintain seized property in such a manner as to minimize loss of value. 
2. Unless otherwise expressly agreed to in writing by the parties, the agency seeking forfeiture of the seized property is responsible for any damage to the property and any storage fees or maintenance costs applicable to the property. If more than one agency seeks forfeiture of the property, the division of liability under this subparagraph may be governed by the terms of an agreement between the agencies. 
(2)(a) When a seizure of property is made under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act, the seizing agency shall apply, within 10 business days after the date of the seizure, to a court of competent jurisdiction for an order determining whether probable cause exists for the seizure of the property. The application for the probable cause determination must be accompanied by a sworn affidavit and may be filed electronically by reliable electronic means. 
(b) The court must determine whether: 

The owner was arrested under paragraph (1)(a), and if not, whether an exception to the arrest requirement specified in paragraph (1)(a) applies; and 
Probable cause exists for the property seizure under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act. 


(c) If the court finds that the requirements specified in paragraph (1)(a) were satisfied and that probable cause exists for the seizure, the forfeiture may proceed as set forth in the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act, and no additional probable cause determination is required unless the claimant requests an adversarial preliminary hearing as set forth in the act. Upon such a finding, the court shall issue a written order finding probable cause for the seizure and order the property held until the issue of a determination of title is resolved pursuant to the procedures defined in the act. 

(d) If the court finds that the requirements in paragraph (1)(a) were not satisfied or that probable cause does not exist for the seizure, any forfeiture hold, lien, lis pendens, or other civil encumbrance must be released within 5 days. 

(e) The court may seal any portion of the application and the record of any proceeding under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act which is exempt or confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution or may otherwise be sealed pursuant to Rule 2.420, Florida Rules of Judicial Administration. 

Section 3. Subsection (4), paragraph (b) of subsection (5), paragraph (b) of subsection (6), subsections (8), (10), and (11) of section 932.704, Florida Statutes, are amended to read: 

932.704 Forfeiture proceedings.— 

(4) The seizing agency shall promptly proceed against the contraband article by filing a complaint in the circuit court within the jurisdiction where the seizure or the offense occurred, paying a filing fee of at least $1,000 and depositing a bond of $1,500 to the clerk of the court. Unless otherwise expressly agreed to in writing by the parties, the bond shall be payable to the claimant if the claimant prevails in the forfeiture proceeding and in any appeal. 

(5) 

(b) If no person entitled to notice requests an adversarial preliminary hearing, as provided in s. 932.703(3)(a) 932.703(2)(a), the court, upon receipt of the complaint, shall review the complaint and the verified supporting affidavit to determine whether there was probable cause for the seizure. Upon a finding of probable cause, the court shall enter an order showing the probable cause finding. 

(6) 
(b) The complaint must, in addition to stating that which is required by s. 932.703(3)(a) and (b) 932.703(2)(a) and (b), as appropriate, describe the property; state the county, place, and date of seizure; state the name of the law enforcement agency holding the seized property; and state the name of the court in which the complaint will be filed. 
(8) Upon proof beyond a reasonable doubt clear and convincing evidence that the contraband article was being used in violation of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act, the court shall order the seized property forfeited to the seizing law enforcement agency. The final order of forfeiture by the court shall perfect in the law enforcement agency right, title, and interest in and to such property, subject only to the rights and interests of bona fide lienholders, and shall relate back to the date of seizure. 
(10) The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, up to a limit of $2,000 $1,000, to the claimant at the close of the adversarial preliminary hearing if the court makes a finding of no probable cause. When the claimant prevails, at the close of forfeiture proceedings and any appeal, the court shall award reasonable trial attorney’s fees and costs to the claimant if the court finds that the seizing agency has not proceeded at any stage of the proceedings in good faith or that the seizing agency’s action which precipitated the forfeiture proceedings was a gross abuse of the agency’s discretion. The court may order the seizing agency to pay the awarded attorney’s fees and costs from the appropriate contraband forfeiture trust fund. Nothing in this subsection precludes any party from electing to seek attorney’s fees and costs under chapter 57 or other applicable law. 

(11)(a) The Department of Law Enforcement, in consultation with the Florida Sheriffs Association and the Florida Police Chiefs Association, shall develop guidelines and training procedures to be used by state and local law enforcement agencies and state attorneys in implementing the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act. At least annually, each state or local law enforcement agency that seizes property for the purpose of forfeiture shall periodically review such seizures of assets made by the agency’s law enforcement officers, any settlements, and any forfeiture proceedings initiated by the law enforcement agency, to determine whether they such seizures, settlements, and forfeitures comply with the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act and the guidelines adopted under this subsection. If the review suggests deficiencies, the state or local law enforcement agency shall promptly take action to comply with the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act. 

