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Can You Legally Record the Police in Florida?

Melinda Morris
By: Melinda Morris
Jun. 01 2017

We recently reported on the potential rise of body cameras being used by law enforcement in the Tampa Bay Area.  While Pasco County utilizes body cameras for every officer, other Tampa Bay law enforcement agencies have yet to implement the technology in any form.  Notably, the St. Petersburg Police department has waffled on the issue…
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2017 Memorial Day Weekend DUI Enforcement and DUI Wolf Pack Follow-Up

Melinda Morris
By: Melinda Morris
May. 29 2017

We recently reported on the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office leading another “Wolf Pack” operation focusing on apprehending drivers suspected of driving under the influence (DUI).  While the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has not officially announced another DUI Wolf Pack for the 2017 Memorial Day holiday weekend, there is no doubt that enforcement efforts will be…
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Update: Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Adult Pre-Arrest Diversion Program (APAD) – A Questionable Success

Melinda Morris
By: Melinda Morris
May. 10 2017

We wrote extensively about the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Adult Pre-Arrest Diversion Program (APAD) in our blog last November shortly after it was launched – read the original blog here: Pinellas Adult Pre-Arrest Diversion (APAD) Program – The Good, The Bad, and the Unknown  – that blog outlined the program, eligibility criteria, as well as…
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Your Next Interaction With Police May Be Video Recorded

Melinda Morris
By: Melinda Morris
May. 08 2017

Recently, Axon the company formerly known as Taser International recognized for their Taser stun guns, has offered a free body camera to every sworn law enforcement officer in the United States.  See https://www.axon.com/info/offer .  The offer is in fact a free body camera and supporting software for a 1-year trial period.  But that may be…
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Florida Highway Patrol Running “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” On New Year’s Eve 2016 and New Year’s Day 2017

Melinda Morris
By: Melinda Morris
Dec. 31 2016

The Florida Highway Patrol is continuing their participation in the nationwide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign through New Year’s Eve 2016 and New Year’s Day 2017.  The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is a national campaign by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to reduce deaths and injuries stemming from…
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Pinellas Adult Pre-Arrest Diversion (APAD) Program – The Good, The Bad, and the Unknown:

Melinda Morris
By: Melinda Morris
Nov. 15 2016

  What is the Adult Pre-Arrest Diversion (APAD) Program? The Adult Pre-Arrest Diversion (APAD) Program was conceived by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) and Sheriff Bob Gualtieri as an alternative to arresting individuals for certain lower level crimes.  Community Service, Education, and Restitution are the alternative sanctions to incarceration (jail time). The goals of…
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Avoid Jail in Pinellas County and Hillsborough County, Florida

Melinda Morris
By: Melinda Morris
Jul. 29 2016

Pinellas and Hillsborough County Florida offer alternatives to taking certain criminal cases to trial. A non-violent first-time offender charged with a misdemeanor or third-degree felony may be eligible for a diversion program, often referred to as a Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI), which could result in their charges being dismissed. Though certain counties may call their…
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Field Sobriety Tests and Common Defense Strategies in Pinellas County, Florida

Melinda Morris
By: Melinda Morris
Jul. 18 2016

Customarily, when a driver is suspected of drunk or impaired driving the law enforcement officer will request the driver submit to Field Sobriety Tests or FSTs. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), FSTs are administered to assist law enforcement in making objective arrest decisions during DUI stops. The most common FSTs performed…
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St. Petersburg Attorney Explains the Effect Supreme Court Ruling Prohibiting Individuals Convicted of Domestic Violence from Gun Ownership in Florida

Melinda Morris
By: Melinda Morris
Jun. 27 2016

Today, in the case Voisine v. United States, the United States Supreme Court upheld federal legislation prohibiting individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from gun ownership. Under 18 U.S.C. §922(g)(9) it is unlawful for an individual convicted misdemeanor domestic violence to possess a firearm. In an earlier Supreme Court case, United States v. Castleman, the…
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Will Supreme Court Ruling on Racial Bias Have Effect on Jury Selection?-Update

Melinda Morris
By: Melinda Morris
Jun. 01 2016

Last year, we wrote about the United States Supreme Court agreeing to hear an appeal from Timothy Tyrone Foster, a 48-year-old death row inmate in Georgia who was convicted in May 1987 when he was 18 years of age of killing a 79-year-old retired schoolteacher. The jury that sentenced Foster to death was entirely white….
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