Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” has been the subject of much public discussion. Many misunderstandings and misconceptions are associated with this statute. If you are someone facing criminal charges and need to present an argument for Stand Your Ground immunity, make sure you have an experienced Tampa Bay criminal defense lawyer advocating for you.

One of the more common illustrations of a Stand Your Ground scenario involves an innocent bystander who is abruptly confronted and/or attacked. In reality, Stand Your Ground immunity may apply to a variety of circumstances, even if you were guilty of a criminal violation at the time.

A Manatee County attempted manslaughter case is a good example. R.J., a man who newspaper reports identified as a member of a Bradenton street gang, was part of a 2018 altercation involving a rival gang at a local bar. The bar fight spilled into the parking lot and, eventually, shots were fired. A member of a rival gang was dead, allegedly killed by R.J.’s ex-stepfather.

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Car accidents can be one of the most stressful and difficult experiences that a person can go through. From physical injuries to financial repercussions, the aftermath of a car accident can be a confusing and overwhelming time. That’s why it’s important to take the right steps to ensure that you have the best possible outcome. In this article, we will discuss the 10 essential steps to take following a car accident, as well as how a car accident lawyer can help.

What to Do Immediately After an Accident

Florida’s laws for people with prior convictions sometimes have the potential to inflict some severe penalties if that person gets arrested again, even if it is for something that normally would qualify only as a misdemeanor crime. If you’re someone facing possible felony charges because of your prior conviction, you need the right Clearwater criminal defense lawyer on your side to advocate for you both in court and, just as importantly, outside court in plea negotiations with the State Attorney’s Office.

J.D. was a Pasco County man who found himself facing that possibility following a heated dispute at a Clearwater dollar store. J.D. and his wife were shopping at the Dollar Tree on Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard when a store employee and the wife became embroiled in “a verbal altercation over grocery bags,” according to the police report.

The arresting officer further declared that, as the argument escalated, J.D.’s wife pulled out her phone and began recording, the 20-year-old worker then called the wife a “Karen,” and J.D. responded to that affront to his wife’s honor by open-hand slapping the employee on her left cheek, The Smoking Gun reported.

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While the news is full of stories of violent and/or repeat offenders, the reality is that a lot of people who get arrested are nonviolent first-time offenders. For people falling into this latter category, the law in Florida has options, including one that may allow you to walk away with the charge(s) against you dismissed. This is called the “diversion program,” and the earlier steps are taken on your behalf, the better your chances of successfully getting placed in the diversion program will be. An experienced Tampa Bay criminal defense lawyer can offer essential assistance in getting that diversion assignment.

People often have lots of items on their “bucket lists.” Sometimes, some of those items are unusual. Rarely, though, does one’s bucket list say anywhere on it “get arrested.”

But that’s exactly what one Florida Keys woman facing felony charges told a Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy. She allegedly divulged that information right after he pulled her over in Key Largo after she avoided stopping for nearly five miles.

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Here in Florida (and around the United States,) you have the right to be free of intrusive interactions with the police unless the officers have a reasonable basis for detaining you. If the police confront you without the proper reasoning for doing so, then any incriminating evidence they seized in that interaction may be inadmissible against you at trial. Getting that evidence suppressed requires a properly timed motion, supported by a well-stated argument in support of it. Given how critical these kinds of motions and arguments can be to the success of your defense — and therefore to your ultimate freedom — it is vital that you have a knowledgeable Tampa Bay criminal defense lawyer on your side.

A recent drug possession case from Pasco County shows how the police can overstep their bounds and what you can do when that happens.

In the summer of 2019, New Port Richey police officers responded to a motel where a housekeeper had found a gun in a vacant room. The motel manager provided the names of the man and woman who had last rented the room. The officers discovered that the man was a middle-aged white man named Keith, who was “of average build and height.” They also discovered that the gun was stolen and that Keith was a convicted felon.

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In the law, the vast majority of issues are colored in shades of gray. That’s why a knowledgeable Tampa Bay criminal defense attorney may answer so many questions with “It depends.” One thing that is fairly cut-and-dried, though, is the wide latitude the law gives an accused person in putting on a defense at trial.

