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Tampa, Florida Criminal Defense & Family Law Blog

Pocketknives and concealed carry in Florida

Florida allows people to open carry knives, meaning you can have a knife on your belt where everyone can see it. However, concealing a knife changes things drastically from a legal standpoint. You can get a concealed weapon permit and then you can carry a hidden weapon, but you can't do so without a permit.

Many people assume that concealed carry laws only apply to firearms and then get arrested for concealing knives. This confusion can get you into trouble with the law when you did not know you were breaking the law to begin with.

Why is it a bad idea to defend yourself in court?

If you get arrested on criminal charges, you may be tempted to save yourself some money and defend yourself on the charges. But this is an almost universally bad idea.

There's a good reason why attorneys must go to law school and then pass the bar in order to practice law. The practice of law, and criminal law in particular, is complex and nuanced. Much can, and usually does, go wrong when defendants decide to be their own counsel in criminal court.

The serious penalties associated with white collar crime

It's easy to underestimate the serious nature of a white-collar crime. It may seem like these are victimless crimes, but in reality, the federal government has strict laws against various types of financial crime. If you are under investigation for a white-collar crime or you are already facing a charge, it is in your interest to act immediately to start preparing your defense strategy. 

In most cases, white-collar crime involves certain actions done with the intent of some type of financial gain. This can happen through fraud, theft and various schemes. It may also include activities done with the intent of gaining access to a person's private information, then used to access accounts, open fraudulent credit cards and more. There are many different types of crime that fall into this category, and the penalties are steep for all of them.

What is reasonable suspicion in a drunk driving stop?

Realizing that there is a police officer behind your vehicle if you're driving after you've had a few drinks can make your heart pound. Many things might go through your mind when you're pulled over. You should remember that your defense strategy may depend at least partially on what happens next.

The officer must have a valid reason to conduct a traffic stop. This is known as reasonable suspicion, which is a fairly low standard for them to meet. It simply means that they saw something that led them to believe that you were breaking the law. In the case of drunk driving, this might mean that they saw you swerving or driving erratically.

Is an unloaded gun a deadly weapon?

You're facing serious charges after being accused of threatening someone with a firearm. The authorities are claiming that you assaulted the other party with a deadly weapon.

While you did have a handgun on you at the time, you contend that it was not actually a deadly weapon at all. The gun was not loaded. You never planned to shoot anyone and you could not have done so, even if you wanted to. At best, the gun was as dangerous as any other blunt object. You could have struck someone with it, but you could never have caused serious injury, much less taken a life.

Juries can suffer from confirmation bias

There are many different types of bias that can influence a jury trial. The court's goal is to weed these things out and eliminate the jurors who hold these biases. If someone is biased against women, for instance, they would not be allowed to sit on the jury for a female defendant. However, it is an imperfect system, and some biased individuals do get through.

On top of that, you can have different types of bias that get introduced by the very process itself. One is known as confirmation bias.

Alleged drunk driver stopped at 100 MPH

Police need a reason to stop a driver before determining that the driver is under the influence. They appear to have had one in a recent arrest in Florida, in which the driver was apparently going more than 100 miles per hour while under the influence.

The man is 21 years old, and the traffic stop happened on Friday, April 17. Reports claim that the Florida Highway Patrol was operating on interstate 275, running a very common speed enforcement setup. The young man went by the parked cruiser at 108 miles per hour.

Understanding Florida's Stand Your Ground law

Over the last few years, Florida's Stand Your Ground law has been the source of much controversy and discussion. You've probably seen the news coverage of instances that involved a shooting or an instance that pertained to the concept of self-defense. If you live in Florida, it's in your interests to know what this law could mean for you.

This law pertains to how and when a person can fight back against perceived threats. Essentially, the law permits the use of force against another if that person is threatening harm. There is often a lot of discussion about whether a person had reasonable justification to use deadly force against another. These cases are remarkably complex because it often seems like one person's word against another person's word.

Why do people drive after drinking?

It's no secret that drunk driving is illegal, but it still happens with relative frequency. Why is this?

One potential reason is that people do not even realize they're too drunk to drive. People tend to compare themselves to those around them. Therefore, they could be intoxicated and think they're fairly sober just because others are more intoxicated than they are. On top of that, alcohol can inhibit your ability to judge just how drunk you are. In other words, someone who gets in the car after drinking may think it's safe, despite being intoxicated.

Can you seriously injure someone with one punch?

When you think about causing serious injuries in a fight, you probably think of a long brawl. You assume the fighting would have to go on for some time, it may involve weapons and things could escalate out of control. You certainly don't think that those injuries would happen instantly after just one punch.

They can, though, and it can have a devastating impact on your life. Losing your cool for just a split second may be enough to leave you facing serious charges.

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