(b) The determination as to of whether an agency will file a civil forfeiture action is must be the sole responsibility of the head of the agency or his or her designee. 
(c)(b) The determination as to of whether to seize currency must be made by supervisory personnel. The agency’s legal counsel must be notified as soon as possible after a determination is made. 


(d) The employment, salary, promotion, or other compensation of any law enforcement officer may not be dependent on the ability of the officer to meet a quota for seizures. 

(e) A seizing agency shall adopt and implement written policies, procedures, and training to ensure compliance with all applicable legal requirements regarding seizing, maintaining, and the forfeiture of property under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act. 

(f) When property is seized for forfeiture, the probable cause supporting the seizure must be promptly reviewed by supervisory personnel. The seizing agency’s legal counsel must be notified as soon as possible of all seizures and shall conduct a review to determine whether there is legal sufficiency to proceed with a forfeiture action. 

(g) Each seizing agency shall adopt and implement written policies and procedures promoting the prompt release of seized property as may be required by the act or by agency determination when there is no legitimate basis for holding seized property. To help ensure that property is not wrongfully held after seizure, each law enforcement agency must adopt written policies and procedures ensuring that all asserted claims of interest in seized property are promptly reviewed for potential validity. 

(h) The settlement of any forfeiture action must be consistent with the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act and the policy of the seizing agency. 

(i) Law enforcement agency personnel involved in the seizure of property for forfeiture shall receive basic training and continuing education as required by the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act. Each agency shall maintain records demonstrating each law enforcement officer’s compliance with this requirement. Among other things, the training must address the legal aspects of forfeiture, including, but not limited to, search and seizure and other constitutional considerations. 

Section 4. Subsection (3) and paragraph (c) of subsection (5) of section 932.7055, Florida Statutes, are amended to read: 

932.7055 Disposition of liens and forfeited property.— 

(3) If the forfeited property is subject to a lien preserved by the court as provided in s. 932.703(7)(b) 932.703(6)(b), the agency shall: 

(a) Sell the property with the proceeds being used towards satisfaction of any liens; or 

(b) Have the lien satisfied prior to taking any action authorized by subsection (1). 

(5) 
(c) An agency or organization, other than the seizing agency, that wishes to receive such funds shall apply to the sheriff or chief of police for an appropriation and its application shall be accompanied by a written certification that the moneys will be used for an authorized purpose. Such requests for expenditures shall include a statement describing anticipated recurring costs for the agency for subsequent fiscal years. An agency or organization that receives money pursuant to this subsection shall provide an accounting for such moneys and shall furnish the same reports as an agency of the county or municipality that receives public funds. Such funds may be expended in accordance with the following procedures: 

Such funds may be used only for school resource officer, crime prevention, safe neighborhood, drug abuse education, or drug prevention programs or such other law enforcement purposes as the board of county commissioners or governing body of the municipality deems appropriate. 
Such funds shall not be a source of revenue to meet normal operating needs of the law enforcement agency. 
After July 1, 1992, and during every fiscal year thereafter, Any local law enforcement agency that acquires at least $15,000 pursuant to the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act within a fiscal year must expend or donate no less than 25 15 percent of such proceeds for the support or operation of any drug treatment, drug abuse education, drug prevention, crime prevention, safe neighborhood, or school resource officer program or programs program(s). The local law enforcement agency has the discretion to determine which program or programs program(s) will receive the desig­nated proceeds. 

Notwithstanding the drug abuse education, drug treatment, drug preven­tion, crime prevention, safe neighborhood, or school resource officer minimum expenditures or donations, the sheriff and the board of county commissioners or the chief of police and the governing body of the municipality may agree to expend or donate such funds over a period of years if the expenditure or donation of such minimum amount in any given fiscal year would exceed the needs of the county or municipality for such program or programs program(s). Nothing in this section precludes The minimum requirement for expenditure or donation of forfeiture proceeds in excess of the minimum amounts established in this subparagraph does not preclude expenditures or donations in excess of that amount herein. 
Section 5. Section 932.7061, Florida Statutes, is created to read: 

932.7061 Reporting seized property for forfeiture.— 

(1) Every law enforcement agency shall submit an annual report to the Department of Law Enforcement indicating whether the agency has seized or forfeited property under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act. A law enforcement agency receiving or expending forfeited property or proceeds from the sale of forfeited property in accordance with the Florida 
Contraband Forfeiture Act shall submit a completed annual report by October 10 documenting the receipts and expenditures. The report shall be submitted in an electronic form, maintained by the Department of Law Enforcement in consultation with the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, to the entity that has budgetary authority over such agency and to the Department of Law Enforcement. The annual report must, at a minimum, specify the type, approximate value, court case number, type of offense, disposition of property received, and amount of any proceeds received or expended. 

