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May 2017 Archives

Field sobriety tests are imperfect and lead to erroneous arrests

Field sobriety tests are assessments of drivers' balance and coordination. Florida law enforcement officials administer them when those officers believe that drivers may be operating their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol. Such tests generally require individuals to stand on one leg, walk in a straight line and follow a moving point with their eyes.

Legislature debates minimum sentences for drug convictions

A mandatory minimum sentence is a criminal punishment that a judge must apply in a case where the defendant is found guilty of the underlying crime. For many crimes in Florida, judges have the discretion to consider the crime, the defendant and the extenuating circumstances of the case, when handing down a sentence. Many drug crimes may be punished under the somewhat subjective ruling of the court.

Enhanced protections for "stand your ground"

Not every state permits the use of deadly force as a means of self- defense. Florida residents are fortunate to have a statute permitting you to "stand your ground." Since the law is relatively new, it is still evolving, and lawmakers are presently considering a bill that will make a profound change in the way the law plays out in the courtroom.

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