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The 2020 elections brought along with it a lot of blue, a lot of red, and a little bit of green. Many cannabis policy reform bills were introduced throughout the country and resulted in four states legalizing marijuana. According to an article by Forbes, an estimated 40,000 people today are incarcerated for marijuana offenses only. This number increases into the millions for those Americans with past marijuana-related criminal records. Due to COVID-19, the unemployment rate in the country is 6.9%. However, for those who have a criminal record, the unemployment rate is 35%. This differs drastically from the seemingly positive approval for cannabis policy reform bills we saw this year. In Florida, possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of one-year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000. Possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000. Although medical marijuana is legal, it is only permitted for legal use under certain health conditions. So, what should someone do if they are caught in this predicament?

We have listed 3 tips below on what to do:

1. Did the officers illegally coerce the marijuana out of your home, vehicle, or during a body search? This can be used to dismiss the charges.

Larry Modena and William Dabbs were friends. Their lives intersected on many different levels. In addition to sharing their private lives they also worked together at Modena’s contracting and construction company, Atlantic Coast Builders. Their relationship seemed nothing out of the ordinary until a fateful day in October 2011 in Boynton Beach when Dabbs shot his friend to his death as they argued in a Home Depot parking lot where both of their cars were parked side by side. Dabbs shot Modena five times before he fled the scene.

When police were dispatched to the location of the shooting, they pursued Dabbs who was operating his work van leading them on a high-speed chase that at one point had Dabbs turn and point his .38 caliber pistol at one of the officers. The officer returned fire, but neither were injured as Modena lay dying in his car.

After Dabbs was taken into custody without further incident he was ultimately charged with first-degree murder, fleeing and eluding law enforcement and armed aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer.

The Amber Alert sounded in the early morning of May 22 trilling cell phones and the emergency broadcast system on local television networks, as well as sending the alert to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Network, a division of the US Department of Justice.

The Amber Alert was posted after the mother of Alejandro Ripley urgently called police emergency telling the 911 operator that her son had been abducted in South Miami. She frantically if not incoherently told police dispatch that two men of whom appeared to be of Afro-American descent cut off her car bringing it to a stop at the intersection of SW 158th Avenue and Kendall Drive.

The alert that went out through the airwaves stated that her son Alejandro is 4’11”, 120 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes. The child also suffers from a condition of severe autism and for all intents and purposes is non-verbal.

This post is a continuation of a breaking news story found under Case Results on my Website relating to my Motion on behalf of Alexandra Slovkovic’s Request for Compassionate Release.

At approximately the same time I entered the Motion on behalf of my client Alexandra Slovkovic, Correctional officers at the federal women’s prison in Tallahassee filed a complaint in reference to the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks, during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The officers filed what’s known as an “Imminent Danger Report” with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (USOSHA). The USOSHA is the federal agency that oversees and enforces workplace safety. Simply stated the mid-April complaint specified that the actions and non-action taken by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) are increasing the capacity for the spread of the potentially deadly contagion.

At the time the complaint was recorded one Correctional officer had tested positive for the coronavirus and three other employees were quarantined. Additionally, one inmate had been awaiting test results as of the time the complaint was documented.

Originally charged with second-degree murder which carries a potential life sentence if found guilty, a Coral Springs woman had the charges against her downgraded to second-degree manslaughter after prosecutors said they reviewed the evidence and the law.

The suspect, Yvonne Serrano was arrested late last November after calling 911 when she said she discovered the body of Daniela Tabares in her driveway with one foot still in her car at 6:00 in the morning. At the time police arrived at her home Serrano told them she was leaving for the gym when she stumbled upon the dead woman’s car and body that was found with a gunshot wound to the center of her forehead. At the time police noted that Mrs. Serrano wasn’t dressed for a gym outing.

During initial questioning by police Serrano told them that she remembered going to a local bar with her friends the previous night, blacked out and woke up in her bed. At the time she could not detail to detectives how she got home from the outing the night before.

As the Coronavirus spreads exponentially across the United States many local and states have been releasing thousands of low-risk inmates who could be at risk, particularly the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions. Additionally, many criminal-justice reform advocates have urged the president to use his power of clemency to commute the sentences of numerous inmates who may be eligible for “compassionate release”.

In the opinion of many experts it has been said that each Governor should name a high-level health coordinator to address the growing problem faced by low-risk state prisoners.

The federal prison system is coming under intense pressure to take similar action, however, as is the case, especially with those who have been sentenced to prison terms and are currently incarcerated already know that the needs of those in federal custody usually face a long drawn out process.

Circumstantial evidence can only take investigators so far in a crime when speculating whether a suspect is the actual perpetrator. This was the case in the 2003 murder of Gladys Jorge who was savagely beaten to death in her home in mid-July.

At the time of the homicide, Jorge shared a home with her boyfriend Eugenio Fariñas. According to her family their relationship was rocky to say the least, but they still coexisted in the same residence for quite a long time.

The victim’s body was found by Jorge’s mother, who lived door during the summer of 2003. According to police records she had a key to her daughter’s house. When officers were dispatched to the residence where they were met by Jorge’s mother and sister, they were advised that she was inside and unresponsive. Paramedics quickly pronounced her dead after entering the home.

“A gambling problem can negatively affect an individual’s home life, financial status, career, education, social relationships, and physical and emotional health.”

These words can be found on the helpline page of The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling’s website.

Their mission statement demonstrates that they’re “committed to increasing public awareness about problem and compulsive gambling.”

Last month’s blog post settled with the FBI’s arrests of William Foster, Ashleigh Holloway and Hanah Chan.

Foster had been charged with an array of sex trafficking charges while Holloway and Chan had soon after surrendered to federal authorities and now face similar charges.

Foster’s complete indictment which was unsealed on December 9 of this past year charge him with sex trafficking of a minor, conspiracy to sex traffic a minor and transporting with the intent to engage in prostitution. Holloway and Chan who were alleged to be Foster’s two main recruiters were charged under the same indictment with sex trafficking by fraud, coercion or force. Additionally Chan was charged with transporting an individual for prostitution.

Florida has local human trafficking task forces in each of its sixty-seven counties.

The crime’s statistics have been precipitous; having a very steep ascent year after year.

Over the past seven years total cases have risen from a reported 931 contacts in 2012 to 1885 ending 2018; more than double.

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