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“Do it for the gram” is a 21st-century phrase that refers to when a person does stuff for the sole purpose of posting it to Instagram for likes and attention. Recently, a 20-year-old Florida woman got in some serious trouble when she did just that by posting pictures of her riding on a sea turtle’s back. The photographs went viral and also caught the attention of Florida officials.

Florida is home to the biggest population of sea turtles and is very protective of these aquatic animals. Under the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rules, it is a felony violation to possess, sell, or molest a marine turtle or a marine turtle nest of eggs. These animals are protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, due to their classification as an endangered species. Violations of the sea turtle regulations are classified as a third-degree felony, with possible imprisonment up to five years and/or a $5,000 fine.

When local police responded to a disturbance Saturday night, they identified Moore as a wanted felon. Melbourne law enforcement then arrested Moore and booked her in Brevard County Jail. Sitting on a turtle, as she did, not only limits its mobility but can also cause damage to its ribs or sternum.  A felony can bring serious consequences like losing your right to vote, your right to possess a firearm, or even a loss of employment.

Over 100 million Americans have gotten at least one or both doses of a coronavirus vaccine and have received a free proof-of-vaccination card with the logo of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, there has been no clear indication or protocol on how to confirm if someone is vaccinated or not. The Biden administration declared it would not create a federal vaccination database, citing privacy concerns, making the CDC-issued cards the country’s default national way to verify if someone has been vaccinated. Since the cards are marked by hand, don’t contain much information, are printed on easily obtainable heavy white paper, and are impossible to quickly verify, it leaves an opportunity for the anti-vaxxer community to beat the system by forging them. In March, the FBI released a public warning that creating or buying a fake vaccine card is illegal. “If you did not receive the vaccine, do not buy fake vaccine cards, do not make your own vaccine cards, and do not fill-in blank vaccination record cards with false information,” the warning from the FBI said.  Individuals might use them to misrepresent their vaccination status at school, work, or in various living and travel situations, potentially exposing others to risk. Crimes associated with making or using fake vaccination record cards include wrongfully using government seals, the FBI said in its warning. That’s because fake cards often use the CDC and Health and Human Services seals seen on the real ones. That’s punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine. Other penalties could include possible termination of employment and be thrown off-campus. If you are caught and charged with having or selling fake CDC Covid Vaccine cards, do not try to fight these charges on your own.

If you have any questions about your case or other legal advice, we are here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us fight for your freedom.

There is a common misconception that if you commit a crime, there are only two options: You’re acquitted or you face jail time. However, an experienced criminal lawyer will inform you of pre-trial diversion programs. Everybody makes mistakes and fortunately, the state of Florida recognizes that many deserve second chances. Some offenders with little to no criminal history, including certain felony offenders, may be eligible to enter a pre-trial intervention program. Once the program is completed, the court will drop your charges. The state attorney’s office is also able to grant access on a case-by-case basis so even if you are not a first-time offender, you may still be able to participate in the program.

In most situations, pre-trial diversion programs focus on non-violent offenses and usually a person is ineligible if they are charged with any offense involving violence.

In order to qualify, you must meet the following:

Being charged with a federal crime can be a scary thought, however, many don’t know that within three days of your arrest, you have the right to appear before a judge, or also known as, a federal detention hearing. A federal detention hearing allows you to let the judge know that you are no danger to the general public or a flight risk and they can choose to release you until your trial date.

Preparing for Detention Hearing

Before your federal detention hearing, a pre-trial services officer will conduct a full review of any of the details about you. For example, this can include your education, occupation, financial stability, how many family members you have, etc.

If you’ve watched enough law movies and drama shows, chances are you have at some point seen a character plead insanity as a defense. According to a PBS article, less than 1 percent of county court cases involve the insanity defense, and that of those, only around one in four were successful. Despite this statistic, there are instances when this defense is successful. The first successful attempt at this defense was in 1843 when an Englishman shot and killed the secretary of the British Prime Minister, believing that the Prime Minister was conspiring against him. More recently, a teenager in Iowa was found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity in the death of his 5-year-old foster brother. So what exactly determines “insanity”?