As an example, we can look at the criminal case of J.A., a police officer in North Miami. In July 2016, J.A., along with a dozen other law enforcement officers, responded to a dispatch call about a man standing in an intersection with a gun in his hand.

J.A. thought the object the man held was a gun and that a second nearby man was his hostage. The officer next to him thought it was a gun. Radio dispatches were not definitive. J.A., a trained SWAT officer, fired three shots.

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Men and the homicidal reactions their wives’ adulterous affairs triggered (or allegedly triggered) have long been the grist for the plots of both music (Garth Brooks’ “Papa Loved Mama” comes to mind) and jokes. In one joke, a man confesses to his neighbor (via text message) his numerous and regular indiscretions with the neighbor’s wife. The neighbor shoots dead both the wife and the texter. Back home, the shooter discovers a second text where the confessor informs him that autocorrect had altered his first message and that he had not been indulging himself in the pleasures of the neighbor’s wife, but rather the neighbor’s wifi internet. The joke concluded with the confessor whimsically remarking, “Technology, huh? It’ll be the death of us all.” Most folks read this joke and see irony and humor. An insightful Tampa Bay criminal defense lawyer sees a good opportunity to discuss crime of passion defenses in Florida homicide cases.

Back in November, a Hillsborough County jury rejected a Tampa man’s crime of passion defense, instead finding him guilty of first- and second-degree murder for the shooting deaths of his girlfriend and her 10-year-old son. The jury recommended the death penalty, rejecting the man’s contention that he snapped after the girlfriend insulted the memory of his son who died by suicide. Allegedly, the trigger occurred when the woman told the man “I see why your son killed himself like a [expletive] because you’re a little [expletive],” according to FOX 13.

That Tampa case is a reminder of a very important concept: the provocations that can allow a defendant to invoke a crime of passion defense are varied… and vary by state. Most people immediately think of the sudden discovery of cheating spouses, but provocation can also come from being the victim of certain crimes, or even (in some states, including Florida) being the recipient of a romantic overture from a gay or trans person.

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For almost as long as there has been a World Wide Web (and later, smart devices,) there have been people posting adult and/or sexually explicit content online. When someone publishes their own images or publishes images of someone else with proper permission, that’s one thing; when they disseminate others’ images without authorization, it’s quite another. Today, these acts are often taken very seriously by authorities. Engaging in such publication can carry serious consequences, including a felony conviction and jail time. Obviously, a felony conviction can be a life-altering event, which is why anyone facing such charges should waste no time retaining a knowledgeable Tampa Bay criminal defense lawyer.

According to a recent arrest affidavit, an extortion case from Pinellas County involved those kinds of images. The genesis of the arrest was a relationship that was both business and personal… and had gone very wrong.

The Smoking Gun reported that E.L., a St. Petersburg woman, allegedly had lent her new girlfriend $45. Apparently feeling the girlfriend was untimely in paying back the debt, the frustrated lender decided to offer a little extra motivation.

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When one reads about someone in this state charged with indecent exposure or some other lewdness crime (Florida Statutes Chapter 800,) it may be easy simply to laugh it off with a “Florida man” joke. The flip side, however, is that a wrongful conviction on one or more of these crimes can have devastating consequences across numerous areas of your life. That’s why, if it happens to you, treat it with the seriousness it deserves. That includes promptly retaining a skilled Tampa Bay criminal defense lawyer.

A wrongful accusation was the circumstance that a Pasco County man faced in 2018. One fall afternoon, the man entered a New Port Richey parking lot in his pickup truck. He remained parked in his truck for two minutes, then left. According to A.D., he had pulled off to respond to a text message he received from his girlfriend.

A 12-year-old boy who spotted A.D. and his truck while walking nearby told police a different story. The boy said that he spotted A.D. engaging in a solo sex act inside his truck.

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Nobody lives their lives expecting to get pulled over for driving under the influence one day. Still, it’s a good idea to understand your rights, be aware of your legal options, and know when to hire a DUI attorney just in case.

In most states, if the police pull you over for suspected DUI, they may ask you to perform field sobriety tests to ascertain whether or not you are driving intoxicated. Law enforcement often does this when they have a strong suspicion that you’re drunk driving and need evidence to confirm it.

What are Field Sobriety Tests?

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