On February 13, 2015, the Fifth District Court of Appeal decided the case of Oliver v. State, 2015 WL 585536 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015). In Oliver, the defendant was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped for an inoperable tag light. The stop itself was not challenged on appeal. After the stop, the officer, in an aggressive manner, ordered the defendant to "keeps his hands on the f***ing dashboard." After a canine sniff alerted the officers to the presence of drugs in the car, the officers searched the defendant and found marijuana and a firearm on his person.
Our ever vigilant clients recently brought to our attention a website claiming to be able to provide medical marijuana certificates. The website states that medical marijuana is already legal in Florida for those with a medical necessity. The website also claims that if a patient can prove medical necessity to a law enforcement officer, they are not subject to arrest. However, these claims are completely untrue.
There are three types of leaving the scene of an accident charges in Florida:
Congratulations to Bill Sheppard and Sam Jacobson for their receipt of the Henry Lee Adams, Jr. Diversity Trailblazer Award presented by the Jacksonville Bar Association Diversity Committee. This award is given, "In recognition of outstanding leadership for diversity and inclusion efforts, as well as a remarkable legacy that has paved the way for the advancement of others." Having received a number of past honors from various organizations, Mr. Sheppard is especially proud to have received this honor, named after one of his former law partners.
Our own Bill Sheppard and Betsy White are featured in an article written by The Florida Times Union about the state's prohibition against same-sex marriage. The weddings of thousands of gay and lesbian couples throughout Florida since January 6th were made possible in part because of the groundbreaking lawsuit brought by Sheppard and White.
The Supreme Court of the United States is currently tackling a major issue: when do comments on social media cross the line from protected speech to illegal threats? See Elonis v. United States, Docket No. 13-983. In this modern age of Twitter, Facebook, chat-rooms, and other social media platforms, drawing the line between free speech and illegal threats is no simple task.
After Bill Sheppard, Betsy White, and Matthew Kachergus were named as "Best Lawyers" in their practice areas by US News & World Report, Jacksonville Daily Record did a great story on our "family of fighters":
Both child pornography and solicitation to have sex with a minor cases are on the rise. Police departments have committed numerous resources to monitoring chat rooms and trying to lure people into attempting these crimes. A recent Florida case, State v. Martinez, illustrates just how far some law enforcement officers are willing to go. [(12th Cir, Manatee County (May 8, 2014)].
The firm has once again been a Tier 1 law firm by U.S. News - Best Lawyers In America for 2015. This ranking is based "on a vigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process." At least one member of the firm must be included by Best Lawyers in a particular field.
Are there any limits to the warrantless search of a vehicle anymore? Can the police search everywhere in a car once the occupants are removed under the justification of a "protective sweep"? At least one Florida judge recently said that there are some limits under the Constitution. State v Copeland, FLW Supp 2201 COPE (2nd Circuit, Leon County, August 13, 2014).