Mandatory Minimums and Marissa Alexander

As Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers, we’re all too familiar with the unfortunate case of Marissa Alexander, the Florida woman thrown in prison for firing a warning shot in self-defense.

Back in 2010, Ms. Alexander fired a warning shot near her estranged husband who had been threatening her (and had a history of domestic violence). Although nobody was injured, and because of archaic mandatory minimum gun laws, Ms. Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in prison — the jury deliberated for a mere 12 minutes.

For Ms. Alexander, the criminal justice system failed to deliver justice. It did prove effective in one significant way, however: it shed a light on the ugly reality that comes with mandatory minimum gun laws in the Sunshine State.

Gun Confiscations at Ft. Lauderdale Airport

Our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know that anti-terrorism security checks often overlap with domestic law enforcement, in no place more than in the airport. Unfortunately, as it relates to that combination, Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is receiving a lot of unfavorable attention.

For the second year in a row, the airport has ranked in the top 10 of all airports across the country (3 of which are in Florida) in terms of number of guns seized by security personnel, according to the Transportation Safety Administration.

In 2014, security officers confiscated 49 firearms at security checkpoints at the Ft. Lauderdale airport, compared with 45 the year before. But are all of the gun seizures that took place at the airport evidence of willful terrorist, or even criminal, activity?

Widespread Abuse: Police Seize Cash From Motorists

When you’re pulled over by a police officer, you should reasonably expect a few things to happen: they will probably ask for your license and registration and they may even ask you to step out of your vehicle for further questioning. You should not expect the law enforcement officers to seize your cash, especially when you’re not charged with a crime.

All over the country, law enforcement officers from thousands of departments are regularly seizing cash from motorists they pull over — and it’s a federal government program that’s allowing them to do so.

As our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know, in the last 13 years, over $2.5 billion has been taken away from people who were never charged with a crime; most of that money, which was taken from innocent motorists, was spread out among state-level law enforcement agencies for their own use.

Palm Beach Teen Posed as Doctor

As our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers know, it’s fairly common for people to hand out legal advice that they might have heard on “Suits” or offer medical opinions they might have seen on “Grey’s Anatomy.”

But this incident out of West Palm Beach illustrates a stunt gone too far: a teenager was caught impersonating an OB/GYN at St. Mary’s Medical Center. This case reminds us of a case from 2012, in which a different Florida teen posed as a medical assistant at Osceola Regional Medical Center and treated patients.

We know that there are a number of legal issues brought up by these cases, including laws being violated and the possibility of charges being filed. Still, there are other issues — such as mental health — that must be considered.

It’s a Fine Line Between Parenting Style and Child Neglect

As we all know, different parents have different parenting styles. The customs employed in child-rearing vary by culture, region, and neighborhood — and many differences of opinion on the matter exist within single homes.

In this area of life, as our criminal defense lawyers know, the law frequently comes into play in the form of child abuse and child neglect laws, which are designed and enforced to ensure the well being of the most vulnerable members of society.

However, as we will discuss below, recent reports of child neglect charges in various questionable cases reveal that perhaps the line between acceptable parenting styles and instances of child abuse has been blurred; perhaps law enforcement authorities are turning parents into criminals — when they haven’t actually broken any laws.

Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer

Florida Criminal Lawyers

1200 S Pine Island Rd #220 Plantation, FL 33324
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