First, the defendant must prove that he did not have control over his conduct similar to sleepwalking or being in a state of hypnosis. Secondly, the defendant does not have the ability to form criminal intent. They have no understanding of conduct that is “evil” or considered wrong by society’s standards. For example, if someone commits a crime and then tries to purposely mislead officers, they demonstrate an awareness that they did something wrong even if their behavior was mentally imbalanced. Due to these two factors in play, a defendant’s behavior is likely to be repeated again and again. As a result, there is no punishment or sentence that would rehabilitate the person. The only appropriate remedy is to treat their mental condition.

It is important to note that just with other areas of law, the insanity defense varies from state to state. Below are rules states use to define “insanity”:

During his regular shift on patrol, Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputy Thomas O’Brien noticed a man “acting irrationally, dancing, singing with his pants repeatedly falling down.” in a terminal at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. When he approached the man to check on his condition, the man picked up a hot cup of coffee from an adjacent counter and squeezed it, causing the hot liquid to splash all over the Deputy’s uniform. He later wrote in his report that while he tried to start a dialogue with the man he “appeared to be looking through me,” According to Officer O’Brien, the man then positioned himself in a “fighting stance.” It was then that the Deputy used his baton to hit the offender on his leg with apparently no effect. At that point, the man began to remove his shirt and again adjusted his body as if in preparation to fight. The officer repeatedly ordered him to get on the ground which was refused upon each command. Finally backup officers arrived and he succumbed, was arrested, and taken into custody.

As it turned out the offender was Davone Bess, a former Miami Dolphins wide receiver who is presently under contract by the Cleveland Browns. Late last year, Bess was placed on the reserve/non-football illness list by the Browns for what they designated as “personal reasons.” He didn’t play in the last two games of the 2013 season.

Bess was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and simple assault on a law enforcement officer, without violence. He was later released on bail of $100.00. When he was greeted by TV news reporters upon his release, Bess had nothing to say that was substantive, regarding his arrest. The three charges against him are all misdemeanors.

This wasn’t the first run-in the football player has had with the law.

Ten months earlier, before the Dolphins traded Bess to the Browns, the Broward Sheriff’s Office received a call to go to his Cooper City home where he was found being detained by several acquaintances. According to the incident report, Bess purportedly had been shouting “Hide the guns,” “Where is my weed” and “I want to get in the end zone; throw me the football.”

That incident wasn’t publicized at the time, but this latest event has brought the previous occurrence under further scrutiny.

During the first call that drew police last year, the first deputy that arrived noted a strong odor of what he believed to be marijuana coming from the master bedroom of the home. He also witnessed numerous males restraining the athlete who was in an agitated condition. He appeared completely incoherent and was trying to escape from those holding him. Fire rescue was called and their attempts to sedate the durable football player were unsuccessful. It took six Broward Sheriff’s Department Officers to finally restrain him and he was then brought to Memorial East Hospital as he continued to struggle. His family had him checked into the hospital, against his will, where he spent six weeks placed under observation.

His mother had arrived from California the day of the first incident after being informed that her son was acting bizarre. She was quoted as saying that her son was going through “some serious personal issues” and “had not slept in three days.”

Bess’s career had been sliding of late. In the six years he played in the National Football League, five of them with Miami, he amassed nearly 4000 yards in rushing and receiving. His best year was 2010 when he accumulated 820 yards and scored 5 touchdowns. He also had 25 kick returns for an additional 284 yards. Last year, with the Browns, his statistic’s fell to a combined 362 yards and 2 touchdowns. He only had 4 chances of returning kicks for a total of 19 yards.

Recently, Bess used Social Media services Twitter and Instagram to post images of marijuana as well as nude photos of himself. The picture of the illegal substance was titled “We da real dons”. Bess could be looking at disciplinary measures from both the Cleveland Browns and the NFL for posting those types of photos to the social media websites
A recent report by the Cleveland Plain Dealer stated that the Browns will likely release Bess before the league year begins on March 11. Although he was given a $5.75 million guaranteed contract after being traded to them from the Dolphins they may make an attempt to recuperate a portion of that sum, including a percentage of the more than $3 million he’s due to receive for the 2014 season. The report goes on to say that the Browns are deciding whether or not to file a grievance against Miami, based on the fact that they had knowledge that the player had unwillingly been hospitalized for irregular behavior before the trade was initiated.

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