(2) The Department of Law Enforcement shall submit an annual report to the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability compiling the information and data in the annual reports submitted by the law enforcement agencies. The annual report shall also contain a list of law enforcement agencies that have failed to meet the reporting requirements and a summary of any action taken against the noncomplying agency by the office of Chief Financial Officer. 

(3) The law enforcement agency and the entity having budgetary control over the law enforcement agency may not anticipate future forfeitures or proceeds therefrom in the adoption and approval of the budget for the law enforcement agency. 

Section 6. Section 932.7062, Florida Statutes, is created to read: 

932.7062 Penalty for noncompliance with reporting requirements.—

A seizing agency that fails to comply with the reporting requirements in s. 932.7061 is subject to a civil fine of $5,000, to be determined by the Chief Financial Officer and payable to the General Revenue Fund. However, such agency is not subject to the fine if, within 60 days after receipt of written notification from the Department of Law Enforcement of noncompliance with the reporting requirements of the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act, the agency substantially complies with those requirements. The Depart­ment of Law Enforcement shall submit any substantial noncompliance to the office of Chief Financial Officer, which shall be responsible for the enforcement of this section. 
Section 7. Paragraphs (a) and (c) of subsection (9) of section 322.34, Florida Statutes, are amended to read: 

322.34 Driving while license suspended, revoked, canceled, or disquali­fied.— 

(9)(a) A motor vehicle that is driven by a person under the influence of alcohol or drugs in violation of s. 316.193 is subject to seizure and forfeiture under ss. 932.701-932.7062 932.706 and is subject to liens for recovering, towing, or storing vehicles under s. 713.78 if, at the time of the offense, the person’s driver license is suspended, revoked, or canceled as a result of a prior conviction for driving under the influence. 
(c) Notwithstanding s. 932.703(1)(c) or s. 932.7055, when the seizing agency obtains a final judgment granting forfeiture of the motor vehicle under this section, 30 percent of the net proceeds from the sale of the motor vehicle shall be retained by the seizing law enforcement agency. The remaining 70 percent of the proceeds shall first be applied to payment of court costs, fines, and fees remaining due, and any remaining balance of proceeds and 70 percent shall be deposited in the General Revenue Fund for use by regional workforce boards in providing transportation services for participants of the welfare transition program. In a forfeiture proceeding under this section, the court may consider the extent that the family of the owner has other public or private means of transportation. 
Section 8. Paragraph (a) of subsection (4) of section 323.001, Florida Statutes, is amended to read: 

323.001 Wrecker operator storage facilities; vehicle holds.— 

(4) The requirements for a written hold apply when the following conditions are present: 

(a) The officer has probable cause to believe the vehicle should be seized and forfeited under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act, ss. 932.701­932.7062 932.706; 

Section 9. Paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of section 328.07, Florida Statutes, is amended to read: 

328.07 Hull identification number required.— 

(3) 

(b) If any of the hull identification numbers required by the United States Coast Guard for a vessel manufactured after October 31, 1972, do not exist or have been altered, removed, destroyed, covered, or defaced or the real identity of the vessel cannot be determined, the vessel may be seized as contraband property by a law enforcement agency or the division, and shall be subject to forfeiture pursuant to ss. 932.701-932.7062 932.706. Such vessel may not be sold or operated on the waters of the state unless the division receives a request from a law enforcement agency providing adequate documentation or is directed by written order of a court of competent jurisdiction to issue to the vessel a replacement hull identification number which shall thereafter be used for identification purposes. No vessel shall be forfeited under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act when the owner unknowingly, inadvertently, or neglectfully altered, removed, de­stroyed, covered, or defaced the vessel hull identification number. 

817.625 Use of scanning device or reencoder to defraud; penalties.— 

(2) 

Section 10. Paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of section 817.625, Florida Statutes, is amended to read: 
(c) Any person who violates subparagraph (a)1. or subparagraph (a)2. shall also be subject to the provisions of ss. 932.701-932.7062 932.706. Section 11. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016. 
Approved by the Governor April 1, 2016. Filed in Office Secretary of State April 1, 2016.