Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A. - Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer

Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Blog

Treatment, not incarceration, may resolve the opioid epidemic

The opioid crisis takes far too many lives. Two-thirds of the drug overdose deaths in America are because of opioids. This means the number of opioid overdose deaths in 2016 was approximately 43,000. Swift and effective actions are necessary to stop this epidemic from spreading. 

There are some pieces of good news such as Congress and the President allocating $3.3 billion to address the problem. However, the money is only helpful if it funds the right methods. 

Could drunk driving limits soon be lowered?

If you're a bit older, you may remember the time when each state had its own blood alcohol limit for drunk driving. You may even remember a time when it was more commonly .10, which is significantly higher than the standard .08 that is used today.

Well, get ready, because the landscape is changing once again for drivers and the rules may soon be even more restrictive. Utah has just become the first state to drop its blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for drivers down to .05.

How a friend's overdose can lead to murder charges

Really good friends share just about everything -- including, sometimes, their drugs. These days, however, sharing your pain medication or the pills that you managed to buy from a local dealer with a friend can lead to murder charges if that friend happens to overdose.

For a long time, law enforcement agencies tended to consider drug overdose deaths as largely accidental in nature. Absent evidence to the contrary, they were a tragic mistake -- but there was nothing criminal about it.

The right to remain silent during a DUI stop

Most people are aware of the Miranda warning. When the police arrest someone, they typically inform them of their Miranda rights, which includes the right to remain silent.

In the event the police pull you over on suspicion of DUI, you need to know what you can and cannot say. You need to separate fact from fiction to protect your rights.

Can you trust a personal Breathalyzer's results?

Do personal Breathalyzers actually work?

Ever since companies figured out how to manufacturer small personal Breathalyzers fairly inexpensively, they've been appearing in bars and at parties -- anywhere people are drinking. The idea is that people can use them to see if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is safely under the legal limit (.08 percent) to drive. They're supposed to give you a more accurate picture of your BAC than you can get using one of those charts that you can find online that give you an idea of your BAC based on your gender, weight and how much you've had to drink.

Is drug court an option for you?

A Florida drug conviction can bring with it considerable consequences, and it can potentially leave you facing hefty fines and even jail time. In some cases, however, offenders who commit drug-related crimes can avoid having to spend time behind bars by instead enrolling in a Florida drug court program. Designed to treat your addiction as much as hold you accountable, drug courts strike a careful balance, and they typically involve you agreeing to undergo counseling, drug tests and periodic appearances in front of a judge for a set period following a drug crime.

So, are drug courts effective? According to the National Institute of Justice, drug courts offer the following benefits, in addition to making you less likely to use drugs.

'No smoke is a joke' lawsuit could change Florida cannabis laws

Under Florida's current medical marijuana laws, patients are able to use just about any form of cannabis that works for them, including sprays, tinctures, oils and edibles. They just can't smoke it.

Advocates for medical marijuana say that the "no smoke" rule is "a joke" and needs to be changed -- along with laws that prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries from selling the items that people would need to smoke the drug, like papers and bongs.

You can get a DUI for driving while high

Although many people think of DUI as strictly an alcohol-related crime, "driving under the influence" means under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This applies to all drugs, including prescription drugs and medical marijuana.

Law enforcement takes all DUI cases seriously because driving under the influence may lead to catastrophic or fatal injuries for the driver, passengers and other motorists on the road. In fact, according to the Tampa Bay Times, data from 2016 shows that 205 people in Florida died as a result of accidents with drivers impaired by drugs.

Marijuana use at college could mean double the consequences

College students can become caught up in the new freedom of being out from under their parents' rules but still somewhat protected from adult life.

However, if they face charges from marijuana and other drug crimes that occur on a Florida college campus, there are very real consequences.

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