Florida Sheriffs Oppose Legalizing Medical Marijuana

The debate over legalizing medical marijuana is blazing in the Sunshine State. While Floridians will head to the polls and vote on the fate of medical marijuana this November, our criminal defense attorneys know that the wheels of discord are already in motion with still more than five months remaining before the polls even open.

The legislature is anticipated to pass a a bill that would allow children with intractable epilepsy to use a specific strain of marijuana. “Charlotte’s Web,” a form of marijuana that is very low in THC (the drug that gets some users “high”) is administered as an oil extract mixed with food and has been shown to help children suffering from epilepsy. Still, according to the Sun Sentinel, many people expect Governor Rick Scott to veto the bill.

Furthermore, Florida Sheriffs have recently initiated a campaign to oppose medical marijuana. The Florida Sheriff’s Association hopes that it can influence voters to such a degree that the medical marijuana bill will die at the polls in November.

Crime Rate Drops in Palm Beach County

Our criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert are pleased to share with you that, according to a recent article in the Sun Sentinel, the crime rate in Palm Beach County extended a recent trend by dropping significantly last year, based on data collected from 2013.

Perhaps the most significant change is evident in comparing the total number of reported violent and nonviolent crimes in the county in 2003 with the same measurement from 2013: in ten years, that number plummeted from 72,678 to 49,372, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Thanks, in part, to Palm Beach County’s declining rate of crime, Florida now has the lowest crime rate it’s had in 43 years.

Palm Beach Store Owner Jailed for Improperly Selling Contact Lenses

Yes, you read that correctly. According to the Sun Sentinel, a 27-year-old South Florida shop owner was arrested and jailed on Monday for allegedly selling contact lenses to people who did not have prescriptions. Although the man suspected of illegally selling contact lenses was released on $3,000 bond, he still faces a felony charge here in Florida.

As our criminal defense attorneys know, you can get injected into the criminal justice system for far less than trafficking drugs and robbing houses. Sometimes, seemingly harmless, even helpful, actions can land someone in jail, as evidenced by this story out of Palm Beach County.

Justice Deptartment to Revise Clemency Criteria

It has long been known that prison sentences for convictions involving crack cocaine us are disproportionately more severe than those involving cocaine in powder form. In recent years, as our criminal defense lawyers know, the Obama Administration has taken a number of steps aimed at lessening the disparity.

According to an announcement made on Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the Justice Department will, in effect, make it easier for those sentenced for crack cocaine offenses to make clemency appeals. He further announced that, when the new rules go into effect, he expects the number of eligible clemency petitioners to increase significantly.

The Significance of Hall v. Florida

As we get closer to summer, our South Florida criminal defense attorneys know that Supreme Court decisions are just around the corner. In the coming months, we expect to hear a ruling on the case of Hall v. Florida, in which the defendant and his legal team are trying to demonstrate that the State of Florida acted unconstitutionally when they sentenced Mr. Hall, who may be retarded, to death.

In 2002, the Supreme Court of the United States decided that executing an individual who is mentally retarded constituted cruel and unusual punishment, forbidden by the 8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Freddie Hall, the defendant, is claiming that Florida’s criterion for determining whether or not someone is mentally retarded is flawed and in violation of the aforementioned case entitled Atkins v. Virginia.

If it can be established that Florida’s method of assessing mental retardation is indeed in violation of Atkins, then the finding that Mr. Hall is not mentally retarded would be reversed because of the improper procedures used in making the determination.

Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer

Florida Criminal Lawyers

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